When Tatum gets the Gilbert, does your brain explode?

Holy fuck.

Sorry. Holy coitus. We promised to be more mature.

They fired one of the true believers.

And if you think Bart Tatum didn’t get fired, then you probably think Herman Cain will get elected president. Is it possible? Yes. Is it likely? Well, it is about as likely as Brennan Stebbins being an honorary coach this basketball season.

Now, we know Tatum didn’t exactly have a winning record. And Tatum wasn’t popular with some players or fans. But his mistakes were kind of mistakes first-time head coaches make. And his record, taken in context, is misleading.

The last coach to win a conference title at MSSU was Jon Lantz. Lantz won it with future NFL Hall of Fame receiver Rod Smith. The story goes that Smith, recruited as a quarterback, was asked by Lantz if he would rather be an all-conference QB or an all-american WR.

Here is the question: Did Tatum deserve to get dismissed? The wins and losses say maybe, and the fund raising pressures say probably. And those are interdependent.

Tatum joins former Financial Aid Director/History Professor/closet dweller Jim Gilbert and T.R. “All we did was win, baby” Hanrahan on the scrap heap of the RTV junk yard. Gilbert and Hanrahan got screwed, but they “won games.” Tatum didn’t. But Tatum had a bigger rock to push up the hill.

Tatum also commiserated with the administration. He was a friend. Dumping him was tough. But the current mindset is the “greater good.” Which sounds good. Until you have to keep slaughtering good people. And doing it for the wrong reasons.

We don’t know Bart Tatum. He may be a douche. He may be a “righteous dude.” But he had horrible facilities, an administration that can’t seem to find the car keys and an athletic director who values sunglasses over substance.

And anyone who talks about his family being “crushed,” didn’t just resign.

In his way, Bart Tatum just called bullshit on his old pals. He gets the privilege of resignation, but he made it clear he was jobbed. And it was clear that LL Cool J-Red wasn’t happy about the announcement. We bet LL fought for the consultant deal. The news reports don’t specify specifically how long that will last. And that is a question.

We bet this decision came from higher than LL Cool J-Red’s pay grade.

Maybe Bart is singing.

Well, I never felt more like runnin’ away

but I need to update my resume

retirement, it’s got me singin’ the blues

Bruce Speck, Pink Slip Blues

And like the others, Gilbert and Hanrahan, it stinks. It may be the right move, as those other two might have been. But it stinks. It stinks of bad motives and selfish overlords. Maybe now LL Cool J-Red knows how others feel about having to sacrifice a good person and friend at the altar of The Fedora’d One.

Can you live with it, Jared?


2 Responses to When Tatum gets the Gilbert, does your brain explode?

  1. Leo the Lion says:

    OK SW, one week Tatum is the Rear-end Hat of the Week, the next a victim? Please explain.
    25-39 over six years does not get it done. When he arrived, Southern was in the middle of the pack, now that he’s gone, they are still in the middle. I guess the ultimate question that deserves an answer is, what does MSSU, the boosters, the corporate sponsors and the people of Joplin want in it’s football program?
    Mediocrity? Got it.
    A playoff team once every 5-6 years? Not even close.
    Competitive with the top three teams in the MIAA? Not there either.
    Year-in, year-out dominance (similar to that of some unnamed school north and west of here)? Unachievable, unless there are MAJOR changes put in place.
    In order for change to occur, a significant increase in investment needs to be made from the above list.
    Another question that needs addressed, who’s next?
    Is the program in such bad shape no one worthy would dare consider it?
    Also, do all the good candidates understand the pitfalls that lie ahead?
    This is a career-definding moment for JB, get the right guy, instant job security; the wrong guy = new coach gone, JB gone and perhaps, BS too.
    Can you say complete sweep to clean house?

  2. You miss the point. Of course Tatum was a tool sometimes. We said maybe this was the right move. We are also pointing out that this administration kills mosquitoes with bazookas.
    We are willing to bet that LL Cool J-Red wanted to keep him on. Others argued for Gilbert and Hanrahan, as well. And if performance is the benchmark, perhaps BT is the one who should have gone first, not last.
    What is happening is an administration willing to sacrifice anything and anyone for any purpose. An administration that doesn’t look inward, but lashes out.
    Bart Tatum had an uphill road to build a program here. He also alienated coaches, fans, faculty, staff and people who don’t like the thought of stabbing players “in the neck and watching their futures bleed away.”
    And the university is keeping him on for an unspecified time as a consultant.
    This “resignation” was a money decision. And it came from someone at the top. B or B: Bruce or the Board.
    We hear Bruce plays racquetball with Bart. They are friendly. If that is true, either the Board told Bruce to do this or Bruce would sell out anyone.
    There. That’s the point.
    And though we often were at odds with Tatum, he deserves a little better exit than the tense press conference we witnessed this week.
    Sometimes unsuccessful coaches are let go. It doesn’t mean they aren’t victims.

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