Why My Gears are Grinding

Ron Zook: The unliked hero | December 1, 2011

Now many people do not know this, but I am a huge Illinois football fan. For most of us, it’s a very love hate relationship. The inconsistent team takes you back and forth on an emotional roller coaster play after play. Quite frankly it sucks, but at least we stay true to or team thick and thin. After Saturday’s loss to Minnesota (a team that went 3-9 the whole season) there was no question in my mind that Illinois head coach, Ron Zook, was getting booted. My problem with the University of Illinois was the way they went about firing Zook. Now before I go any further, let me give you some background information. Zook was at Illinois for 7 years, he took them to the Rose bowl and the Texas bowl last year. Not to mention the fact that Illinois may still be eligible for a bowl game this year (and man do I hope so) which will be their first back to back bowl appearances since 1991 and 1992. When you look at the things he accomplished at Illinois, you realize that despite his many, many, (and I can’t stress this enough) many flaws he deserves to be let go with some shred of grace and dignity. Now after Saturday’s game Zooks dismissal was inevitable, it just came down to a question of when to fire him. Do you do it the not of? Sure, if it’s maybe the coach’s first year and it was terrible. No, with someone who has had such embedded ties to the organization, you wait till Monday. You give him and his team the weekend to enjoy the little time they have left together. Illinois did not do that, they fired him Sunday. It was quite frankly disrespectful to the good that Ron Zook did for the Illinois football program. When it comes down to it I didn’t like the guy one bit, but I would have at least given his the weekend to be with his team….. and probably update his résumé.

 

Sources:

http://espn.go.com/blog/chicago/colleges/post/_/id/4698/ron-zook-tenure-ends-at-illinois

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