Miami Hurricanes: Breaking Up With Shannon Is Hard, but There's a Better Option

Benny VargasAnalyst INovember 4, 2010

"There is no sense in shining an apple that is rotten to the core"

Sometimes you realize that certain things just can't be fixed, have the Miami Hurricanes reached that point now?

The time has come for Head Coach Randy Shannon to be either demoted or released from his contract. Since the former is usually not an option, you'd expect for the Miami Athletic Department to go with the latter.

After all, football excellence used to be synonymous with Hurricanes, and that just hasn't been the case under the current regime.

Shannon has allowed Miami to fail too many times. Under his watch the Hurricanes have been blown out more than once per season, have looked horrible in big games and have underperformed against inferior opponents on a regular basis.

Miami has gone 26-20 in his four seasons. They're 14-15 in the ACC, and haven't sniffed an ACC Conference Championship or a BCS Bowl. They looked awful and got beat in the two mediocre bowls they did get invited to.

Thus it seems time for the program to move in a different direction, to bring in someone that could bring in better results faster. The same way Jimmy Johnson, Dennis Erickson, Butch Davis and Larry Coker all did.

Davis didn't win a title, but he should have been playing for a national title in his last season at Miami. He also stocked the team with talent, which Coker rode to two championship games.

It's hard to want to fire Randy. He's a true Hurricane who won a title back in 1987. Furthermore he's a local product. He went to Norland High before attending UM.

Not just is he a native, he's also a great "feel-good story."

Shannon's father was murdered when he was ten. He lost twin brothers and a sister to drugs and AIDS. He overcame huge odds just to be the person he is today. That makes him a great role model for young men and prospective student athletes.

Randy has established a disciplined and academically successful program. Miami is second only to Stanford when it comes to graduating football players the last couple seasons. The players have also managed to stay out of trouble, which is contrary to what typical fans expect from the U.

Miami for the most part is squeaky clean right now and are trying to win the right way. But that's the problem, they're only achieving half of that equation. While the players are staying in line, they're not doing enough on Saturdays.

Kirby Hocutt has to be cringing at that four-year contract extension they gave Shannon this past offseason. Still, boosters, former players, alumni and fans may not allow him and the notoriously penny-pinching athletic department to just stand pat.

The greatest possible scenario would be to lure Jon Gruden to be the Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator, then have Shannon stay to coach out his contract as a Defensive Coordinator. This will never happen, but it'd be great for Hurricane fans in regards to recruiting and on-field results.

Can you imagine Chucky and the Canes? It's a match made in football heaven. ESPN would make them the new coverage darlings.

Then picture Gruden going into a young man's living room. They know who he is from Monday Night Football, and now he's on their couch. He's wearing that Super Bowl ring, giving that intense glare as he pitches the five-star recruit.

He's asking them to come down to a beautiful, private campus nestled in an upper-class community. This school has great academics, and the football program has a meritorious success rate. You have small class sizes when it comes to the books, and a long list of alumni that are NFL stars who still come back to the school to help you on the field.

You'd be playing for an exciting and respected coach. You'd get to play home games in an NFL stadium with college football's largest high-definition screen. It's not a very hard sell, especially for someone like Gruden.

He is the one guy capable of not losing any potential recruits while still enticing others and improving the team's exposure and performance.

It's time for a fresh start in Miami. Time to get a young renegade style mad-man. You know, just like Jimmy Johnson was. That's what the Hurricanes would get in Gruden. He'd have that same fire and ability to motivate his team. Only difference is he's far more polished and experienced than JJ was.

There's no way Gruden would get blown out seven times in four seasons like Randy has. He would tear all those kids apart if they quit on him like they have Shannon.

This won't be a very easy sell but it's not impossible either. Gruden always wanted to be the Notre Dame coach and still might be one day. For now, though, Miami may be able to benefit form a perfect storm of circumstances.

He's already been out of coaching a couple seasons and it's doubtful he wants to stay out too long. He can always go back to the booth after his coaching days.

Gruden likes living in Florida. He currently resides in the Tampa area. A move to Miami or just traveling to Coral Gables for work would be feasible and easy.

The Hurricanes offer him a marquee team that already has plenty of talent and will only get more with him on board. Lastly, he could spend four to five years at Miami, win a couple titles and then use it as a spring board for any job he may want.

He would join the very exclusive club of coaches that have won an NCAA National Title and a Super Bowl.

Former Hurricane players need to start whispering in his ears. The athletic department needs to cough up the cash. They'll more than make it up in increased attendance, exposure and following. Donna Shalala needs to turn her back on the football program and let them be Hurricanes instead of spring showers.

I know it's only early November, but if Hurricane fans could get one early Christmas gift, please let it be Jon Gruden as our next Head Coach. Doors always open for you to be an assistant, Randy, so you can always come home if you like.

It's time for Hurricane football to be dominant and relevant once again.


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