Opinion, Staff Editorial

Golden fails to turn around bad record this season despite team’s talent


Before the beginning of the football season, we expressed our hope that Head Coach Al Golden would finally be able to step up to the plate. Clearly, that was a bad judgment call.

The team’s floundering performance in the last four games shows that Golden has not and will not make a significant turnaround anytime soon. Director of Athletics Blake James announced that a decision on Golden’s tenure will be made after the season, but all signs point to a well-deserved firing in December.

Red flags include the fact that seven players were drafted from last year’s team (which finished 6-7), and another six signed with NFL teams as undrafted free agents. The team lost focus after each loss to Florida State the last two seasons, and Golden is accountable for that. Moreover, Golden’s inability to turn around his record this season begs for a new coach to be appointed. The team hasn’t yet played a complete game (Bethune-Cookman doesn’t count). They were outplayed in the first half against Florida Atlantic University, fell apart in the fourth quarter against Nebraska and deserved to lose to Cincinnati and FSU. That is unacceptable.

Despite the exodus of talent from last year, there are still gifted players on this team, and lined up in upcoming classes, who deserve adept guidance.

Ultimately, the poor management of the football coaching staff falls upon the Board of Trustees. The school made a decision to focus on academics and to distance itself from the football team’s wild reputation when Donna Shalala was hired. Larry Coker struggled near the end of his run, and Randy Shannon never had any success before Golden was hired.

The school still lacks an indoor practice facility for the team, despite previous talks about building one. The program could also offer more competitive pay to attract the top coaches in college football if the school wanted to reestablish its storied legacy. UM is one of only seven programs since the introduction of the AP championship format in 1935 to have won five or more national titles, and the only school to have won five since 1980.

A strong football program has the potential to generate significant revenue and a good national reputation for the school, and it’s high time the Board paid more careful attention to the team’s future.

The best Golden can hope for now is to save face by winning the ACC Coastal Division, the team’s goal for this season from the outset. However, the athletic program should not keep him simply because he can reach this relatively low bar. Winning the weaker division in a bad football conference is not a huge accomplishment.

The ambitions of the football team are put into a striking perspective when compared to those of our basketball team. Multiple basketball players recently mentioned hopes of winning the ACC Championship and reaching the Final Four next March. Jim Larrañaga is working towards shaping one of the best teams in college basketball in his fifth season, while Golden hopes to win a division that might be the weakest out of the Power Five conferences.

Golden came into a horrible situation with the NCAA scandal, but he’s had ample time to show whether or not he’s a championship-level coach. If he’s not going to win a championship, then what’s the point of keeping him?

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

October 14, 2015


Editorial Board

The Miami Hurricane

18 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “Golden fails to turn around bad record this season despite team’s talent”

  1. Bill T says:

    I really like Al as a person of integrity and a good coach….unfortunately just good doesn’t cut it at the U – you need to be great just to fill 3/4th of the stadium. Don’t be surprised if Harbaugh takes Michigan to the playoffs with the same players as last year’s aweful team. Coaching is everything. Al is set for life and will get a golden parachute when all is said and done. The U needs to pony up about 4mil per year to compete…Hoping the BOT is committed to success and invests the $$. We sure as hell have it from Momentum, Cane Club record take, and ACC money which is about 10mil more per year than just two years ago, and our yearly donations are respectable..

  2. Michael Riggs says:

    The football team is what pushed THE U forward nationally. When we were in championship runs most every year, The U got more publicity than they could ever purchase at any price.

    Golden has to go, and like the old Chinese proverb, “You don’t wait until you’re dying of thirst to start digging a well.” A new coach must be hired ASAP to enable him the year-end rush in getting top coordinators and coaches, and salvaging a good recruiting class.

    No more gambles. Butch Davis is a proven Miami program builder, and can restore the program to national prominence. Gentlemen. Pull the trigger. Avoid further sepsis.

  3. Tyrant says:

    BTW, if the Mario Benedict Arnold Cristobal (Fraulden II) is the next head coach, the football program might as well be shut down. How that turncoat, who failed miserably at FIU, could ever be considered for any position at the now former U, is beyond the pale.

