Syracuse Pretends It Is Not Looking for Greg Robinson's Replacement

It's gotten this bad for Syracuse. They can't even do discreet right.

Syracuse University has taken a tangible step toward firing its football coach, Greg Robinson, enlisting a search firm to help find his replacement. A person with knowledge of the plan said the university was using Chuck Neinas, a veteran consultant and former commissioner of the Big Eight Conference, for assistance in hiring Robinson's replacement.

Through Neinas, Syracuse has gauged the interest of Connecticut Coach Randy Edsall, the person said. Edsall is a former Syracuse quarterback and assistant coach who in 1990 was passed over for the Syracuse job when it went to Paul Pasqualoni.

Naturally Syracuse's Athletic Director Daryll Gross denies that they have done any such thing. Going so far as to let the Syracuse newspaper know that the story in the New York Times is not true.
Of course, the point of hiring a consultant like Chuck Neinas or any search firm, is not to come up with a list of potential coaches a school might hire. No, the point is that it provides all parties plausible deniability and intermediaries in the process.

It allows the school to find out whether there is reciprocal interest by the possible new coach, possible salary parameters and get a head start on trying to find that replacement before others do. All while denying that they have made any decision about the present coach or that he is close to losing his job.

For the potential hire, if he is already employed as a head coach elsewhere he can maintain the claim that he hasn't been contacted by the school, has had no discussions with the school and can keep saying how much he loves his present job and doesn't want to go anywhere else. All while he and/or his agent talk with the consultant about the other job.

Somehow Syracuse has managed to screw that up because word has gotten out that they have already gotten the services of a consultant.

Gross's denials can even be parsed.

"No, it's absolutely not true," Gross told The Post-Standard. "The reality is ... I haven't hired anyone and the university hasn't hired anyone. Its speculation and it would be inappropriate for me to hire someone (a consulting firm or search firm) at this point."

No. He hasn't hired, but perhaps retained. Or simply talked and while not officially retaining the services, made it clear that the consultant will be hired at the appropriate time (after Greg Robinson is fired). Neinas might simply be getting a head start on the inevitable.

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