That was the underlying reason IU Athletics Director Fred Glass made the decision to fire football coach Bill Lynch.
“The bottom line is three Big Ten wins in three years isn’t the basis for an extension,” Glass said. “While it’s a very tough decision, I’m confident that it’s the right one.
“My experience is that a lot of times the right thing to do is also the hardest thing to do, and for me, this is one of those times.”
Lynch went from celebrating his team winning the Old Oaken Bucket in an emotional 34-31 overtime victory at Purdue to losing his job less than 24 hours later. Glass had planned to make his decision on Lynch’s job status promptly rather than letting him stew with uncertainty.
“I thought it was really important that whichever way this went not have Bill twisting in the breeze either way,” Glass said. “I told him a couple weeks ago that I thought it was important this was resolved one way or the other the day after the
With one year remaining on Lynch’s four-year contract, Glass said he knew he had a variety of options to consider at season’s end.
Although Glass had repeatedly stated that he believed in honoring contracts and that Lynch would serve the remainder of his, he had to reconsider given the crossroads of entering the final year of the contract.
“Either we could extend the contract, we could not extend the contract and go through the final year leaving open the issue of whether it would be renewed or not, or we could go in a new direction,” Glass said. “My view was that given the circumstances of the last three seasons was that extending the contract was not a viable option.”
While Lynch’s tenure at IU is comparable to many of his predecessors, Glass said he knew he could not base the future of the program on what Lynch accomplished related to past IU coaches.
“It would send the wrong signal of what merited an extension at Indiana University, and in my view, it was not the right thing to do,” Glass said.
With a slew of IU’s playmakers not returning due to graduation or pursuit of the NFL Draft, Glass said he understands a transition phase will not warrant an overnight turnaround for the program.
Instead of making assertions of improvement next season, Glass faced the rebuilding discussion head-on.
“I don’t enter into that naively,” Glass said. “I think any change often results in at least one or two steps back. I don’t pretend a case couldn’t be made for the other two options which I’ve chosen not to pursue.”
For a team that missed a bowl game two straight years entering this season, the debate of “What would Lynch need to do to keep his job?” surfaced throughout the duration of the season. At the end of the day, no one will never know what would have kept Lynch in Bloomington.
“I gave up answering hypothetical questions a long time ago,” Glass said.
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