Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Whats wrong with Turner?

The question was raised on the Dawgman board about what was wrong with Todd Turner? Here are a couple of items that were raised by the posters over there followed by my rebuttal.

I can live with Todd Turner as long as we have a winning football team. I think he can accomplish his goals if he has a winning football team.

1. He has failed to raise any money in 3 years for stadium renovations, which should have been priority No. 1 for the AD.

(I would have expected a fund raising plan to have been released during the week of the USC game. So it isn't like he is way behind schedule raising funds for the project. I think the plans are wonderful, but we have been getting mixed messages over the past month. The suggestion that he was going to double ticket prices over the next five years went over like a lead balloon. His #1 priority as AD was never to rebuild the stadium, it was to rebuild the integrity, and fiscal responsibility of the department, and he has done a very good job doing that. I think there is more to the stadium story going on behind the scenes with the Board of Regents.)

2. He has defended an indefensible coaching staff, shifting the blame to the players (which directly contradicts comments he made at the beginning of the year).

(I think he was just stating the obvious, they need more players, and they need better players. I don't think for one second he was trying to demean the current players. I think a lot of people love jumping on whatever Ty, or Todd says and give it a little twist. Point is nobody is happy right now, especially the guy who is in charge of balancing the budgets and raising funds.)

4. His stubborness in defending Ty and Co. is becoming arrogant and smug--the "the fans don't know what they're talking about, I do" mentality.

(Do you really think any AD is going to throw their coach under the bus after 2 1/2 seasons? I haven't seen smugness, but I have seen disapointement. It is his job to stand up for his coach until he decides to move on and hire another coach. The only thing he is stressing to the fans is patience, and tha thas been his message all year long. I liked the way he tried to rally everyone for the last five games and I am following his lead.)

5. His comments regarding which programs Washington should emulate--Oregon and Kentucky--are unforgivable to a true Husky and shows that he knows nothing about the culture of which he is now "leading."

(Who really cares, Oregon and Kentucky are winning, and both schools have shown patience getting there. He was just using it as an example. What he should have done was give an example of what the Huskies were doing to reach that level in the next year, or two. Talk about what you are doing to get better, don't wish you are something else.)

6. Talks down to fans - we don't matter, plus we are ignorant internet half brains

(The internet half brain comment will be forever in the lore of Husky football, but I don't think he talks down to fans. I think he is simply bureacratic, and that is how it comes across. Todd actually returns unsolicited email when he isn't getting buried by thousands of Fire Ty emails.)

7. Disconnected from what it means to be a Husky

(I agree with this one. Even though he pushed for the Legends Center which is a good thing, he doesn't seem to be an extension of Husky tradition. They are trying to establish, or have established their own culture, and the Purple Curtain surroundng the football program has turned a lot of people off. I don't know if Todd has become Northwest enough. Jim Owens came from Oklahoma and he did it. Don James came from Ohio and he did it. Todd needs to do a better job of studying what is important to the fans. )

8. Hired a football coach whose staff is failing to develop players and blindly defends it with more platitudes.

(I think they develop players, but I don't think they have enough players. If you take a look at the roster most of his players are frosh, and redshirts. He has plugged in some JC's along the way, but the foundation of this team is very young, and also too early to judge. I would say this staff develops players better than the last two regimes at UW.)


topdawg said...

Todd is not a sports guy. He is mis-cast as an AD.

Here is where I will agree with you. Todd's mission was to clean up the athletic department. But I say mission accomplished...time to move on.

Todd lost all credibility when he stated that he had raised no money for the stadium renovation.

He is all hat and no cowboy...if you doubt that go ask the NCSU fans.

John Berkowitz said...

Todd isn't perceived to be a Husky, that's the real problem. Sports and athletic administration have been his entire life, so I have to disagree with you on that point Top Dawg.

As far as the stadium renovation, what exactly would you have done to this point? UW isn't going to raise any significant funds until the football teams starts winning, or a major donor steps up.

