Pechac decommits from IU’s 2018 class

Kristian Pechac has changed his mind about becoming a Hoosier.

Bloomington South’s standout running back announced Monday that he has decommitted from Indiana, where his father, Mike, is the program’s director of player development.

“After a lot of consideration I have made the decision to decommit from Indiana University and reopen my recruitment process,” Pechac wrote in a message posted to Twitter. “Thank you to Coach Allen and the rest of the IU staff for the opportunity to be a Hoosier.”

Pechac declined to speak with The Herald-Times.

Considered a four-star recruit by Scout.com, Pechac committed to Indiana on April 8, choosing IU over offers from Louisville, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Minnesota and Northern Illinois, among others. After he was named Indiana’s permanent head coach on Dec. 1, Tom Allen extended his first scholarship offer to Pechac.

As a junior in 2016, Pechac rushed for a Bloomington South-record 2,030 yards and 28 touchdowns. Scout.com also rates Pechac as the No. 2 running back in the state, the No. 3 back in the midwest and the No. 28 player at his position nationwide.

This is the second decommitment Indiana has experienced in its 2018 class. Three-star Tennessee athlete Cam Jones reneged on his verbal pledge to Indiana in late May.

The Hoosiers did add to their class on Saturday evening, taking a commitment from three-star Tennessee receiver Jacolby Hewitt.

Indiana now has only three commitments so far for its 2018 recruiting class, which ranks 13th out of 14 Big Ten programs. Each of IU’s three recruits, including Lowell safety Jordan Jusevitch and South Carolina corner Elijah Rodgers, are three-star prospects, according to the 247 Sports Composite rankings.

60 comments

  1. Something amiss? Local boy and father on staff to boot. 2 of 5 decommit in a little over two weeks. Not a trend you want to have happening this time of the year. Or is this just an effect of losing DeLand McCullough?

  2. Ouch. He sounded like a really good RB. Maybe he just wanted to be his own man so to speak…(with the dad being at IU and all).

  3. Nothing is amiss any more than the tradition of IU football. Every year a struggle to stay out of recruiting cellar which leads to a challenge each season escaping the big ten cellar on the field.

  4. Don’t they say that your recruiting doesn’t really start until you commit to someplace.

  5. Having been coached by my father as a boy and worked for him as a young adult, I can testify to the fact that such arrangements can put stress on the father-son relationship. In my case, standards were simply higher for my behavior and performance than my teammates or fellow employees, and my mistakes resulted in more severe discipline. When I screwed up a play in practice or otherwise broke some minor team rule, I had to run two laps instead of just one, etc.. God forbid that any of my peers think that I was getting special treatment from the coach/boss! So I can understand why Kristian might want to “grow up” someplace other than where his father is employed. Having said that, two out of five verbally-committed recruits changing their minds in such a short amount of time is disconcerting. With the exception of Louisville, it’s not like the other schools that made him an offer are powerhouse programs or will provide greater exposure. I wonder if this is just the first shoe to drop and if we might be reading a story about his father getting a bigger job at a school that just happens to be where Kristian commits to playing for? It’s still too early to be concerned, but I will certainly be paying more attention to news about football recruiting for the 2018 class.

  6. I am sick and tired of recruits decommitting as their morality is strong to live up to their promises. If you commit to a school you need to live up to your commitment. IU will do well in recruiting if they play very well and knock off several of the top teams in the B1G. I hope the 2017 Hoosiers play as well as they should and win games others think they can’t win.

    1. This is a really big de-commit in my opinion. He was our highest rated recruit and the fact that his dad works for the program makes it an even bigger surprise. I wonder if he and the coaches thought that his commitment in early April might jump start recruiting, especially within the state, and lead to several more recruits. Instead, in the 2 months between his commitment and bailout, we lost another recruit, and only got one commitment, that from a wide receiver who runs a 4.82. I wonder if these facts entered into his decision.

      V, I think this staff will continue to struggle in recruitment unless, as you say, they knock off a few of the biggies, and I am not talking about 3 and 9 MSU last year. We all thought 2017 was going to be the make or break season for Wilson, but this season is shaping up to be mighty big for coach Allen as well.

