Why was Longhorn job opening announced on final day of College World Series?

Now that it has been reported that Schloss to Texas has been in the works for some time, there’s still a question in the air about the timing of everything.
University of Texas Athletic Director Chris Del Conte, middle, and President Jay Hartzell, right, listen during the introductory news conference of baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle, left, at the Frank Denius Family University Hall of Fame Wednesday June 26, 2024.
University of Texas Athletic Director Chris Del Conte, middle, and President Jay Hartzell, right, listen during the introductory news conference of baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle, left, at the Frank Denius Family University Hall of Fame Wednesday June 26, 2024. / Jay Janner/American-Statesman / USA

Making sense of the timing surrounding David Pierce’s firing announcement and Jim Schlossnagle’s hire

Jim Schlossnagle is officially in Austin—and he is officially public enemy number one among Texas A&M baseball fans. This whole process has been extremely shady, to say the least, and Aggie fans are left feeling bitterly, while Schloss is being roundly condemned in the media. There is one interesting question that remains, however: why was the firing of David Pierce announced on the final day of the College World Series?

Given that this was in the works for a while, and given that Pierce and the Texas athletic department had apparently already mutually decided to part ways at the end of the season, it would be naive to believe that Schloss—at the very least—could not have requested that the firing of Pierce be timed differently.

The interesting twist is that there was no guarantee the Aggies weren’t going to win in game 2 on Sunday. For much of the game, it seemed like they would. What would have happened if the Aggies had emerged victorious in a sweep? Would Pierce’s firing still have been announced the following day? For that matter, does winning a national championship change things at all here—in other words, would Schloss and company still have been out the door so quickly if the Aggies had brought home the title? Gone before the parade?

For the sake of argument, though, we’ll consider two scenarios and the different options that spring from those: 1) Schloss did not know CDC would announce Pierce’s firing on that day, and 2) Schloss did know CDC would announce Pierce’s firing on that day.

So, scenario 1: Schloss did not know, and therefore had no input—or he knew, but had no input. In this version of events, you’d expect Schloss to be pretty mad. I don’t think he’s naive at all—duplicitous, but not naive—and he therefore should know that the Aggie players have been hearing all of the rumors up until that point. Unforeseen distractions on the day that he is set to play in the biggest game of his life—ones that he knows full well could have easily been avoided—would seem to be an irritant, to put it mildly.

In fact, this would seem to have the potential to completely torpedo the deal if this were the case. CDC putting this out there for whatever reason without Schloss's okay would really stick in the coach's craw, given that it affected his ability to win a national championship. I don't think CDC would have put that statement out there simply with the idea that it might affect things for A&M, knowing that it almost assuredly would tick off the guy he's trying to close the deal with.

Unless, of course, CDC thought that there was a chance that Schloss stayed in Aggieland if he wins the championship! If that's the case, this takes on a completely different tenor. Presumably, the idea here is that Texas is only sure that Schloss is coming if he finishes in any other position than national champion, and they therefore do what they can to prevent that from happening so that they get their guy.

Of course, there are problems with this scenario as well; for example, the Aggies had a shot at winning on Sunday instead of Monday given that they won the first game. For that matter, why wouldn't the news have been leaked before the first game itself? There are just too many questions here.

So, that leads us to scenario number 2: Schloss knew and had input on the timing of this announcement. If this is what happened, things seem a lot more insidious.

Let me explain. If Schloss gives the all-clear for the timing, then he is intentionally bringing in the distraction headed into the final game. Could it be that he wanted the players he got there with to have a sense of "unfinished business" that they would follow him to finish? That seems like it's a stretch, but why else give the okay to letting the info out?

This would paint a picture of someone who absolutely doesn't care whether the team actually wins the final game, which—if nothing else—is absolutely not the sense I got. I do think he wanted to win that game. I think he wanted that national championship on his resume.

So, there are problems with either scenario. The official story is similarly problematic: it seems to spring from a desire to make sure the timelines line up rather than a story that actually makes sense. There's no way that the discussions didn't take place beforehand—we have reporting to the contrary.

We may really never know why things exactly happened the way they did. If it was some kind of PR-oriented move by Texas, it failed horribly—Schloss has been the scorn of sports media over the past 24 hours. If the news of the job opening doesn't leak, then the question by Richard Zane may not get asked, which would lead to a much quieter and more favorable media cycle surrounding this move. If nothing else, Aggies can take solace in that—and hope for some karma.