  4. Tyrant says:

    Better late then never! Although all your editorial points have been posted on CanesInSight.com for months, your Editorial Board must be given credit for finally seeing the obvious light. The real culprit in this ungodly mess is the shameful Board of Trustees. For 2 years, these elitist blue-noses they have been sitting on their hands, neglecting their duty to maintain the one element that has brought the now former U to national elite status. They have squandered the legacy. I don’t want to see anyone from the administration holding up the now former U until they publicly apologize, FIRE Fraulden and Flake James, and then rehire Butch Davis.

  5. Confused Alumni says:

    I am confused. Is the football team strictly a source of income for the University or is it there for the Athletic growth and development of the STUDENT ATHLETE? I think these beer drinking drug fueled “CANES FANS” need to look at the program NOW, and the caliber of STUDENT athlete that it’s producing…not whether or not we are National Champions again. Having enjoyed the thrill of a national title, I also saw the detriment…poor academic records for the championship athletes, low graduation rates, basically…the yee-ha’s at the tailgates were happy, but the kids were severely crippled academically. In the past 10 years at least, we’ve graduated a MUCH larger number of Football players with stellar academic standing. We are BIGGER FASTER and SMARTER…would you rather have a team of Jameis Winston’s, a little slow and not so bright, but national champions? Yale has a football team, and Harvard has a football team, but neither fan base is screaming “Why dont we have a national title?” We have a University, who nobody in the community gave a shit about in the beginning when we were a small intellectual esteemed university, but let big money come in, and throw academics to the wind and now we’re blood-thirsty for a title over some of the most HIGHLY funded programs in the nation. We should stick to the commitment to academic excellence, and the fundamentals of sport and competition that college sports is meant to be, and abandon this “We are the thugs of the College Football world and nobody gonna mess wit us” mentality. Al Golden came from TEMPLE…we didnt drop the big $$$ on Cower or other “Win at all costs” coaches…we recruited a stellar academically focused, committed to our children’s growth and development, coach. Cant we relish in the fact that we are the smartest, most competitive University in the state of Florida, and one of the top institutions in the world? or is it all about being able to out Kegstand and out smack talk our yee-haa champions to the north? I salute Al Golden and his commitment to the STUDENT athletes he has been entrusted to.

  6. Roger Blake says:

    This is long overdue.
    BOT please fix our beloved football program.

    Roger Blake
    BS 1990

  7. Numbers says:

    About time you came around. That piece at the beginning of the season was weak. Way to call out the Board of Trustees – all the blood is on their (cheap) hands.


  8. Rick says:

    As a former Ed Page writer for the Hurricane, I couldn’t be prouder of your piece. Well said.

  9. c hall says:

    never have i seen a hurricane defense since al and his best bud mark given up so many yards in a quarter in a half in a season after season 5 years nothing changes chad thomas a 5 star talent and muhammad should never come off the field unless tired had all summer to pick the 4 or 5 best and go with it sub only when needed and play attacking d like these guys are used to name one defensive diffrence maker in 5 years since he had been here why they dont like this flawed scheme so 5 years no change will let his buddy get him fired ok so blake and donna and bot should have said last year change or go but no they left it up to him so everything the negativity the banners they started it so let us fans finnish it and lets get back to the u being the u because the football put the u on the map

  10. Steve B says:

    If the board of trustees was really concerned about the school’s image they wouldnt have hired Shalala in the first place. Her history is shaded by her association with Bill and Hillary Clinton one of the most corrupt couples to ever enter politics. Shalala is now head of the very corrupt Clinton Foundation which was a front for the selling of influence when Hillary was secretary of state. Last year she had the obtuse arrogance to state that it was really Al’s first year. Shalala paid 250,000 of the University’s money to Hillary to speak at the U. Then she went to work for her. Sounds like a conflict of interest doesnt it?
    Since the BOT sat on the agreement that Butch Davis had agreed to with Paul Dee in 2001 and drove Davis to sign with the Cleveland-the BOT has character assassinated Butch claiming he lied during negotiations.Once Butch left the football program took a nosedive.
    What Blake James should do is tell Golden by game 10 he is not coming back .Hire Butch Davis as HC and Mario Cristobal as assistant HC and head of recruiting let them assemble a staff to save the recruiting class a progress the program forward. Groom Mario to take over when Butch retires.
    The majority of the alumni would like this as well as the fans and students and unless the administration is willing to pay top dollar for a known proven head coach the prospects for the future of the team will be dim.