  7. A big season for Allen, and if more than a few folks really cared about football, a big season for Glass too! But knowing The Hoosier Nation, nobody is going to hold Glass accountable for how well Allen does as long as the Basketball program is successful. And that, ladies and gentlemen is the problem with IU Athletics.

    v13, you’d better get used to these teenagers de-committing and/or transferring. The trend is not going to diminish any time soon.

  8. T.A. has been a star at the college level on the defensive side of the ball. As a high school head coach at B.D. he did not win at a very high level. We will see. I do like him as IU head coach because of his success on defensive side of ball at the college level. Recruiting and offensive side of the ball will be a challenge. Recruiting on both defensive and offensive side of ball will be a challenge as T.A. can coach defense.

  9. For now, IU will have to win based on getting players that are lower rated that can play far above how they are rated IE Ball. Until IU wins games they are not expected to win bigger names won’tcome to IU although with the offensive coaches with a great background I would think some would come and play here. I think IU got the lower ranked players that will play above their ratings with this last class, we will just have to see if they can.

    Podunker, I generally figure if a player doesn’t want to come then it opens up a scholarship for another player that wants to be a Hoosier. This last decommit just hurts because it is an Indiana player and I am sick of our players going outside the state to help other teams be a top twenty team. Why top players wouldn’t come to play for Heard, Hart or DeBord is beyond me but I guess the players now don’t know who they are like we do.

  10. Not enough players will play far beyond there ratings anymore than players from other programs play far beyond their levels. IU may win in an upset or two but they will turn around and lose a game they should have won. They have a great opportunity to pull off an upset the very first game and the very first game is the best time to play Ohio State. However, since it is a game IU would play anyway because it is a conference game I do not include it in strength of preseason schedule. For as long as I can see in the future IU will struggle to play 500 ball and win with less rated recruits. A minor upset or two or playing a big boy a close game for 3 quarters will not make much difference. Expectations of enough players playing beyond their level coming out of high school (player development) is all fine and dandy but other programs develop their players as well expecting players to maximize potential. You could make the case K.W. lost his job for doing just that while the elite players see that same behavior from coaches as expectations and challenges to make them better. Now days 500 or a game above 500 gets you to a motor city bowl with another name and IU has come up empty in those. Sadly, that is better than IU tradition.

    1. Don’t look now, but we have dropped to #76 in Scout’s rankings below both Illinois and Purdue. We are 13th in the BIG10 ahead of only Rutgers, and the only two big time programs behind us are Rutgers and Georgia Tech. Any way you look at it, that is not good.

      T, I agree with you that everyone attempts to maximize the potential of their recruits/players, so the old argument used by IU fans for so many years that stars don’t really matter is totally absurd. Yes, every so often some no star or 2 star recruit turns into an All-American, but they are the exception. Every coach in the nation, including Allen and Debord, would rather start with 4 and 5 star recruits on their roster rather than 2 and 3 star recruits. Talent really takes over late in the game. Teams with less talent generally play more talented teams close for a quarter or two, but then fade later in the game. When your roster is filled with talent down to the end of your bench, you don’t wear out and your level of play doesn’t drop as much when injuries occur.

      I enjoy coming to this site and reading the articles and comments, but I don’t know why I am such a masochist. After 50+ years as an IU football fan, you would think I should have had enough!

  11. Yes, and those 4 and 5 star recruits make many more high level, great and spectacular plays on a steady basis. If they don’t someone else is ready to go in the game. 4 and 5 star recruits make coaching look good because they have the ability to execute plays and make a play when maybe no play is there in some cases more often than lower level recruits. 4 and 5 star recruits sometimes even make coaching legends if the coach has the ability to coach them up.

