I was reading the Star-Telegram article from this morning regarding Coach Christian's outlook on the BYU game this evening and somehow I guess most of you must have glossed over this little tidbit:
Coach thankful for past
Jim Christian likes to live in the present and sometimes look to the future. But one thing about the past that he’s been able to appreciate so far is the classiness of former TCU coach Neil Dougherty.
Dougherty sent Christian a congratulatory text message after the Frogs’ season-opening win over Western Michigan, and he’s offered to help in any way throughout the season, which Christian said made the new staff’s transition easier.
"He’s supporting the kids he brought into the program, and I think that’s a wonderful thing," Christian said. "I was a little surprised [to get the text message], but in a pleasant way. Not a lot of guys in this business do those types of things. It shows what kind of person he is."
Oh. Oh my god! How does this happen? Have you ever seen the Seinfeld where George gets fired from his job for pretending to be handicapped, then tunnels his way into his handicapped bathroom and sets up his office there? That's what this is like, except not in any way funny! I had heard rumors that Neil and his crew were at the home opener, which I guess is acceptable since he wanted to see how his holdovers were making it under the new regime... but still questionable. I mean, if you were fired from your job for vast imcompetence, would you show up when your replacement was finishing up their year end reports, just to see how things were going? I realize there are flaws to this argument, but, to put it in similar perspective: how many SMU games do you think Phil Bennett attended this season? (the fact that he had another co-ordinator job is not to be taken into account for the sake of me winning my argument) Because that's what Doughtery was: TCU's Phil Bennett, with the exception that Bennett was actually given another job after his axing.
Not to just beat a dead horse about how much I hate Dougherty, because anyone that reads this site clearly understands my feelings towards the man, but look at what Jim Christian said just this weekend in relation to the Dougherty Reich, also from the Star Telegram.
"Indifference" is how new Frogs’ coach Jim Christian summed it up when we talked Friday.
He wasn’t just talking about the media or the fans, either. He was talking about the players, too.
"There are so many great things happening here [at TCU], so many programs that are winning, people had just become indifferent to basketball," Christian said. "I’m talking about our own players.
"Guys were working here, they were working hard, but they weren’t working toward anything or with anybody."
So, call me crazy and too read between the line-y, but when you say that the players are "indifferent" and that they "weren't working toward anything or with anybody," I'm pretty sure that's a direct shot at the previous coach and how the players viewed the man and his stylings. When all but four of his players were either kicked off the team or left the program, that tells me that they were sick and tired of the direction it was going under the previous leadership and that they weren't going to be able to cut it under a winner.
The bottom line here is this: Why is Dougherty still hanging around? From Christian's comments, it almost sounds like he has an open invitation to interact with the players. Why would you take the chance? This situation with Dougherty is like a bad case of Herpes. It may lay dormant for a while and you'll think you have it controlled, but just when you're about to jump into bed with some hot young thing in Colby Hall, there's Neil, just a big ulcer on your D.(sorry, too much?) I understand how some programs keep around beloved coaches by either giving them front office jobs in the athletic department (Frank Broyles at Arkansas and Tom Osborne at Nebraska immediately come to mind) or some sort of honorary, pretend position (not that unlike Joe Paterno miraculously signing a 3 year contract extension to "coach" from the pressbox), but even those greats can wear our their welcome (Broyles). So, can you imagine what allowing a losing coach who players didnt respect and couldn't put together a winning team if his life depended on it can do to a rejuvenated program with a first class coach? Just look at the improvement of Langford and Mitchem through 16 games this season as proof that Dougherty wasn't capable of utilizing their talents. Christian needs to say thanks but no thanks and eliminate Dougherty's presence around the program immediately before the cock blocking really begins.