  11. Marcus D says:

    Ohhhh loook, the school paper is finally saying what people who understood football knew 4 years ago. I may not have a big fancy semi-prestigious UM degree, but I was bright enough to see through Golden’s BS after about 2 months. In any case I will be here in the 305 long after students graduate and scatter off back home to California, Europe, Brazil, Tampa, etc…I am true U and you should have listened to folks like me 4 years ago. As with most college kids from second tier universities – when it comes to football, and much else in life, you are proverbially “all hat and no cattle.” Fitting for this generation of know-it-alls who suffer from ADD, PTSD, and erectile dysfunction before the age of 25. I am 71 and can sit still while reading a paper book, not walk around the kitchen at night sweating while reliving my Vietnam years, and maintain a prodigious erection. I also eat meat, prefer talking to people face to face, call cute girls sugar or hon, and know when a 2-bit car salesman from Temple is masquerading as a football coach.

  12. Concerned Citizen says:

    Pathetic attempt by the school paper, as usual. You don’t get to turncoat on Golden after holding the position you have for so long.

    “Now that some time has distanced Golden from the fallout of the NCAA probe and sanctions, he deserves this one last season to prove himself to Hurricanes fans.” – You Guys

    “This is, after all, only the second year he has been able to recruit a class without the sanctions deterring promising players.” – You Guys

    “Hurricanes fans need to accept that this isn’t 2001.” – You Guys

    Also, lets not forget the extent you felt necessary to white knight for al golden and the athletic department in the whole BUC sign situation.

    In short, sit down, shut up, you are Goldenites.

  13. Gerrell Leverette says:

    I would hope that the BOT sees the bigger picture. When UM was on top of the football landscape in the 80’s, student applications went up tremendously, revenue increased exponentially, and national branding went out the roof. Paying Golden’s buyout should be looked at as an investment, vs. a debt. I would hope the BOT would also strongly consider Butch Davis to be the new coach here. He wants to be here, his salary wouldn’t be a burden on the school and the fan base will be re-ignited. It’s time for a change….it’s time to embrace what Miami is known for. If Duke can excel in both basketball and academics, we can excel in both football and academics. We need to understand that we don’t have to sacrafice one to be successful in the other.

  14. Reece says:

    God bless you. Great article. About time we see this coming from voices within the University.

  15. Steven Sitzer says:

    What’s it going to take for Blake or the BOT to fire Golden? He’s a moron. 4 years of the same Defense and he still thinks it can work. Jimbo toyed with Golden in the 2nd half of the game. Yes Miami held FSU to 20 yds in the 3rd quarter but when the game was on the line FSU scored fairly easily and they’re Defense held us.
    By keeping Golden until years end is going to destroy our ’16 recruiting class. If Golden is fired now and the right coaching names are mentioned to be linked to the program there’s a chance to save the class.
    Also if Blake is concerned about the money owed to Golden if he’s fired its really short sighted. If the right coach his hired and takes us to one of the 4 major bowl games, the money will be made back almost immediately.
    Just look at both Florida & Michigan

  16. Mike K says:

    I would also note that Larranaga and the basketball program dealt with the same NCAA issues as Golden, yet without the legacy and history that the football program has. He did not complain, never mentioned a cloud. He went out an won the ACC tournament and reached the top 5 in the country. Golden is a cancer on the school and Blake James is an inept lackey who should be out of work with Golden.

  17. allen Stone says:

    I speak as a U. M. alum. and lifelong football fan. Al Golden has demonstrated that he is in over his head coaching in the ACC and at the Univ. of Miami. He is simply not a Div. 1 coach.
    He belongs at a smaller school where the expectations aren’t as high.
    The combination of an uninterested President, an Athletic Director with no major college experience, and an incompetent coach has made this once proud program an un-ranked also run.
    It is time to Clean House and try to bring back some success to this once great team.

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