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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Search Firms For College Basketball Coaches, Why?????

In my opinion and many others there is more than a disturbing trend happening in college basketball.

More and more universities when they are seeking a new coach are turning to search firms to help them. Many times this at a cost of between $75,000 and $125,000.00, in these days of tight budgets and many athletic departments reaching for every dollar they can get, I just don't get these search firms being hired.

I first started following this back in 2007, when Oregon State was looking for a new head coach in men's basketball and they hired a search firm, which by most accounts cost them about $70,000.00. Yes, Oregon State, the school with one of the dumpiest basketball arenas  in the country (they will never be able to afford a new one) and a school which sits right in the middle of the grass seed mecca of the world, but uses artificial surface on their football field to save money. By the way the two finalists for their job? Billy Grier and Craig Robison, how has that worked out so far? Not too good I would say.

Examining this even more, the reason given often to hire a search firm is that the search firm can make contact with potential candidates, keeping it confidential and thus not embarrassing the potential candidate. BUNK.

There are no secrets in sports anymore and also what do you hire an athletic director for? A good AD should have a constant list of candidates available and continually updating that list. As much as ADs make today, why hire a person if he needs help contacting people and knowing who is available. Sure it is good to have a free in-house selection committee or process, but it makes no sense at all to pay an outside firm to help you secure a coach. Final point on this section, if you  follow these search firms and look at their client list, then check five years later on the success rate, it would get any human resources person fired. Enough said, but.....................

Let's keep going, it gets even a little more juicier in my opinion.

In July of 2010, the NCAA passed a rule which put the famous Pump brothers from California out of the coaching search business, in essence the rule said people who are connected to potential NCAA student athletes, can not at the same time be in the business of helping find coaches for NCAA schools. (The Pumps run basketball camps in the summer time and work with potential recruits).

Ok, not being a lawyer, maybe fair enough. But NCAA where is the fairness factor when a search firm is hired by a school to help seek an AD, then that AD fires their basketball coach and turns around and hires the same search firm to help them get a new basketball coach. Ok, I will go ahead and say it, examples are North Carolina State and Bradley, this past year. I guess follow the money.

But wait, how dumb am I ? The new president of the NCAA got his job through the help of one of the most famous of these search firms. Well I guess the rules on search firms just STOPPED right there.

At the very least search firms for basketball coaches are the biggest waste of money today in college athletics and at the very worst they are___________________, you fill in the blank.

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