Saturday, November 28th, 2009 is an important date. Sure, it’s the day SU football got dropped by UConn. But for the state of the program, this moment is a little more significant than just another Randy Edsall smirk.
11/28/09 is also the last time anybody has seen Doug Marrone. Since then, no press conferences, no face time, no appearances.
Naturally, football writers, talk shows and television stations have called SU Athletics to see if they can talk to the man in charge, especially with the Tennessee rumors buzzing through message boards.
All of them get a very polite“Coach Marrone is on the road recruiting and isn’t available for media requests,” from a university spokesperson. Every time. Since the season ended.
It took until the UT rumors became too much to ignore for him to come out of the woodwork, and even then, he waited for the usually sluggish Friday presses.
It’s good that we have Bud Poliquin around to provide proof of life with our sophomore coach.
This feels less like a jaunt through Central New York and more like an expedition to Antarctica.
Maybe there can be a coach Marrone “Where’s Waldo,” with overhead maps in Florida, New Jersey, downstate New York and Pennsylvania.
However, there are two things we’ve learned from this disappearance, and to some degree, a reemergence to clear the air.
1) He’s dedicated to the job. Marrone has talked about his 20-hour work days in the early days of his hire. He has been adamant about his loyalty and ambition for the school and the program.
2) He realizes the weight and damage of his name in the rumor mill could dissuade recruits, and although it’s a distraction from the day’s work, he had to squash the speculation.
3) He’s tired. Mentally and physically. He’s exhausted of all the Tennessee questions, from friends, family and strangers alike. Unfortunately it doesn’t mean they will end until the coaching carousel finally stops.
Coach, here’s an Ambien. Keep up the good work.