Texas A&M football fans have something to worry about with Athletic Director Scott Woodward abruptly leaving to take the same job with LSU.
It’s panic time for Texas A&M football fans. Just when you thought things were settled under an athletic director who had made maybe the two best hires in school history for the football and basketball programs, LSU’s athletic director stepped down and, about five hours later, Scott Woodward had taken the job at his alma mater.
Understandably, Aggie fans were upset. This is a man who, just last August, said this:
"“People forget that I’ve been gone (nearly) 15 years now,” said Woodward, hired by A&M from the University of Washington. “I love it here. I love the people, the university and the commitment to education. Until they don’t want me, I want to be here.”"
There are only two meanings to this statement now that Woodward has left. He was either lying and just saying what he needed to publicly, or Texas A&M’s leadership wasn’t cooperating with him or giving him what he wanted.
It’s fairly easy to discern the more probable scenario there. A&M gave Woodward the license to make its football and basketball coaches among the highest paid coaches at their respective positions.
However, it’s difficult to reconcile what just happened. Undoubtedly, Woodward is leaving Texas A&M in a better position than he found it. Fisher has been fantastic. Buzz Williams is the first time in recent memory the Aggies have taken a coach from an established D1 program. Virginia Tech wasn’t a powerhouse before Williams took over, but they are in the best basketball conference, were ascending, and just made the Sweet 16 this year.
Having said that, how long is that going to last? Did Woodward give Fisher a contract with zero buyout so that he could steal him for nothing after taking the LSU job? It’s been widely known for some time that LSU brass hasn’t been thrilled with Joe Alleva, who stepped down to make way for Woodward. Perhaps Woodward saw the writing on the wall and was buying his time.
That is not to say he was mailing it in. Quite the contrary, obviously. In fact, one could make the argument Woodward had peaked at A&M and would never live up to the two amazing hires he just pulled off in the last 18 months.
It’s not inconceivable that current LSU football coach Ed Orgeron has a short leash. He wasn’t seen as a massive hire for Alleva, and could be part of the reason he stepped down. One saving grace for Aggie fans is Orgeron has done a good job so far. Woodward doesn’t have cause to fire him…yet.
The second the LSU job becomes open again, the call to work with Woodward at a historically great program could be more than enough for Fisher to walk, and Woodward’s legacy would be forever tarnished in Aggieland.
The good news is, Texas A&M football has some of if not the best facilities in the country. Fisher is making boatloads of money and wouldn’t be offered nearly the same type of deal at LSU. If he’s successful in his first couple of years, A&M brass would back up the brinks truck for an extension.
Fisher also likely understands his legacy and how he left Florida State. It doesn’t feel like he’d leave a school after such a short time frame. I could be wrong about that. Most of us thought Woodward was here for the long haul, too.
Right now, it’s only natural for Aggie fans to be worried about Fisher’s future with the program. Really the only way that could be tempered is if the new athletic director has deep ties with Fisher, meaning he had his hand in the process. Hopefully John Sharp is smart enough to include him.