  12. A school’s reputation (and history) in a given sport is a huge part of why it can’t upgrade its level of talent. Imagine a 5-star basketball player getting offers from Duke, UNC, UK and Rutgers. What chance will Rutgers have of signing that player? Virtually no chance at all. And its the same for IU Football, only worse because you need 60 really good players to have a good football program. IU’s history in football eliminates the vast majority of players that have the size, speed and talent necessary to play in the NFL, which is the type of player all top football programs are trying to sign. In order to break that cycle, a traditionally weak team must hire a head coach that has been proven to be able to create a winning program and therefore can overcome that school’s history within two or three recruiting classes. Washington State is a good recent example. They’ve gone from being in the the PAC-12 basement for years to consecutive winning seasons and bowl games. IU refuses to do that, probably because the Administration does not want to risk spending the money (even if they have it, which is doubtful) to hire a big-time proven winner as head coach. That’s why they went for Lynch after Hep dies (a disastrous decision), and then K.W., a career top assistant coach, after firing Lynch. It’s the same philosophy Glass used to justify giving the job to Allen. Allen may turn out to be the greatest football coach in IU’s history, but he was hired because he was inexpensive. No serious follower of college football, and certainly no member of the college football media, would honestly suggest that hiring Allen was IU’s best chance of transforming IU into a winning program. That’s not a knock on Allen, it’s just common sense.

    Who knows how it will turn out with Allen. I’m encouraged and remain optimistic. But history suggests that Allen leading IU to the upper echelon of the Big Ten and consecutive winning seasons is a long shot. Why? Because the top football talent in America is far less likely to play for a program with a history of losing run by a coach with no history as a head coach. If you, as an 18 year old with great athletic talent and a life-long dream of playing in the NFL, were recruited by Allen at IU and Michigan, OSU, MSU, PSU, or Louisville, how serious would you consider accepting IU’s offer?

    And honestly, The Hoosier Nation, along with IU’s Administration, for decades now, have not shown themselves to be worthy of such talent or of such a winning program. They have not been willing to pay the price, make the investment, or shown the level of support or commitment necessary to attract the type of talent necessary to establish IU as a top-level football program. They just don’t have the willpower or balls necessary to do it. It’s not important to them. Basketball is important, but not football. You can argue that IU has been making unprecedented investment in its football facilities the last few years. Well, its unprecedented relative to IU’s history, but not for college football in general. And compared to the top programs, IU’s investment is not even relevant. When you start at the bottom, you have to make unprecedented investments in facilities just to prevent from falling even farther behind the other programs you compete with.

    And let’s talk about fan support. A fan base does not deserve the privilege of watching 4 and 5-star talent play for its team when it can’t get more than 43,000 people to attend home games, or when more fans care about tail-gating than they do about watching the game inside the stadium, or when half of the people in the stadium at kickoff don’t return to their seats for the second half!

    So don’t blame Allen if he fails to upgrade the level of talent at IU. Blame Glass and the legacy of IU administrators who have continuously failed to do what is necessary to remain competitive in college football. Having another new coach promoted from being a talented Assistant coach is not going to reverse 50 years of cowardly and atrocious management by inept administrators and boosters who only care about the men’s basketball program.

    1. Podunker,

      Happy to hear what you think Indiana should have done when they fired Wilson. Which coaches do you think would have been legit options last year? With the Washington St example, do you suggest that Indiana should have gone out and hired a proven, yet disgraced coach like Mike Leach? A man that fired for repeated violations of player safety and multiple attempts to cover it up. Art Briles would fit that bill. Someone will hire that SOB again. Personally, I’d rather get beat by Wisconsin by almost triple digits at home than root for someone like that.

      We’ve talked about this so many times. You have this false notion that if Indiana opened up its checkbook, big time coaches will sign with Indiana. That’s simply NOT true. These are not opinions. They are facts. I’ve personally known some people who have been involved with the coaching searches in the past. Do you honestly think that Indiana made ZERO attempt to talk to coaches further up the food chain? I can tell you for a fact that they tried. They were resounding dismissed. Indiana has a rep for being a graveyard for coaching careers. No proven head coaches were interested in the Indiana job. NONE.

      Tom Allen wasn’t hired because he was cheap. He was hired because the administration knew who he was and they loved what they saw. Not only had he proven himself to be one of the best assistants in the nation last year, they were able to see the quality of character he displayed behind the scenes. They saw that they had the best guy that Indiana could get already within the family.

      Sure, it is huge risk. The risk comes from the fact that he’s young and inexperienced. But he’s already worked a miracle once. Indiana Football needs to take risks to get to the top. I’d rather they take that risk with inexperience than with a coach who needed to take a lesser job because of violations and issues with his character. Getting proven coaches on the upswing isn’t going to happen. Fact. Indiana isn’t getting the Tom Hermans at Houston to come coach for the Hoosiers. They end up at Texas and better programs. You want Tom Herman before he becomes Tom Herman. And that’s a young, inexperienced assistant……you know the drill.

