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Front Page » December 9, 2004 » Sports » Sportsview: Ute coaches like rats leaving a floating ship
Published 3,518 days ago

Sportsview: Ute coaches like rats leaving a floating ship


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sun Advocate community editor

It's not often one sees the rats leaving a floating ship, but in the case of the University of Utah, they are running off it like it was on fire.

I often hear coaches at the college a pro level talk about loyalty. They explain the good attributes of it, how important it is, and why athletes should have it.

But most forget about it when they get the chance for more money, more prestige and more big time press.

I guess I can't entirely blame them. If someone walked into the Sun Advocate today and told me they would triple my salary if I'd move to Moab, I probably would take them up on it too.

But I wouldn't leave in the middle of production day, making the rest of the staff pick up the slack to finish the paper.

That's exactly what Meyer is doing, because you can bet he will be much more worried about recruiting for his coming team than he will be concerned about how the Utes will do in the Fiesta Bowl. Afterall, he's "outta here," away from this place that gave him a national stage, to somewhere much more sunny and warm. Sure it looks like he'll "coach" the team at the bowl game, but if he wasn't there this Ute fan sure wouldn't miss him.

Bitter? You bet. I'm tired of this being a stopping place for people going on to "bigger and better" things or even worse, not wanting to come here in the first place because they have "heard things about Utah." I thought that only came up with the Jazz.

And then there is Mike Sanford who came with Meyer. Now he is diving overboard as well, going to UNLV, hoping for happier and sunnier times there too.

Of course along with them will go a plethora of assistants that a big time program needs.

Finally there is Kyle Whittingham. At the time I began to write this, he had not made a decision yet. But on Wednesday he made the decision to take the job at Utah. If anyones loyalty should have been split, it should have been his, since the two schools that he loves the most are within 40 miles of each other and he is a graduate of BYU and a native of the Provo area. But he had to see that he had made his home at Utah, that people love him there and that he had been kept on despite the firing of Ron McBride two years ago. True he had longevity over Meyer and native ties, but the least Meyer could have done is honored the last year of his contract with the school. However as they say, better strike while the iron is hot, or in this case jump off while the ship is still afloat. That's because it would be hard for anyone, including Meyer to repeat next year what happened this year. I am sure Whittingham will find himself in a tight spot next year even with the returnees he will have.

However, Utah fans are loyal. When McBride was sent packing most of us were pretty mad even though things weren't as good as they could have been and we saw Meyer as a hot shot coach who send the U to another level.

Over the years Utah football has had an endless list of coaches since Jack Curtis took the Utes to the highest heights they had ever been in the late 1950's. Difference was that Curtis spent a few years here before running off to a bigger program.

Now Utah has a coach who will stay a long time if the administration will let him develop his own program.

Meyer it seemed, couldn't get away soon enough. And now we as fans, can't wait to see him go either.

Let him drink Gatorade.


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