It wasn’t exactly as classless as learning you’d been fired on the way to your mother’s funeral, but the manner in which Mike Sherman‘s dismissal was handled by Texas A&M still left a bitter taste in the coach’s mouth.
Sherman was fired by the Aggies Thursday after four years on the job, and the coach confirmed rumors that he was fired by athletic director (for now) Bill Byrne over the phone as he was nearing the driveway of a recruit he was on the way to visit. Sherman lamented the fact that “my family found out before I did, because it was released (through a leak in the media) before I was told. I think we’re better than that.”
In his four years with the Aggies, Sherman compiled a 25-25 record, but it was the final 6-6 season that led to his abrupt demise. Sherman and the Aggies came into this season with high expectations — too high from this vantage point — ranked No. 8 in the Associated Press‘ preseason poll. Six losses later, including a handful of embarrassing second-half collapses after building double-digit leads in the first half, too many question marks littered the football program ahead of its move to the SEC.
Despite the disappointingly below-average season, Sherman said he believed he deserved the opportunity to continue building the program. Additionally, he decried the current culture of changing things instead of fixing them and the immediacy society demands.
“Do I feel I deserve to be terminated? No, I don’t,” he said. “I think this program is headed in the right direction. But I understand we live in a society where it’s easier to change than to fix. … We live in a society today that is motivated by anonymous people that write baseless texts and twitters and it gets things stirred up. There’s no accountability to that type of society, and the immediacy they request.
“I think it’s important that people make decisions based on facts, and what’s real. I think sometimes that gets skewed a bit. But I feel like the program is definitely headed in the right direction and I hope the next coach appreciates the opportunity he’s going to get to work with these players and I’ll support him however I can. Because I want to see A&M be successful.”
As far as a replacement for Sherman, who hinted that he could be headed back to the NFL as the next step in his coaching career, all of the signs are pointing southeast of College Station as the starting point in the search. As Ben noted earlier this evening, it has been reported that Arizona State has ended its pursuit of Houston’s Kevin Sumlin. This news comes a day after it was reported that ASU had officially offered the job to Sumlin, which CFT and other outlets were told was not the case. However, CFT has been told by a source with knowledge of the situation that the pursuit was dropped because the Sun Devils, even with the newly-minted money the Pac-12′s television contract brings to the conference’s members, would be unable to get “into a bidding war” with the Aggies for Sumlin’s services.
Whether the Aggies will be able to pry Sumlin away from the Cougars remains to be seen. One way or the other, the answer to that question should come in the days following UH’s appearance in the Conference USA title game Saturday.