      I’m rooting hard for Allen because he embodies just about everything I could ever want in a coach from a character and philosophy standpoint. That doesn’t mean he’s gonna pull it off. Because I have no idea. But Washington State took a risk in an area I would prefer Indiana doesn’t go.

      Again what candidates would you have thought Indiana could have gotten at the time Allen was hired? Or is it easier to just teardown without offering to build?

  13. Gosh, all you “whiners” sound so negative about IU Football. You’re getting me down. How do you put “butts in seats” if each one of you multiplies your negativity many times over via all the family and friends whose opinions of IU Football you also influence? Hopefully you are all retired, have no friends, and have small distant families. In other words, you are a typical blogger filling a lonely day with bitching and moaning.

  14. Podunker, great response/blog. You have summed up the past 50 years of IU administration very well. Presently like most fans (I hope) I am trying to adjust to IU two new coaches (Tom Allen and Archie Miller). Hopefully they have long “successful” careers at Indiana University.

  15. This stinks. But let’s not lose perspective. It isn’t like decommits weren’t happening under the previous regimes. Kevin Wilson had a number of high profile decommits under his watch.

    It’s early. We’ll see where we land on signing day.

    IU Football, whether under Wilson or Allen, is still pushing the giant boulder uphill. Slow progress. There will be setbacks. I’m utterly confused about how there is the expectation that Indiana will start bringing in the 4 and 5 star recruits, when really nothing has substantially changed to fix this.

    Ranger, I completely sympathize with your sentiments. It SUCKS being an IU Football Fan. You definitely have a few more years of the water boarding that is IU Football in your life. I can only salute you.

    Indiana is going to have to learn to win with what they have. Programs who were traditionally down and have made the leap, took kids who were overlooked, developed them and created a team that was far superior than the sum of its parts.

    Last year, Tom Allen took the same defense who had tire marks tattooed on their faces and turned them into a very good unit. The stats might have been even better if, on the other side of the ball, Richard Lagow wasn’t so prone to throwing the ball to the other team just minutes after halting the other team’s offense. It isn’t that Allen created some kind of scheme that was superior. He seems to understand about how to change culture and mindset. Making kids who were once considered losers, into winners. He did that last year.

    I have no idea if this is going to translate to the offensive side of the ball. I have no idea if he can run the whole program in this way. But, he already did this last year on defense, which was by far THE hardest part of turning around Indiana Football.

    Ranger, I’m sure I’m just lining myself up for another round of waterboarding. But, I guess old patterns die hard. 😉

    1. DD, your allegorical comparison of IU football to water boarding is priceless!

      It seems like only a few years ago that my fiancee/future wife and I were in Pasadena for the 1968 Rose Bowl. We had a great time and remarked how we would make the trip again the next time the Hoosiers were invited. Little could we have imagined that 49 years would pass and we would never have the opportunity to relive that experience.

      Harvard, don’t worry about my whining negatively influencing relatives and friends concerning IU football. My wife (IU grad), 3 sons (one IU grad), brother in law (IU grad), and my old friends all gave up on IU football years ago. In fact, every year my sons ask me why I put myself through this torture and why I don’t put 100% of my time and energy behind supporting my hometown (39 years) Tennessee Vols. The sad thing is, I don’t have a good answer.

  16. We know one thing for certain, OSU’s offense will be running on all cylinders.

    As Double Down stated(paraphrasing), what Wilson did for IU Football was nothing short of a miracle. Although there was some tapering off of offensive output/production the last year or two, most of that was likely attributable to some very high talent turnover in some key positions(running backs, receivers, QB). But we were still talking about a metamorphosis in competitiveness against the finer teams of the BIG.
    Wilson orchestrated this rise from our permanently granted room reservation at the Cellar Hotel, smashed the “What football at IU?” identity, removed the 40 years of perceiving IU Football as nothing more than a burdensome fungus growing next to Assembly Hall, obliterated decades-long hopelessness via his infectious stubborn defiance of the tattooed patsy image, and achieved it all with nothing near the sort of talent and depth that, as sure as the sun will rise, forever flocks to OSU as one of the top destinations in all of college football.

