ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith reacted Thursday on “First Take” to the Miami Hurricanes announcing former Georgia Bulldogs head coach Mark Richt to fill their vacant head coach position.
Smith went on a long rant calling the hiring of Richt “mediocre” and asked why Miami did not go after an African-American head coach instead.
“I would like to say this, as uncomfortable as it may make people, we all know that when it comes to college football, there are a paucity of African-American coaches. So let me get this straight. I was told that basically [Richt] was fired. I understand, you know, mutually agreed upon departure, whatever. Monday. What’s today? Thursday and you have a job. Clearly Virginia and Miami, he was believed to be a candidate for both jobs. You got black folks all over college football that can’t get a head coaching job to save their damn life and this guy not only gets a job, but paying him $4 million a year, months removed from him getting $800,000 raise when the man can’t win big games. Only in America. There’s something special about this country.”
“There’s so many people that can be mediocre or average that would never, ever, ever get an opportunity, but this man has a job waiting for him because don’t tell me that all of this happened in the last two days. That’s probably why you were willing to leave Monday, because you knew you had this opportunity waiting for you, so why not go get it? There’s something that just stinks about this kind of stuff. And I’m not saying he doesn’t deserve the job per se, but don’t tell me if you’re Miami that you couldn’t have found somebody just as good,” Smith continued.
“I guess being a nice guy is what the qualifications are for potentially big-time college opportunities days. I guess not only being a nice guy qualifies, but also being a nice guy who finds a way to ingratiate himself with the right people is what counts, which clearly African-American coaches evidently must be incapable of doing in college football. Ingratiate yourself with the powers that be. I find this to be ridiculous,” concluded Smith.
Co-host Skip Bayless then asked Smith if he had any African-American coaches in mind, but he did not.
“I don’t have to have those candidates. Do you know why? Because we don’t hear enough about black candidates out there in college football. We don’t hear enough about them.”
Bayless then pointed out that Miami had an African-American coach in Randy Shannon, who they fired in 2010.
Both Smith and Bayless ended the segment in agreement that college football should integrate the Rooney Rule, which requires NFL teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs.
Follow Trent Baker on Twitter @MagnifiTrent