New Arizona State head coach Todd Graham said one of the major reasons he took the ASU job was for his wife. ESPN's Ted Miller has a great breakdown of the press conference.
In other words, Graham put what he termed "a gut-wrenching experience" in his left hand and the opportunity with Arizona State in his right and decided to endure the one because of the appeal of the other. He made a tough decision that many people make in the job market, only the news media wasn't Tweeting about it all day Wednesday. And there are, whether folks back East are willing to admit it or not, real world reasons why Arizona State held such great appeal to Graham.
ASU athletic director Lisa Love admitted she was aware of Graham's now even more justifiable reputation as a mercenary climber who constantly eyeballs better jobs.
Said Love: "I love the fact that [Graham's wife] Penny's parents are sitting right here and they drove up the road. I love the fact that Todd has family here. I love the fact that Desert Mountain was a place where they were investing and prepared to invest in property and believed him. I believed him. I can tell you that I saw that on job movement, but I believed him."
Trust. It's dangerous. But Love needed a coach after a muddled 17-day search that Wednesday's spin couldn't smooth over, and there was Graham -- eager, affordable and with a fairly solid resume. Ergo, leap of faith.
Of course, track records don't disappear. What if Georgia or Ohio State comes calling with $4 million a year? Why should Arizona State fans believe this is a better dream job than his last dream job, a phrase that the effervescent Graham throws around a lot. Arizona Republic Paola Boivin thinks it was a fantastic hire for ASU.
Todd Graham, you have my attention.
"I think one of my greatest attributes is passion and enthusiasm," Graham, 47, said at his introductory press conference Wednesday in Tempe.
I'm willing to overlook the fact that there is a Facebook page called "Coach Graham has no soul," courtesy of disgruntled Rice University fans.
I'm not going to hate him for job-hopping, for having one-season stops at Rice and Pittsburgh, the job he just left.
He bolted because other schools wanted him. Welcome to big-time college football. Don't you want a coach who is coveted?
"Our door was beaten down by people who wanted to be a Sun Devil," ASU President Michael Crow said.Of course, Graham's players at Pitt have other ideas about him as a person and a coach. Some that may conflict with Boivin. Here's a story from the Pittsburgh Tribune discussing the player reaction.
Seven days ago, Pitt receiver Devin Street sat down to discuss his future with football coach Todd Graham.
"He told me he's here to stay," Street said. "He said he wanted to make me the best player he can.
"It's all a lie. It's been all a lie this whole time. Everything he told us has been a lie."And Graham told his players the news via text message. You only do that when you are breaking up with a crazy person.
Pitt players said they were stunned when they heard of Graham's resignation.
"We put our trust in (Graham), and all he could do was send us a text message," Nix said.
Alecxih said a double standard exists among players and coaches.
"How is it in college football, if a player wants to leave he has to do all kinds of stuff, he has to fill out paperwork, he has to sit out a year?" he said. "But if a coach wants to leave he can up and leave without so much as a moment's notice."Over in Los Angeles, Jim Mora has started putting his coaching staff together. Here's the story from the LA Times. While there is no confirmation in the story about Marques Tuiasosopo being hired as the tight end coach. Mora was on with Softy Mahler today and confirmed the hire. He also said he would refuse to use negative recruiting against UW out of respect to his alma mater and his respect for Steve Sarkisian. But he did say, that he would still recruit players that were committed to UW, admitting that he had talked to a few of them recently.
More audio? How about Mike Leach talking with Ian Furness and Jason Puckett on KJR
In news slightly less surprising than if Todd Graham were to leave ASU next year, it sounds as though LaMichael James will declare for the NFL draft.
The Mercury News looks at who will replace Andrew Luck next season.
And finally, because I can ... Montana will have to deal with a speedy Sam Houston offense in the FCS semifinals on Friday night