(Don’t worry; I cringed enough for everybody.)
Nearly three years ago, Charles Barkley blasted Auburn’s decision to hire Gene Chizik over Turner Gill, claiming that “race was the No. 1 factor” in his alma mater’s choice and “a black coach… would have created a buzz.”
Chizik won a national championship in his second season on The Plains. Now, following his second season at Kansas, Gill has found himself among the growing number of unemployed coaches at the top level of college football.
The Sunday coaching bloodletting continued unabated this evening as KU became the latest to announce a change at the position, stating in a release that Gill has been relieved of his duties as head football coach. Gill was informed by athletic director Sheahon Zenger of the decision Sunday afternoon.
Zenger, who was not KU’s AD when Gill was hired, said the school owes Gill some $6 million for the remaining three years of his contract and they will fulfill the terms of that contract.
“After a thorough evaluation of our football program,” Zenger said, “I have concluded that new leadership is necessary to place us on the path toward competing for championships in the Big 12 Conference. I come to this conclusion reluctantly, because I have the utmost respect for Turner Gill as a quality individual who wants only the best for the young men he coaches.”
During his brief time in Lawrence, Gill went 5-19 — oddly enough, that was Chizik’s record at Iowa State before the Auburn hire — including just 1-16 in Big 12 play. Gill and his job security had been the subject of increasing speculation as the losses mounted, so the move comes as little surprise despite the fact that he only received two years at the school.
One more thing and as an aside: karma can be a very nasty and vindictive vixen. When your former AD is responsible for firing a head coach like Mark Mangino that deserved a raise and not a dismissal, you reap what you sow. And, unfortunately for Jayhawk fans, they’re finding out right about now just how nasty and vindictive she can be.