He wasn’t dismissed for ignoring reports of child molestation. He wasn’t given the boot for violating NCAA law. For the first time in what seems like a very long time (considering the scandals that dominate ESPN), a coach was fired for just plain losing.
He’s no Joe Paterno or Bruce Pearl, but nevertheless as of Nov.30, former FSU head football coach Jeff Pierce is out of a job. Following just 12 Bulldog wins in the last three seasons combined, Athletic Director Perk Weisenburger removed Pierce stating “it is time for a change.”
Weisenburger’s words may seem harsh, but it’s the reality of the world Pierce has chosen to establish his livelihood in. College football isn’t all pats on the ass for solid plays and dumping Gatorade on the coach after a big victory. It’s a business.
While the overwhelming majority of Division II sports focus on nurturing well-rounded student-athletes, this is not the case for football. Football, regardless of the division, has always and will always be about making money. Weisenburger, in his second year overseeing the athletic program’s budget, knows this better than anyone. In order for a football team to make money, it has to win games.
As a diehard Bulldog fan it pains me to say this, but look at Grand Valley. The Lakers’ facilities are outstanding. Top Taggart Field can’t even begin to compare to what they’ve got going on down there in Allendale. There is a distinct reason GVSU has a full-size indoor field to practice on in the winter and a JumboTron to project their games on in the fall. While FSU was slumming at the bottom of the GLIAC all those seasons, Grand Valley was winning not just games, but national championships.
Donors love winners. Weisenburger loves donors. Therefore, Weisenburger also loves winners. Unfortunately for Pierce, his season records of late no longer qualify him as such in the eyes of the money-hungry athletic program.
It’s the nature of the beast. Disregard the warm and fuzzy sports cliché which preaches “winning isn’t everything.” In reality, winning is everything. If you don’t believe me, ask Jeff Pierce.