clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Response: David Climer's Article "Vanderbilt needs an athletics director to hire coaches"

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Bobby O'Shea has a very good response to Mr. Climer's article over at VSL. I highly recommend you read it.

Here are my thoughts, and my apologies for the lack of structure (at least I have the decency to apologize for my writing, unlike Mr. Climer):

"The football program won its first bowl game in 54 years in 2008 but then back-slid to a 2-10 season in '09. The men's basketball team has been to the NCAAs four of the last seven years. Women's hoops has remained an NCAA Tournament fixture but has not made it past the Sweet 16."

That's part of his argument for hiring an athletics director. "First bowl game in 26 years?" Not good enough for Climer, since Vandy went 2-10 the following season. Nevermind the injuries, the fact that Terrence Jeffers didn't end up qualifying (side note: he's pretty much the leading receiver in the CFL as a rookie after not playing any football for two years - not that we needed him at WR last year, oh wait), etc. I'm not trying to make excuses, just explanations for why you sometimes overlook a 2-10 season at a school like Vandy where margins for error are razor thin due to depth issues.

What about men's basketball? Only 4 NCAA tournament trips out of the last 7 season (a marked improvement to the recent AD years). Climer makes sure to gloss over it.

Women's basketball? Also seeming to thrive under the current system, even though Climer "cleverly" came up with a negative way to phrase it.

What about baseball, Mr. Climer? I think we've had a #1 ranked program during VC Williams time at the helm. Climer somehow fails (foreshadowing) to mention that one. Probably because Vandy baseball is among the premier programs in college baseball, which I can't say is true for any time during the AD years.

Finally, Climer takes a swipe at Vandy's women's bowling trophy. (Note: I would think that such childish behavior from a journalist at a major newspaper would be frowned upon by the editor, though I suppose the editors at the Tennessean know that what they are producing is nowhere close to the quality of a major newspaper.)

Of course, Climer would be quick to point out that VC David Williams, Vanderbilt's de facto AD, had no part in hiring Bobby Johnson, Kevin Stallings, Melanie Balcomb or Tim Corbin. And he'd be right; Todd Turner, Vanderbilt's last AD was responsible (blind squirrel found four nuts!). On the other hand, DAVID WILLIAMS DID HAVE A MAJOR PART IN KEEPING THEM HERE WHEN OTHER PROGRAMS CAME CALLING, particularly with Coach Stallings and Coach Corbin. That's more than I can say for any AD Vandy's EVER had. Consistency has been Vanderbilt's greatest asset in getting to the current status quo. And David Williams has absolutely had his hands in helping maintain that consistency. Of course, Climer fails to mention that. Minor details, I suppose.

Climer takes the 100,000 foot view when attempting to assess the nuanced changes that Vandy has made to the athletics department. Unsurprisingly, he fails to see any. Climer also completely misses the rationale behind the decision, which was rooted in bringing the opportunities that regular students are able to take advantage of, like being members of student government or studying abroad, to the STUDENTS that compete for Vanderbilt's major athletics teams. After all, the mission of the SEC is "to assist its member institutions in the maintenance of programs of intercollegiate athletics which are compatible with the highest standards of education and competitive sports." So again, Climer fails. Of course, anyone who glances at the Tennessean with any regularity knows that failure is more of the norm for Climer and Biddle than should be, were a competent editor in charge at the Tennessean.

Quality journalists with integrity sweat the minor details. David Climer is not a quality journalist. His pieces [of shit] are rife with omissions, childish insults, and failed logic. It's time to pull the plug on the "David Climer" experiment.