Saturday, January 1, 2011

Haywood Era Is Over Before It Begins

If you know of Pittsburgh atheletic director Steve Pederson, you know he has a history of making bad football coaching hires. First was Bill Callahan at Nebraska, now the recently fired Mike Haywood.

Haywood was arrested about 3 p.m. Friday after a custody issue developed with a woman with whom Haywood has a child, police said. The unidentified woman told police that Haywood grabbed her by the arm and neck and pushed her as she tried to leave the home that Haywood owns in South Bend, Ind., where he once was a Notre Dame assistant.

Haywood didn't last 2 1/2 weeks at his new job because of a domestic violence arrest in South Bend. Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg immediately dismissed Haywood and that the school was reopening the coaching search. Good luck chancellor because Dave Wannstedt was as good as it was going to get. No matter how inconsistent the team was.

“To be clear, the university’s decision is not tied to any expectation with respect to the terms on which the legal proceeding now pending in Indiana might ultimately be concluded,” Nordenberg said in the statement. “Instead, it reflects a strong belief that moving forward with Mr. Haywood as our head coach is not possible under the existing circumstances.”

Pederson, who was fired by Nebraska in 2007, might have the search taken out of his hands since his job might be on the line due to Haywood's troubles. I would fire Pederson on the strength of his lousy track record of hiring coaches. The Haywood hire was met with much enthusiasm by fans, alumni, or boosters. I don't think I'd be too happy with a with one winning season on his resume.

“This is a matter of real regret for the many people at Pitt who had looked forward to working with him,” Nordenberg said. “However, head coaches are among the university’s most visible representatives and are expected to maintain high standards of personal conduct and to avoid situations that might reflect negatively on the university.”

The first mistake was not identifying more candidates. Secondly, they made a quick hiring with a name that wasn't 'hot' in coaching circles.

  "His history at outstanding programs with outstanding coaches gave him a rare combination of experiences and background,” Pederson said at the time. “Most importantly, Michael is a man of character and integrity and will be an inspirational leader for our football team".

There goes Haywood's character and integrity. Right out of a 10 story window.
Before the firing was announced on Saturday, Haywood told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “It isn’t fair. The truth will eventually come out.”

The truth may come out but Haywood will still be out of a job.


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