    Now Wilson gets to apply those same miracles while having the cream of the crop in recruits; a level of talent at all positions, one-tenth of which on a Hoosier roster, would make any IU football fan believe in Santa Claus.

  17. Double Down; please don’t put words in my mouth. If necessary, re-read my previous post.

    As I have posted on this site many times before, I like Allen and I have as much, if not more confidence in him as I have in any football coach hired since Hep. I’m sure he’s doing everything possible to lead IU to a breakthrough season and build a winning program for the long term. But it is undeniable that IU’s administration and fan base have not supported IU’s football program to the degree necessary to make it a winning program since John Pont was fired.

    As for Leach, there are two sides to every story. I don’t know the facts about what Leach did or did not do as head coach at Texas Tech. But I do know that a) he vigorously refuted the accusations made against him, and b) the officials at WSU investigated him thoroughly and felt comfortable enough with his history to hire him to be WSU’s head coach, and c) he’s had a spotless record at WSU since arriving on campus and has turned that program into a winner. Additionally, I find it interesting that any IU fan would reference accusations made against Lynch while at Texas Tech given Bob Knight’s treatment of players at IU for many, many years. As you know, some folks considered Knight’s treatment of certain players abusive and totally unacceptable, while people like me, who grew up with tough, demanding coaches who at times got physical with their players, understand that some of those old school tactics were part of the process of developing physically and mentally tough players. I don’t condone it and clearly understand that such tactics are no longer acceptable in today PC world, but having survived it, I understand it.

    Define “big time coaches!” I don’t think I used that term. I referred to coaches who have proven the ability to build a winning program as a head coach. I could not describe Minnesota’s new head coach, P.J. Fleck as a “big time coach,” but based on his recent success at Western Michigan, he has proven that he can lead a team to a high level of success. And before Fleck arrive at UM, they hired Jerry Kill, another man who had proven that he build a winner as a head coach. IU did that when they hired Hep, and he was on his way to great success before his tragic death. Since then, with the exception of Allen (simply because he has not been given a chance) IU seems to be using the wrong process or the wrong criteria for hiring head football coaches. A Big Ten school is not supposed to be where “high potential” assistant coaches go to get “on-the-job-training.” It is such a competitive conference that experience building a winning program is essential, yet IU, by it last three football hires, seems to it knows better. And why do you think that is? The answer is money; it’s the less expensive, less risky alternative. The simple fact is that IU has not been willing to pay what it takes to hire a head football coach with a proven ability to build a winning program. On top of that, IU has this bad habit of firing their head coaches and then paying them hundreds of thousands of dollars in severance. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    I’m rooting hard for Allen too, as every Hoosier fan should be. But as Allen himself has pointed out, there is a world of difference between being a Coordinator and being a head coach. Significantly different skills sets are required to make that career progression. And let’s remember that this discussion started as a result of a top recruit de-committing from the program. And why should anyone be surprised? It’s not Allen’s fault, he’s just getting started. But why would any 4 or 5-star recruit commit to IU when there are plenty of other programs run by head coaches with a winning track record who lead their teams into stadiums filled to the brim with really excited and enthusiastic fans? If you want to break the cycle, change the formula. Otherwise, you have to be patient and learn to accept these setbacks because IU’s administration won’t or can’t afford to hire someone who has proven he can do it within two or three seasons.

  18. So far, I believe Allen has made some great decisions and is doing everything he can to make IU Football successful. But I’m not a 4 or 5-star recruit whose football career is a stake. The only thing I can do is support my alma mater, go to the games, sit in my seat and cheer IU on until the end of the game. If only we could get about 13,000 more people to do exactly that on a regular basis, some of these challenges might be overcome.

  19. One more comment. Can you imagine if IU had hired a long-term assistant basketball coach, without any head-coaching experience in college, to take over the basketball program after Glass fired Crean? Can you imagine the uproar! Oh wait, IU did exactly that some years back, and with the exception of one season, it did not work out very well.

