#8216;Bama finally gets it right

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Ding, dong, the witch is dead. And it only took eight days and 20 hours from the final straw (Alabama losing to Auburn for the fifth straight time) before head coach Mike Shula got the axe at an official press conference Monday at 2 p.m., at the University.

Why so long?

Since Paul ‘Bear' Bryant retired in 1982, there have been seven head coaches at Alabama, but never has there been this much patience.

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After Ray Perkins replaced Bryant and then moved on to the NFL, Bill Curry was shown little to no patience in the one category that mattered: beating Auburn.

After Curry dropped his third straight Iron Bowl, the fourth in a row for ‘Bama, Curry was delivered a brick through his office window via the window and then shown the door before the Tide's bowl game.

Curry was SEC Coach of the Year in his first and final season at ‘Bama, but he could never tackle the Tigers of Auburn, with the topper coming in 1989 in the first game on The Plains.

Stallings returned the program to prominence with a National championship in 1992, but he too was asked to move on four years later, although the coach was allowed to do it on his terms.

Mike Dubose had one of the worst seasons in Alabama history in his first year and didn't do too much better in his second season, but he did beat Auburn.

Dubose almost lost his job after a scandal arose involving his secretary, but the coach escaped once again by beating Auburn and winning the Tide's first SEC championship in seven years.

A year later, the Tide won only three games and Dubose was cut loose before the Auburn game was played, the first to be played in Tuscaloosa in more than 100 years.

The Tigers won and the ‘Bama powers that be saved face, but it was evident then that the line of patience at the University had grown thin.

Dennis Franchione came to ‘Bama with high expectations but probation from the Dubose administration came down hard on the program and Franchione bolted for College Station before he could lose to Auburn, although he went ahead and lost anyway.

Mike Price didn't get a chance to do anything because he was too busy finding his Destiny at strip clubs, and School President Robert Witt cut him loose immediately.

So, with such experience in cutting coaches loose, why did it take the University four loses to Auburn, eight days and 20 hours to finally get it done?

The answer is simple: those who made and have been making these tough decisions don't belong either and should also be shown the door.

Austin Phillips is The Greenville Advocate sports editor.

You can contact him by e-mailing austin.phillips@greenvilleadvocate.com or by calling 382-3111 ext. 122.