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Genius stroke or sheer stupidity?
Written by EC Rules   
Friday, 19 February 2010 20:55

This has to be the most fascinating and non-traditional recruitment/interview of an AD there has ever been. We have been publicly apprised of the day the prime candidate was interviewing, we have seen a press conference before the candidate was offered the job and now we've been publicly notified that WSU has offered the prime candidate the position. The only thing we don't know are the monetary terms that Pres. Floyd has offered to Bill Moos.

So, as we sit back and look at this we are left to wonder why the job search has been conducted in such a unique manner.

First, let's acknowledge that neither Bill Moos nor Elson Floyd are foolish men. There is very likely a grand design behind such a public process. I HAVE to believe that this is a done deal because the risk of Bill Moos opting not to take this job would be absolutely disastrous for Dr. Floyd. It would be the sort of misstep that can forever tarnish a legacy and shorten a career. It would be a Tim Ruskell losing Steve Hutchinson sort of debacle for Dr. Floyd. He has essentially left himself just one "out" if things go sideways and that is the one thing he's kept secret up to this point. Money.


Why would Dr. Floyd take this sort of public risk? Let's take a look:


1) Extend the PR news cycle. Bill Moos and WSU have been in Northwest news for a full week now. A fantastic extension of a news cycle to keep the story relevant with new bits of information over the course of what will be two weeks. If the decision was pre-ordained it's been a fantastic way to build interest in the hire and frame the conversation for alumni and WSU fans.


2) Motivate donation. One of the prevailing themes of the AD hiring saga has been the need for money to flow into the Athletic Department. It has been a great educational tool to apprise potential donors of the dire situation and it likely sets up a big donor push if and when Moos comes on board.


3) Create massive internal and external support for Moos. If Moos accepts and comes on board. The process has been brilliant to position him as a hero type. It would be the equivalent of a new President taking office with an 80% approval rating. Just look around WSU fan communities. People are breathless for Bill Moos to be the AD. It could raise the collective morale in one swoop and that rise in morale would hopefully inspire bigger checks to flow into WSU.


4) Hedge against a misfire. If Moos doesn't accept the position it's clear that Floyd has one easy answer as to why. This process has been so public that many people will conclude that Dr. Floyd did all he could and in the end the non-compete or the money terms just didn't match-up. It is one good argument for going public the way Dr. Floyd has.


5) Immediately quell panic amongst the rank and file. Dr. Floyd didn't even wait for Jim Sterk to be announced as the AD at San Diego State before he put out his first statement on the job search and then Bill Moos. He immediately cut off the news cycle and the opportunity for people to gnash their teeth over Jim Sterk leaving and what sort of impact that would have on football and donations. We've spent all of our time reading about Bill Moos and his WSU story.


Overall, I think the decision to go public was mostly genius. In the end, the only thing that potentially keeps Bill Moos from becoming the AD at WSU is if there is something in that Oregon non-compete that his attorneys interpret as airtight that would require him to pay back an egregious amount of money. It's impossible to say what level of risk is there without specifics on the contract but it makes me nervous.

If it does turn out in our favor, what a truly incredible mistake of pettiness on the part of Oregon. UNLV was scared away by the threats of Oregon pursuing remedy if they hire Bill Moos. What a crazy turn if it winds up that they were successful in denying him that job only to see him take a job in their conference and one state away. Let's hope Bill Moos accepts the job this week and they introduce him at the WSU v. UW basketball game this weekend. That would send a serious jolt of energy through the crowd on Senior Day and maybe just kick-off what will be the most critical decade the WSU Athletic Department has ever seen.

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Comments (5)
one more
1 Saturday, 20 February 2010 09:29
I think another possibility could be that he wants to use the outpouring of public sentiment as a motivator for Moos to accept. By making it public, Moos is having to now deal with a kind of 'peer pressure' to accept, and he also sees a preview of the huge support that he would enjoy if he accepts it.
Interesting thoughts
2 Saturday, 20 February 2010 12:08
I think point 3 is the most powerful -- but it goes along with point 2. Is there a Coug who doesn't want him? Nope. So what if things don't go well with Oregon, and Floyd needs to come to the donors and say, "Well, if we're going to make this happen, we need you to step up and fill some of this void. You do want him, don't you? I mean, you saw what he's going to be able to do ..."
The Oregon angle makes this so interesting....
3 Saturday, 20 February 2010 12:51
EC Rules
I really wonder how they are going to push this. I've heard a couple of different angles. One really interesting take that I just heard from a very prominent donor that I trust is that there are actually two buyouts. One between Oregon and Moos and one between Kilkenney directly and Moos. The first was a traditional non-compete to keep Moos from haunting Oregon. The second was to just get him to step away quietly so Kilkenney could jump into that job without a partisan donor war between the two. Who knows if that's true but it makes things kinda interesting and more likely that he'd be willing to walk away from the remaining 1.4M as long as there isn't some sort of legal impingement that would expose him to greater damages if he broke the non-compete. All I know is that after Oregon tried to stick it to him with the UNLV job, I really hope he comes on board quickly. He's going to be one motivated Athletic Director. Here is one angle that has occurred to me as I've been digging to try and find out what Dr. Floyd's definition of a "fair offer" is to Moos. We are fixated on fair offer being low.....but what if it's high? What if this whole thing has been about justifying a $500-600K salary for Moos? It would make a lot of sense for Dr. Floyd to do things the way he did to make sure he doesn't catch to much heat in a recessionary period to basically double the salary of our Athletic Director.
Moos' salary
4 Saturday, 20 February 2010 15:25
I heard that his salary was to be about 400k a year. I'm not sure where i heard it. this would mean his salary would be 100k more then Sterk's salary.
That's in the ballpark
5 Saturday, 20 February 2010 18:56
EC Rules
Curious to see if 400K would get it done. They might have to throw a signing bonus at him if they go at that number. Should be an interesting week.

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