In John Blanchette’s April 16 column about Bill Doba (“Doba’s had full life …”), one thing stood out. Regarding Mike Leach’s $.2.2 million salary, “That’s the ante to compete in the Pac-12 now.”
Is that official?
If so, how does it explain how Oregon State found no-name, inexpensive Mike Riley from the CFL in 1996, who then turned the program around and got summoned to the NFL in three years? What about Oregon and no-name, inexpensive Rich Brooks? It took 18 years, but he did it, then he handed it off to no-name, inexpensive Mike Belotti who kept them at the top. Then he handed it to no-name (initially) inexpensive Chip Kelly, who took it even higher.
The same goes for Ohio State finding no-name Jim Tressel at Youngstown State. Not to mention WSU finding no-name Dennis Erickson and Mike Price.
Some may argue that “it’s a different era now.” But this issue is fundamentally always the same. Either a program believes in its ability to spot and develop talent or it goes to buy it.
Both can lead to success. The latter has no monopoly on that.