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Coach Mac: Why I can love a man who drives me crazy

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by Buffnik, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    I have been surprised by how he has behaved this week. I should not have been.

    With Mac, you really have to separate things.

    He was a great football coach. He's charismatic. He has about the biggest heart I've ever seen. He is one of those guys that you hope to have in your life, because you know if you ever go through a tough time he will run through a wall for you and always have your back.

    There is a lot to love about Mac and it's powerful stuff. It makes it easy to gloss over his faults. We're all human. No one is perfect. Mac would be the first person to say that.

    But there are things with Mac in regard to his beliefs on social issues and his unwavering commitment to fight for the people and things he believes in that have led to a strained relationship.

    In 1984, the ACLU obtained a court order that stopped McCartney from forcing his players to say prayers before games.

    In 1985, CU needed to adopt a policy which stated that "coaches should not organize or conduct religious activities, including promotion of prayer or Bible readings by players or coaches."

    In 1989, Mac was nearly fired over political and community pressure after he marched several times on a Boulder abortion clinic in conjunction with Operation Rescue.

    Also in 1989, the culture of the CU program (types of recruits and lack of discipline) was questioned by Sports Illustrated with a report that there had been 2 dozen arrests of CU players between 1986 and 1989 - including sexual assault charges.

    In 1990, Mac formed Promise Keepers - a group the National Organization for Women later criticized for a mission it deemed discriminatory to women, in part, they said, for calling women spiritual leaders a moral problem. The core mission was to address the issue of unwed mothers, particularly in the black community, by rallying black men to commit to being the heads of their families.

    In 1992, Mac spoke from a CU podium in CU gear to support Amendment 2 - a measure that attacked the 1990 state law that prohibited discrimination against gays and lesbians in hiring decisions and home ownership. Mac had been aligned with the Colorado for Family Values group for a couple years and was at the front of its PR campaign. In recent years, Mac has apologized for his statement at the time that homosexuality was "an abomination of almighty God" and tried to explain what he meant in context.

    In 1994, Mac suddenly left CU despite a contract that included an unprecedented 15-year no-cut contract that was signed in 1991. Mac devoted himself full-time to Promise Keepers and family obligations.

    Also in 1994, Mac unsuccessfully lobbied for Bob Simmons from his staff to replace him as HC at CU and become the first black HC at the university.

    From a CU perspective, Mac was pretty quiet for a number of years. He stayed involved through speaking engagements and booster functions. He was very passionate about the university and worked to rally public support for the football program and its coaches through the Hawkins era.

    In 2010, following the firing of Hawkins, Mac decided it was time once again to push for a black HC for football at CU from his coaching tree. Not feeling confident that any of the candidates was quite ready and would need time to learn on the job in the midst of a difficult rebuild of the program, Mac promoted a plan of himself coming back as HC and taking the heat for a couple years while he mentored Jon Embree as his coach-in-waiting. Instead of following that plan, Embree was hired as the HC with Mac preempting the university's announcement by going to the press and announcing it himself. As Mac stated in the Denver Post article, "It was never about me doing it again. It was about setting the table for a black man to come in. And he hired one. Now give him a chance."

    For the following 2 years, Mac dramatically increased his public profile to rally support for Embree and was quick to try to put fires out and rally Buff Nation behind Embree whenever the fans turned up the heat over the team's performance.

    We all know what has happened since Embree was fired. Mac has made statements claiming racism was behind the decision. He has said that CU stating that race was not one of its considerations in the hiring or firing were inappropriate - that race cannot be ignored in employment issues. And he has said that CU administrators, particularly AD Mike Bohn, lack integrity for making the decision to fire Coach Embree.

    For me, personally, I was surprised by Mac's behavior the past couple days. I think that how much I admired him for the wonderful things about him made me forget too much about the other side of Mac that can go over-the-top and uncompromising when there is a moral or social opinion he has adopted. I should have expected this. He's hurting. He feels violated. And, more importantly, he feels that someone he cares about has been wronged. He reacted just as Mac always has and always will to a situation like this. This passion is part of why I love him, but it can lead down a path that's impossible for me to follow and can even go so far as to make me angry. I'm angry at him right now.

    I can't wait for this to blow over so I can compartmentalize my feelings again and focus them on the great things about Mac.
     
