Miami AD Kirby Hocutt left for the sunnier climes of Lubbock, Texas to take the same position at Texas Tech, and the Miami Herald’s Dan Le Batard tries to connect some dots:
… Hocutt could have made not one but two hires that would have been more popular with UM fans but wouldn’t have been popular with the Texas Tech fans he now aims to please. He could have gone after Texas Tech’s Tommy Tuberville, a former UM graduate assistant, or former Texas Tech coach Mike Leach, who was lobbying for the job. The timing gives the appearance — it may not be so; it may just be an appearance — that Hocutt didn’t give a chance to two popular choices because he had a conflict of interests between the job he was doing and the one he was about to take.
Who is the one guy in the world you can’t even interview at UM if you are angling for the Tech AD job? Leach, who has a nasty and public lawsuit against the school. And you would have to be awfully selfless to hire Tuberville for the job you are leaving at UM while knowing it will make harder the job you are taking in two months at Texas Tech. In fairness to him, Tuberville might not have wanted this job, and Leach hasn’t been able to land anywhere. But what would you do if you knew you were switching jobs very soon? Hire the guy who helps your about-to-be-former employer or the guy who helps you going forward?
The Texas Tech AD announced he was retiring last August. A man doesn’t make a big decision like Hocutt’s in three minutes, especially not when he is leaving a job undone 2 1/2 years after arriving here. If he prefers Texas Tech as his home now, and his family prefers his native Texas, Hocutt had to have noticed that opening like any young climber and family man would last August, especially as disillusioned as he was with Miami’s impotent fan and alumni base. So he had to have known how much or little he wanted that job before he went about hiring a UM football coach — the most important hire in the athletic department.
Le Batard asks Hocutt to respond, and gets this:
“I am disappointed that anyone would try to connect these circumstances,” he wrote.