Stewart Mandel can’t really be as naïve as he comes off sometimes, can he?
… SMU’s interest in Jones makes perfect sense. His run-and-shoot offense helped Hawaii make a dramatic turnaround as soon as he arrived in 1999 (jumping from 0-12 to 9-4) and would almost certainly lift the Mustangs to their first bowl game since 1984 (pre-death penalty). I’m sure the school has some deep-pocketed boosters that could float him a sweetheart deal.
I just don’t understand why Jones would want to go there. Not only is he at home, he’s a guaranteed hero there for as long as he coaches. I could see him leaving to take another stab at the NFL, but not to take over a struggling Conference USA program. Maybe I’m being naïve.
According to Coaches Hot Seat blog, June Jones currently ranks 66th nationally in total compensation, at $800,000.00 per year (his contract is set to expire). Further, according to USA Today, Jones’ salary at Hawaii ($400,008 ) is less than the salary of fired SMU coach Phil Bennett’s ($495,602).
But that’s not where the story ends. According to the Dallas Morning News, SMU boosters have reportedly raised something like $10 million for salaries for their new head coach and staff.
So, no, that’s not naïvete, Stewart. That’s total freaking cluelessness.
By the way, good news for us Dawg fans – Mandel blogs that he’s at “the New Orleans Marriott/Convention Center, media headquarters for Tuesday’s Sugar Bowl and next Monday’s BCS Championship game — and, in turn, my home for the next 10 days.” We’ve got a lot more keen analysis to look forward to.