    Goose, Wyo Buff and FlaBuff like this.
  2. Tadploe

    Tadploe Member Club Member

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    Coach Mac is nut's. The voice in his head is starting to bother me.
     
  3. PhillyBuff

    PhillyBuff Club Member Club Member

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    and herein lies the problem.... Mac KNEW he wasn't ready yet pushed for Embree.

    Embree WAS NOT READY and Mac may have set Embree back a few years with his involvement.
     
  4. DBT

    DBT Club Member Club Member

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    Nik, you said very well what I've been trying to say.
     
  5. NW Buff

    NW Buff Club Member Club Member

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    Because Embree was a risky hire, expectations where higher on him, not lower. People seem to miss this. When Mike Leach comes into WSU and lays and egg his first year, he can credibly tell fans to be patient because he knows what he is doing. Embree didn't have that luxury.
     
  6. krom

    krom Club Member Club Member

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    Someone mentioned this before and I agree with them. The problem I have with this part is that Mac was going to come in and take the heat while we sucked eggs. Then after sucking said eggs, we were supposed to turn it all over to a guy that was part of his staff that sucked eggs to begin with. While Mac had a history of rebuilding it the first time, there was no guarantee that he could have rebuilt it again. So there was a possibility that we would have had to fire Mac and all his staff anyway.
     
  7. JWP303

    JWP303 Active Member

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    I understand his heart is in the right place. But I happen to believe he is horribly misguided, and in fact doing great damage to the University.

    It reminds me of a guy who has a spotless 30 year business career, but then is forced to resign when his affair comes to light. It's unfortunate when you lose someone of that stature from an organization, but it's also necessary to preserve the integrity of the brand. The battle lines have been drawn by Mac, and I do not side with him. I appreciate all he did for the program in the 80s and 90s, but its time for the University to cut ties.
     
  8. BlackNGold

    BlackNGold Club Member Club Member

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    Nik I think you only tell part of the story. Mac has always been someone who stands up for what he believes regardless of the political correctness or the blow back. Mac lives by the ideal captured in Edmund Burke's quote - "The only thing necessary for the triumph [of evil] is for good men to do nothing." So Mac is standing up.

    Although you put out your timeline you seem to skip over the fact that Mike Bohn went to Mac when he hired Hawkins and wanted Mac to trot out at the recruiting luncheons and the kickoff luncheons to garner support for those loyal to Mac. I saw Mac raise over $300,000 at a luncheon selling Helmets for $5000 and Footballs for $1000 plus some other things - this was during the Hawkins era and all this money went to the recruiting budget. This was in spite of the fact that Mac disagreed with the firing of his friend and protege Gary Barnett and was vocal about it during the time of the firing.

    Mac did not decide to get more involved in the program, Bohn asked him. Neuheisel never really wanted Mac around which is understandable and Barnett always kept in close contact with Mac but did not need Mac to get involved in the program. Bohn needed Mac and was the one to get him involved.
     
  9. Uncle Ken

    Uncle Ken Orr no morr Club Member

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    Well I'd hope so. It was a long post.

    When I say that Nik speaks for all of us, I'm being literal.
     
  10. CenturyBuff

    CenturyBuff Member

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    Nik, well said.

    I get the feeling that Heisman Joel Klatt's agenda (no let's make that "vendetta") coupled with Mac's comments seem to somehow spearhead a new faux "scandal" for the program. Maybe that should be its own thread though. Fortunately, listening to Fowler and some other nationals, they won't be blindly following Klatt and Mac's attacks and this can be put to rest quickly.
     
  11. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

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    The impression I've gotten from watching ESPN's discussion of First Take and with Fowler along with reading an article by Janelle Hill is that they are very interested in addressing the issue of the lack of black university presidents, chancellors, head coaches and conference chairs. What they don't want to do is put Jon Embree up as the posterchild for this. They'd much rather talk about guys like Karl Dorrell and ask why he hasn't gotten another job when he had a winning record (and winning conference record) at UCLA. It's a worthy topic and a national discussion that needs to happen. But the Embree case cannot be at the center of it because it's simply not a strong case.
     
  12. Darth Snow

    Darth Snow Hawaiian Buffalo Club Member Junta Member

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    In Fact, Embree is hurting the discussion. More great leadership by Embree.
     

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