As you likely know, we're quite excited about the Darrell Hazell hire here at BS. Of course, it wouldn't be BS if we weren't being honest and giving you our full perspective. To that end, I wanted to make a couple quick comments here regarding Coach Hazell's decision to continue to coach Kent State during bowl season.
Ordinarily, coaches sever ties immediately with their previous employer once they accept a new coaching gig. Many say they'd like to coach their former team but also understand that those programs need to move forward with decisions and cut ties to make things clear to everyone remaining at the program as to who is in charge. Coach Hazell is running some of the Golden Flashes bowl practices and will, as of now, be coaching them in the GoDaddy.com bowl on January 6. (Which, you know, wouldn't it have been nice if they were in one of the earlier bowls? Like, say, this coming weekend?)
He's also out on the recruiting trail for Purdue and intends to be present at the Boilers' Jan 1 Heart of Dallas Bowl appearance versus the Cowboys of Oklahoma State. I like this for a lot of reasons, mainly because he'll be evaluating not only the players on the field but the remaining Purdue coaching staff. As b-dowd noted last week, there are some guys on the staff who deserve some consideration so this is a good thing.
Going back to Coach Hazell pulling double duty, I will admit that my first thoughts were that it isn't a good idea. I don't like the idea of him splitting time. He's Purdue's coach now, and while that might sound selfish, Purdue is reportedly paying him $2M/year so I think that's adequate compensation to expect his full, undivided attention. I do think it says a lot about the man that he really wants to finish what he started this season at Kent State, but let's be honest -- it's the GoDaddy.com Bowl, not a BCS bowl game. I'd understand the latter a bit more, actually, because it would mean so much to the program. But a meaningless bowl like the GoDaddy? I don't see it.
I also know that there is an argument that his players -- especially the seniors -- deserve to have him there, and that is somewhat true. However, he's already jumped ship, regardless of how nicely he did it. I don't think he screwed over those players and everything we've heard indicates they don't think he did, either. So what more does he owe them?
All that said, I do find it interesting that he'll be coaching and it's something that will make me tune in and see how the Flashes do. If they have a memorable night on the eve of the national title game, then that really should mean good things for Purdue in terms of press -- hey, this is the guy the Boilermakers got.
|Looks good in Black and Gold|
The final thought that concerns me is simply borne out of being a Purdue fan and always expecting the worst. I know he's signed at Purdue (at least, he damn well better be), but you never want a guy to have the chance to go back to his old, comfortable situation and decide he just can't leave those boys and that next year could be even better, etc. My cynical mind says, "What if he's really comfortable there and they somehow offer him a raise?" I know they can't pay him $2M, so it really should be moot -- but if you're a Purdue fan, you understand my slight uneasiness. No, I don't think he's going anywhere -- it's just that until he's 100% in black and gold, there's a nervousness I can't shake. Again, this is simply being a Boilermaker fan and not wanting bad things to happen to our program.
I'm definitely curious in others' opinions and so please weigh in here and in the poll at the right. What do you think about Coach Hazell coaching his Golden Flashes one more time while already under contract at Purdue?