UW missed the window a couple of times when it came to stadium renovation, Turner is kust cleaning up the mess and trying his best to get it done.

It's real easy to blame everything on Turner, but I haven't seen anyone else step up with any action, or better answers.

topdawg said...

You are 100% on target when you say he is not perceived to be a Husky.

Being in atletic administration does not make one a sports guy. Sure he enjoys tennis and golf, so do some CPA's, which I think he is more suited to.

He is a bean counter, not a leader. Before this whole lack of fund raising for the stadium I had actually advocated he have a position created for him that dealt with just facilities.

If I came out and said that renovating the stadium was a top priority I would have actually started to raise money for it, had a fund set up. He has nothing but a bunch of pretty drawings and a big bill he has no clue of how to pay for.

Bad football it has been three years. Who's fault is that?

Yes babs and crew did major bang job when the opportunity was there.

He is one of if not the highest paid AD in the Pac-10, he is three years into his regime. It is up to him to come up with answers and he has none.

He thinks the answer is to raise prices without taking significant action with the on-field product. If you are asking people to pay the type of money he wants you to pay it is going to take something more tangible than patience.

AD budgets start and end with football. For some reason he is not making that connection.

I encourage you to have a conversation with Whiskeydawg over at dawgman. He actually has some good ideas along all fronts.

John Berkowitz said...

You make some very good points Top Dawg. Let me add a couple of mine.

Doubling ticket prices?

That one really got me, I looked at my stub and they were $65 which I thought was quite expensive, I really doubt people are going to be willing to pay $130 in the not too distant future.

Lacking sizzle?

He fired the womens basketball coach last year saying the program lacked sizzle, he was right.

The football program has a lot less sizzle and is way more important.

Raising money?

Direct your ire at the right group. Funds can't be raised for the new stadium until the Board of Regents buy's off on the plan.

That doesn't mean funds cant be raised for other things. He raised 7 million off the baat for the Legends Center.

Bad football?

I am still not at the point where I blame Willingham and Turner solely for bad football. I say solely because the bulk of Willingham's recruits have been on campus two years. If you look at the roster the promise is all in the frosh, RS, and soph classes. The soph class by the way is very small.

t9odawg said...

Todd told big time boosters when he started the job that would he would establish a Husky FB traditon, is what I've been told. He started losing them then and there.

He had no clue as to Husky tradition.

The rest of his PR gaffs are in the public record

topdawg said...

Thank you for the civil conversatin John.

I don't think we are too far apart on Turner, it is just a few minor points where we differ. I do give him credit for The Legends Center, that was long over due and a credit to him.

The one point where we agree is in relation to Director Turner not being a Husky. And that alone should send him on his way.

A University's identity is in it's sports program. There are some exceptions Harvard, Yale, etc. But I don't talk on the phone with my clients about the number of Rhoade Scholars UW has put out. And the oregon friends I have don't razz me about uo having a better sports marketing program. But I sure have enjoyed a good football discussion with former alums and clients, while also being slammed pretty hard by oregon fans over the 4 straight.

That identity starts with the man on top. And if he ain't a Husky or not seen as a Husky...it is time for him to go.

Regarding football. I am not going to go down that path other than to say good football coaches win. Tyrone Willingham would be a GREAT WAC or Division IAA coach.

We can debate players and the cupboard being bare all we want...but at the end of the day even Tyrone says it is his team. I am pleased with Tim Lappano and the job he is doing.

John Berkowitz said...

I think to take an honest look at the man you have to look at hois accomplishments, failures, and short comings.

You can build a good case that Todd has been succesful based on his accomplishments.

As far as football goes you have to give him a D so far. I move him up from F because the Legends Center is a nice piece, it was his idea, and he went out and got it done.

I would say as an overall AD he would be a C Plus. Football is so important it just drags dwn his overall grade.