    1. Are you seriously comparing a coaching search for Indiana basketball vs football as if there is even any remote similarity? Wow. You’re priceless today.

    2. Worked out pretty well for Butler. Wasn’t Brad an assistant?…or a ball boy…video coordinator. Coach K was an assistant under Bobby.

      I would have been very happy to see Chuck Martin given a shot……The impediment to progress was never at the “assistant” level. The impediment to progress was Joey Glass hand-selecting our next basketball coach.

  20. PJ Fleck never would have taken the Indiana job. Have you been to that stadium in Minny? Pretty darn nice. Indiana is historically bad. Unprecedentedly bad. Memorial Stadium is finally catching up to being just middle of the road good. Oh yeah, and every time Indiana inquired with one of those types of coaches when they had an opening, they were rejected. We got awfully lucky with the hiring of Hep (his Indiana ties were rare).

    Quit blaming fans for not wanting to pay money to watch their team get blown out by 60 pts at home. These fans are the same exact people that can knock the roof off of Assembly Hall during Big Ten season. I never missed a game in my time on campus. Not one. But don’t blame anyone if they did. Most of those games were just a flat out waste of time.

    I’d love to hear an example of a fan base that gets pounded mercilessly for decades and still shows up willingly.

    I’ll let your defense of Leach stand in contrast to mine. His players have 30 arrests off the field. Leads all D1. Not what I’d call clean.

  21. Quit blaming fans for not wanting to pay money to watch their team get blown out by 60 pts at home. These fans are the same exact people that can knock the roof off of Assembly Hall during Big Ten season. I never missed a game in my time on campus. Not one. But don’t blame anyone if they did. Most of those games were just a flat out waste of time.

    Thank you, Double Down! I’ve given him the same message dozens of times on here. He has BTIUFDS…..(Blame the IU Fans Derangement Syndrome).

    Isn’t acting like you’ve been to a boatload of IU Football games an unsubstantiated rumor? Keep your ticket stubs? How about blurring out the seat numbers on the ticket stubs and give some proof of dates attended? If I can upload a doctored image, I’m sure it’s pretty easy to upload a photo of a pile of ticket stubs. Is there anyone you sit next to who would be willing to post on Scoop and validate all the times you’ve put your “butt” in seats?

    1. Heh. My therapist can confirm my incurable IU Football PTSD. I still have visions of Antwaan Randle El lighting up Michigan at home. Only to watch Michigan turnaround and torch our defense a huge gain on 3rd and long repeatedly. I would start sweating and sometimes uncontrollably vomiting.

      That game still drives me nuts. Tom Brady was the QB in that game, yet Antwaan was the one who shined on that day. That 70 yd TD strike to Dorsey was one of the most exciting plays I saw at Memorial Stadium. Man, we almost had Michigan (who would end up ranked #5 at the end of the season) losing 34-31. The consistent refrain: our defense can’t stop anyone.

      I’m twitching again. Need to go do some deep breathing exercises, then journal while drinking camomile tea.

  22. Expansive discussion. I guess if Pechac would happen to end up at USC it would be a muted topic. AD Glass’s hiring philosophy is a blessing for IUFB. His hire of KW changed the soft culture of football at IU. Very focused on a statement Double Down made in that you want to hire a Tom Herman.

  23. BTW, we got another 3-star commit today….TE.

    And there’s a really nice 3-star receiver in GA who has IU as his top school.

    Anyway, point is, let the recruiting season play itself out before getting too worried and, gasp, developing conclusions.

  24. A few responses to those who continue to try to put words in my mouth:

    DD, you make my point for me. UM’s stadium is very nice, and IU is struggling to catch up in the facilities race. Gopher fans pack that stadium, but it was not like that a few years ago and until the University made a huge investment to greatly upgrade their football facilities. They also went out and hired a head coach (and staff) that had a proven record of building winning football programs. Jerry Kill was hired the same day KW was hired.

    I am not knocking Allen. I like Allen, and I am confident he will be the best coach IU has hired for a while. I supported KW, but I think Allen will be a better head coach (ironically, I think IU will have better quarterbacks under Allen than we had under Wilson). I am also optimistic that Allen will lead IU to the breakthrough he so passionately refers to. Love the guy and agree with everything he has done and said so far. But given the history of IU, and the perception that exists around the country, and especially within the State of Indiana, to think that the best HS football players are going to seriously consider playing for a new coach at a school with a history of losing, is just not realistic. From those young men’s perspective, in the here and now, there are many better options.

