It’s a no-win situation. An upwardly mobile coach investigates other opportunities, the media catches wind of it, and now the aforementioned coach has to answer questions that really don’t have a good answer…
That doesn’t mean that some ways of handling the inevitable inquiries aren’t better than others.
Take successful Kent State head man Darrell Hazell. He was courted by Cal and pursued by Purdue.
Asked about it, he talked about how flattered he was to be thought of so highly. Ultimately, though, he replied by saying he thought it unwise to provide too much information on the topic.
In other words, he was thoughtful and gracious.
Take on the other hand, Cincinnati’s Butch Jones. Extended an offer by Colorado, he knew what was coming. He had time to plan his response. So what did he do?
He impugned the professionalism of the journalists who dared ignore his demands to stick to the subject of the Belk Bowl, as if it was their job to only ask the questions he wanted them to ask.
Then, just 47 seconds in, he threatened to shut the press conference down, which just goes to underline an irony to moments like this. Yes, it’s the coach who’s on the spot, but it’s also the coach with all the power.
It’s easy for me, a media type, to stick up for other media types I suppose; but you know what? Behind those microphones and notepads are actual human beings.