Sources: Florida State urges Fisher to decide
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Florida State officials are urging Jimbo Fisher to make a decision about whether he’ll remain the school’s football coach beyond this season or accept a lucrative offer from Texas A&M, sources told ESPN on Thursday.
Fisher, who has guided the Seminoles to the 2013 national championship and three ACC titles, is considered Texas A&M’s top target to replace Kevin Sumlin, who was fired on Sunday. ESPN reported last week that several FSU officials expect Fisher to leave and have been preparing to target his replacement.
Fisher, 52, had hoped to wait to announce his decision until after Saturday’s regular-season finale against Louisiana-Monroe in Tallahassee, Florida, which the Seminoles (5-6, 3-5 ACC) need to win to extend their streak of 35 consecutive bowl games. That game that was postponed from Sept. 9 and rescheduled to this coming weekend because of Hurricane Irma.
Jimbo Fisher has been the Florida State head coach since 2010. Mark Konezny/USA TODAY Sports
Texas A&M sources have indicated to ESPN that the Aggies are prepared to make Fisher one of the sport’s three highest-paid coaches with a salary of more than $7 million, which would rank behind Alabama’s Nick Saban ($11.1 million in total compensation) and Clemson’s Dabo Swinney ($8.5 million).
Texas A&M’s board of regents is scheduled to meet on Thursday, when it could approve a contract offer for Fisher to become the university’s new coach. Aggies athletics director Scott Woodward worked with Fisher at LSU, where Fisher — as offensive coordinator — helped Saban guide the Tigers to a national title in 2003.
Fisher, 52, agreed to a contract extension at FSU last December, which increased his annual salary to about $5.7 million, making him the sixth highest paid coach in FBS. If Fisher leaves FSU, he would owe the university about $5 million, or the total sum of the contracts of his 10 assistant coaches who aren’t retained by the Seminoles’ new coach.
On Wednesday night, three high school prospects who were committed to the Seminoles — cornerback Houston Griffith and offensive lineman Verdis Brown of IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, and safety Israel Mukuamu of Parkway High in Bossier City, Louisiana — announced on Twitter that they were decommitting from FSU and opening up their recruitment.
FSU officials are urging Fisher to announce his decision to try to salvage their recruiting class, which is currently ranked No. 9 in the FBS by ESPN Recruiting. The early signing period for college football, when high school players can begin to sign national letters of intent, is from Dec. 20-22.
Also on Wednesday night, an FSU fan was removed from Fisher’s weekly radio show, after the fan asked Fisher about his loyalty to the Seminoles. The fan told Fisher he used to love the coach’s enthusiasm for the Seminoles saying, “I remembered how you would talk about being committed to the program and cheering for the team … and talking about loyalty to the program.
“So I’m wondering, where is the loyalty to the program, Jimbo?”
Fisher’s relationship with FSU’s administration has deteriorated over the past several months because of his growing frustration over what he considers to be inadequate facilities, which he says have fallen behind and put the Seminoles on an uneven playing field with Clemson and SEC schools. The school agreed to explore the possibility of a new $60 million football facility, but Fisher has been frustrated that more hasn’t been done to build it.
“And those things are a major, major deal. Unfortunately, in this business, when you get into the facilities business, you’re never out of it. You’re never out of development,” Fisher said earlier this season. “Your company can never quit growing. Whether it’s that or behind the scenes things, support staff, all that can never happen. It can never go away.
“If it does, people fly by you like crazy. And there’s numerous examples across this country. If you don’t understand that, you’re missing the boat. Now, it all has to be relative to what you can do, when you can do it and everything else. But at the same time, if you don’t, it can pass you by very, very quickly.”
In a prepared statement to the Tallahassee Democrat on Wednesday night, FSU president John Thrasher said that there are “always personal dynamics in play in these situations.”
If Fisher opts to leave for Texas A&M, the Seminoles are expected to consider Oregon’s Willie Taggart, Virginia Tech’s Justin Fuente and South Florida’s Charlie Strong as a replacement, among other candidates.
Via:: NDTV – Sports