In the perpetual shit-storm that is University of Illinois athletics, it appears as things are, yet again, going to get worse before they get better.
According to ESPN, interim Head Coach Bill Cubit has been given a two-year contract extension, marking what appears to be yet another in a long line of bone-headed decisions from Illinois’ Atheltic Department.
I don’t mean to rip on Cubit; perhaps consistency is a good thing, and having players who are actually excited to play for a coach instead of be intimidated by them (as they were with Tim Beckman) is an improvement over the past, but a two year contract leaves the U of I in a very weird spot. With 30 scholarship Seniors on the roster for next year, marked improvement at Memorial Stadium is expected. In the years to come, however, the repercussions for recuriting could be monumental, and sink an already mediocre program even lower.
I’m not sure what the Athletic Department was thinking, but it seems like longevity and building a long-sustaining, successful football program were not priorities. While this year has been a slightly pleasant surprise under Cubit, I have a hard time seeing how an exciting coaching candidate like P.J. Fleck or Dino Babers couldn’t be a better option. At least they succeeded in the MAC and would be able to recruit and build from the ground up.
All I want is to have a competitive football team – is that too much to ask?