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Sunday, June 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Cam loses one last time

Athletics director fires Cameron, University begins search for new football coach to generate support

Four wins in its last five games proved the football team started heading in the right direction this season, but it didn't convince Athletics Director Michael McNeely to keep Cam Cameron as head coach.\nMcNeely fired Cameron Wednesday afternoon.\nCameron finished his five-year tenure at IU with a 18-37 (12-28 Big Ten) record and no bowl appearances. The lack of improvement over the past five years led to McNeely's decision.\n"Five years is an important measuring standard for a program to demonstrate a high level of competitiveness and consistency, both on the field and in the classroom," McNeely said. "It is not an either-or proposition. Leadership is the key. We have not achieved the high level of success on the field that we should and do expect.\n"Further, there is not compelling evidence that the current direction of the football program will yield a higher level of competitive success."\nCameron won't be around to experience more success at IU, but his assistant coaches might.\nMcNeely said the assistant coaches will continue to recruit and will remain a part of the staff until a new head coach is hired. It will be up to the new coach to decide who to keep and who to let go.\nSo for now, returning players can feel comfortable knowing the entire system hasn't left.\n"The first thing I thought was, 'No way.' I couldn't believe it," junior safety Joe Gonzalez said. "Then all these things start racing through my head, like, 'Is it just coach Cam? Am I gonna have to learn a new defense?' This would be the third new defense in what would be four years for me.\n"So many things were flying through my head." \nMcNeely's life just got a bit more hectic, as well.\nThe search for a new coach starts immediately, and McNeely said he hopes to name a new coach "during the course of the next month."\nAlthough McNeely named a list of qualities that any athletics director would want out of any coach, the main thing he's looking for is a coach who will put fans in the often-empty stands at Memorial Stadium.\n"We want someone who has experience in generating a strong support for the program in terms of interest, in terms of coming to the game, in terms of feeling connected to the program, and I think that one place that starts is the relationship with the local schools throughout the state," McNeely said. "That's our core fan-base, and that's where many of our future student-athletes will come from."\nMcNeely met with IU President Myles Brand Wednesday morning and gave Brand his recommendation. Brand accepted the recommendation and echoed McNeely's sentiments that a coach must have players excel both in the classroom and on the field.\n"I greatly appreciate Cam Cameron's many contributions to Indiana University," Brand said. "He personally has represented IU well, and his players have succeeded in many arenas. But I accept our athletic director's assessment that the team's on-field performance has been disappointing during Cam's tenure. One consequence has been a low level of fan support, as measured by game attendance.\n"We expect our coaches to field highly competitive, winning teams, whose student-athletes succeed in the classroom, graduate and are good representatives of the university. It is not an either-or situation. IU expects a high level of performance in all of these areas"

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