Hey, whadooyano – Pat Dooley’s puzzled by something.
Hmm, he, ha… let’s see if the New York Times can help.
Galen Hall resigned as football coach at the University of Florida today amid charges that he made unauthorized payments to a player and to his assistant coaches in violation of National Collegiate Athletic Association rules, the university’s interim president said.
Hall’s replacement will be Florida’s defensive coordinator, Gary Darnell, said the interim president, Robert Bryan.
”We made this move because the man violated his contract and committed major violations of N.C.A.A. rules,” Bryan said at a news conference. ”We cannot allow him to coach.”
Bryan said he accepted the resignation effective immediately, citing payments allegedly made by Hall to a player in 1987 and unauthorized salary supplements to assistant coaches in 1986-88.
So, skipping past the technicality that Hall resigned as opposed to being fired (although that was obviously in the cards), what you had there was a coach accused of making payments to a player and unauthorized payments to coaches.
Richt, however, made no player payments. And at least some of the payments to coaches weren’t unauthorized.
In each case,the payments were not considered against NCAA rules because they were done with the knowledge of the athletic administration, according to the report.
Of course, the real issue in all this, as no doubt Dooley fully knows, is the setting that Hall was operating in. At that time, the Florida program was reeling because of Hall’s predecessor (and former boss), Charley Pell.
After the 1982 season, the NCAA began an investigation into possible rule violations by Pell and his staff at Florida, for which he took full responsibility in August 1984. Pell originally asked to be allowed to resign at the end of the 1984 season, but when the NCAA announced that Florida was alleged to have committed 107 major infractions, university president Marshall Criser fired Pell after three games. He was succeeded by his offensive coordinator, Galen Hall. Hall and the 1984 Gators won Florida’s first-ever Southeastern Conference (SEC) football championship, but the SEC university presidents voted to vacate the Gators’ 1984 SEC title after the season was over. In January 1985, after it was ultimately determined that Pell and the Gators coaching staff had actually committed fifty-nine infractions, the NCAA placed Florida on two years’ probation and banned the Gators from bowl games and live television in 1985 and 1986. The NCAA also reduced the Gators’ football scholarships by twenty over three years. The loss of scholarships proved to be the most crippling sanction in the long-term; with a depleted roster, the Gators did not win more than seven games from 1986 to 1989.
So could you argue that Hall was scapegoated by the Florida administration for the sins of others? Yeah, probably. But that doesn’t make a comparison between Hall and Richt anything more than a false equivalence. It just means the Gators did a crappy job monitoring their football program in the ’80s.