Former Colorado Coach Bill McCartney's Claim is Wrong

By Rick Stavig
Cary Edmondson-US PRESSWIRE

As if the commotion surrounding the Colorado Buffaloes firing football coach Jon Embree wasn’t bizarre enough, it just took another turn down crazy street.

Former CU head coach Bill McCartney recently spoke out on a local radio show blasting the university for firing Embree.  He claims the school fired Embree because he’s black.  He thinks that he was given more time to build the CU program because he’s white.  His quote on why he was given more time to coach the team: “Honestly, I believe it’s because I’m Caucasian. I believe black men have less opportunity, shorter time if you will”. 

While I’m going to stray far from the semantics of that statement, I will say I disagree with his opinion regarding the firing of Embree. In my incredibly humble opinion, Jon Embree wasn’t fired because he was black, he was fired because he didn’t win games.

The amount of money involved with FBS Football is staggering, and multiple times higher than what it was when McCartney last coached in 1994.  It’s a different world now.  There is no adjustment time or honeymoon period.  There’s no grace period to rebuild.  Coaches get paid a heck of a lot more money now than in the early 80’s (when McCartney started coaching) and are expected to start winning before the ink dries on that fat contract.

Embree won a total of 4 games in his two seasons, including one single game this season.  During a three game stretch this season, the Buffs were outscored 168-20.  I’m sorry, but did they only play with eight guys during those games?  The Buffs offense was ranked 117th in the nation and the defense was ranked 121st (by the way, that’s out of 124).  Are these numbers not grounds for dismissal?

Gene Chizik won a National Championship two years ago with Auburn, and now he has been fired.  He’s also a white man.  Was he fired because he’s white?  No, he was fired because he lost 9 SEC games this year.  Ellis Johnson was fired from Southern Miss after only one year on the job.  He’s also white.  Was he fired for this?  No, he was fired because he lost every game this season.  Why isn’t McCartney furious that these men were fired in the middle of their contracts as well?  Be consistent with your opinion Bill.

McCartney went 2-8-1, 4-7 and 1-10 in his first three seasons coaching the Buffaloes.  Does he really think that in todays world he wouldn’t be fired after those three seasons? Regardless of the fact that he’s white?  Be serious. It’s not about race- it’s about winning.  Whether you’re black, white, yellow, purple or green, if you win games, you keep your job.  You lose games?  You lose your job.

College football is a business whether you like it or not.  It’s just like the real world, if you aren’t producing at your job, you won’t have it much longer. Would you blame your boss for wanting to find someone who will produce?

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