Other opinions: Shula firing handled badly

Published 10:00 pm Monday, December 4, 2006

By Staff
Football again dominates the topic of conversation all across the state again, but it is not games or great plays on the field. It is about coaching changes again. Alabama coach Mike Shula was fired after a 6-6 season.
Athletics director Mal Moore said in an Associated Press story Monday that defensive coordinator Joe Kines would serve as interim head coach and a national search would begin for &#8220a proven head coach with a proven record of achievement.”
Alabama is bowl-eligible but it has not been determined if the Tide will receive an invitation to a post-season game.
Shula, 41, took over the proud but troubled program less than four months before the 2003 season after Mike Price was fired following spring practice for his off-the-field behavior - specifically a night of drinking at a Pensacola, Fla., strip club. Price got the job after Dennis Franchione bolted for Texas A&M.
Moore praised Shula for providing &#8220stability for our program through four years of NCAA probation” that ends Feb. 1, 2007. However, all of that could not save him after having such a horrible record against rivals. Shula was winless in four tries against Auburn.
The Tigers beat the Crimson Tide 22-15 on Nov. 18, leaving Shula to answer questions about his job security.
The timing of the firing is probably a little bit later than it should have taken. It appeared that UA officials were shopping around last week to see if they could get a good coach.
If they were going to fire Shula, they should have followed the Miami's example by firing the coach the day after the season and not drag it out over a week's time.
All of this is a moot point now, but they should consider this in the future. In the meantime, let's hope that UA can get the right coach for the job.
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