I haven't been able to respond to this thread until now... Apologies.
>> Steve Casburn:
>> > This season will probably be Dana Dimel's last as UH head coach.
>> I read some stuff in the Chronicle about how the UH athletic department
>> is so far in the red, if they don't get better attendance at the football
>> games, they may drop football alltogether because they can't afford to
>> buy out Dimel's contract and hire a new coach.
>> Any substance to that? I never thought I would miss Bill Yoeman.
The stuff in the Chronicle came courtesy of sports columnist Dale Robertson,
who is probably best known for the time in the late 70s when he became Dan
Pastorini's punching bag in the Astrodome locker room. This hack has been
writing the same exaggerated, dire predictions and for UH football for the
last ten years. Don't put much stock in what he says.
Ironically, with the exception of football, things at the UH athletics
department are as good as they've been in a long time; men's basketball is
picking up, women's basketball is very competitive, baseball is a national
power, etc. But football is the big revenue driver, and it's in a hole right
now. The story is that season ticket sales haven't been this low since the
early 60s (i.e. before Bill Yeoman) and attendance just keeps getting worse;
the casual fan left a long time ago (as is the norm in fairweather sports
town like Houston) as more and more longtime fans are beginning to become
disinterested, too, as the prospect of twelve losing seasons in eigh***
years takes its toll. The tailgating has become the main attraction of
Saturday afternoons on Cullen Blvd, not the game itself. While I don't think
that UH is going to drop football regardless of what Dale Robertson writes,
things could become critical once the new NCAA attendance requirements go
into effect in a couple of years.
> Buying out Dimel's contract will be expensive (I've heard rumors
> than there are alumni who have pledged the money, but I'll believe that
> when I see it).
Apparently, the buyout clause in Dimel's contract states that UH owes Dimel
only half his full salary if they choose to buy him out, which makes it
easier to do so. Also, I've heard from generally reliable sources that some
of the deep pockets have chipped in to make this happen. Maggard, for his
part, certainly hasn't given Dimel much of a vote of confidence.
I like Dana Dimel as a person, and he has by all accounts been a good
recruiter, but I really doubt that he's going to get the job done here. I've
seen a lot of crappy games in the 20+ years I've been watching UH football,
but last Saturday's game was probably the most demoralizing game I've ever
witnessed. I would have been happier if the Cougars had just gotten their
asses stomped 73-3. When a team plays reasonably well in for three quarters
and then absolutely *quits* with thir*** minutes left on the clock, and
when a player is taking swings at other players and coaches on the sidelines
(Huffman has since been suspended for the remainder of the season), it's
pretty clear that there's a serious coaching problem. The game was awful; I
feel bad that Casburn made the effort to come over to campus to see that
One thing I will give Dimel credit for is reopening the connections to the
local high schools that Helton neglected, and the team itself really is more
talented than its record indicates. If we can get somebody in here who can
keep those connections open, as well as be a halfway decent gameday coach,
then there's no reason why UH couldn't at least be something approaching
competitive and start putting a few more people back into the seats.
But I think Dimel's done come December. His teams (Wyoming as well as here)
have a history of collapsing on him in November, and I don't see another
winnable game on Houston's schedule this season.
Thomas B. Gray : Houston, Texas
"Damnit, Thomas, all you care about is beer, football and the internet!"
-my girlfriend Lori