It has been an interesting summer to say the least and with fall upon us the time for football has arrived. UC football in particular has made their annual trek to Harrison for their Higher Ground rite of preparation, only to come back and find out the President of their beloved university, Dr. Gregory Williams, has resigned and the finger pointing has ensued. But it doesn't matter to them and you can credit coach Butch Jones for that.
Oh he cares; and they care about what it will mean when the permanent successor has been named but in football terms it has the value of Enron stock on the practice field. This is football; Butch Jones football and the focus is on the field, in the classroom and in the community. Not that the resignation doesn't fit in all of these categories because it does. It doesn't fit from the lens the team looks through. Neither did Brian Kelly leaving or Mike Thomas heading to Illinois.
Butch Jones is all about football, specifically UC football. He is a leader, a follower, a father figure and more. If it has something to do with UC football, his staff and/or players he knows. He has settled the faithful who were on the ledge about losing Coach Kelly to Notre Dame and now his name is rarely mentioned by the Bearcat followers anymore. That's because Coach Jones respect for Kelly and his forward moving vision makes a great recipe for success. It's not about bashing his predecessor, friend and mentor but thanking him. It's not about resting on last years success but building on it; and it's not about the vacant presidency because he doesn't select them.
Coach Jones keeps his vision between the lines, the classroom and in the community where the players live. His job is to shape young men while trying to win games and titles. When they leave the university he'll be judged by what they become as men, fathers and alumni. What they give back and what they contribute to society. I firmly believe he cares; I know he wants what's best and we all know he wants UC to be a major player in college football.
So with the shocking resignation of President Williams, the finger pointing and successor talk will build into a ground swell of rumors the size of Nippert Stadium. But rumors can't tackle, attend class or certainly do good in the community. But players can, especially players who can put it all in perspective. I think Bearcats under the influence of Coach Butch Jones will do that; focus on football, academics and the community. Rest assured if they don't rumors of their departure will surely get in line with all the other rumors that have preceded them. The bottom line is this is about UC football and Coach Jones will make sure it stays that way.
That's the way I see it, sitting in The Box Seat.