The firing of Colorado's head football coach Jon Embree on Sunday was one of the several firings that happened in the FBS this week. Embree's firing and his comments began debate on an issue at the highest level of college football.
Embree feels like he is getting the raw end of the deal, and feels like he would've received a second chance if he was white.
While the lack of black head coaches is an issue, the numbers show that any coach, regardless of skin color or race, would be out of a job. Colorado's football program has been mediocre over the past several years. Colorado played its first year in the Pac12 Conference, going only 1-11. Embree was 4-21 as the head coach. While Embree was unsuccessful, Colorado's problems go beyond the coaching staff and deeper into the program. The Buffaloes were bad under previous coach Dan Hawkins, and the time frame for a turnaround was short for the athletic department this time around.
While the mess in Boulder has been stealing headlines, in northeast Ohio, Kent State University's football team is having one of its best seasons in the 93 year history of the program. Darrell Hazell, a black head football coach, is in his second season with the Golden Flashes and has his team heading to Detroit for the Mid-American Conference championship game against Northern Illinois. Kent State is currently No. 17 in the BCS. If the Golden Flashes win, it can move them up into the top 16, and due to a clause in the BCS rules, they would play in the Orange Bowl due to the Big East Champion not being ranked above them.
The recognition for Hazell's success has not gone unnoticed. This week, he was named the conference coach of the year and might be taking his team on a trip to South Beach to face a team in the ACC or SEC, based on how championship Friday and Saturday goes.
This is hard to believe. A year ago, Kent State was 5-7. The Golden Flashes were the laughing stock of the MAC over the past several years. This season, they will play in their third bowl game in school history.
While there is negativity in the firing of Jon Embree, the great story out of Kent should be getting more attention. Why are we not giving it more attention? Is it because Colorado plays in a big BCS conference? Because nobody cares about the MAC? Anyone want to answer why?
A "Rooney Rule" should and needs to be pushed for college football in the near future, but give credit where it's due. Hats off to Darrell Hazell. While everyone grimaces at the idea of the Golden Flashes playing in a BCS bowl, acknowledge what Hazell has done at Kent State. Perhaps Colorado can learn how to turn around their program like Kent has.