    Stop referring the Herman. That’s a BS straw man argument. I referenced Fleck, which was a far more realistic choice. How does anyone know whether Fleck or any other head coach like him would have accepted IU’s job? Do you read minds now? Did I miss Fleck’s quote in the media saying that he would never have considered coaching at IU? That’s ridiculous. Back when he first became A.D., Glass did not give any serious consideration to hiring any successful, up-and-coming head coach. Instead he went out and hired a long-term top Assistant Coach (KW) who was a virtual unknown throughout the Midwest. And I believe, based on his comments at the time, Glass chose KW in large part because he was “affordable.” IU could give KW a significant increase in compensation, a long term contract, and still minimize its financial risk/obligation. The day KW was hired, he was the lowest or second lowest paid head football coach in the Big Ten. I believe Allen now assumes that dubious distinction. Those facts just reinforced the narrative about IU Football; cheep with a disinterested fan base. Fleck probably would not have been real excited about the job at IU in large part because IU has a reputation of being cheep with its coaching compensation. At $3.5 million per year for five years, which is just slightly above the mean for Big Ten head coaches, I’m pretty sure Fleck is getting paid a great deal more money than Allen is now.

    OK, I agree that KW was a major upgrade relative to Lynch, but honestly, that’s not saying much. And KW did a lot of positive things to improve IU Football, but he did not produce a winning season in six years.

    Can’t you see the cycle that has doomed IU football to the Big Ten’s basement for so long? You say, “Quit blaming fans for not wanting to pay money to watch their team get blown out by 60 pts at home.” But the scenario you describe has not happened for the last two seasons, yet attendance at IU’s home games did not increase by any significant degree in the last three seasons.

    It’s about confidence and hope, and IU fans are affected by the same emotions that recruits have when considering playing for IU. A lot of IU fans have not been convinced that IU Football is going to produce a winner and therefore they stay home on Saturdays. Most top levels recruits have those same thoughts and therefore choose to play for historically better programs. So what element involved affects the fans’ and recruits’ confidence and hope? It’s the leadership! It’s always about the leadership. Leadership inspires confidence and produces hope. So if you want IU’s fans to fill Memorial Stadium, you give them a reason to have hope and build confidence for the future. Hep was on his way to achieving that. Hep was a great hire. Lynch, a very fine man, simply did not have the pedigree to achieve that. KW took four seasons before any rays of sunlight began to shine through the clouds that hang over IU’s program. He finally made it to a bowl game and his team played their butts off in a close game, but it still did not significantly increase attendance at IU home games the following season. What “statement” does that make to potential 4 and 5-star recruits?

    So far, Allen seems to have all the right stuff, with the exception of notoriety and a history of winning as a head coach. And I completely agree that what he achieved last season was incredible and amazing. I was proud of the battle that his players put up against a deeper, more mature Utah team in last year’s bowl game. I am optimistic that he will achieve the breakthrough he is calling for. But I also believe that he has to achieve that breakthrough soon. Otherwise, the old “same-old, same-old” mentality will return to the Hoosier Nation, we’ll be right back in that old cycle, and the players Allen will need to sign in order to elevate IU into the upper-tier of the Big Ten will continue to go elsewhere. Here’s hoping that Allen achieves his breakthrough in 2017 and that this debate becomes moot.

    1. Po, YOU are the one making the point that Indiana hasn’t considered coaches farther up the food chain because they refuse to pony up and pay them. That we’re too cheap to invest in a big coach. No one is proving any point you are making, dude. You aren’t even listening to MY point.

      My retort is that it has nothing to do with money. And that your ironclad belief in this axiom is flawed. So you throw stones at something that isn’t even there.

      When the IU job has become available since Mallory (the last time doesn’t count, because they didn’t do a coaching search. They hired Allen the next day after firing Wilson), Indiana reached out to a number of more desirable, established head coaches. Before money was even discussed, they were turned away. These coaches were NOT interested.

      So Indiana had to turn to one of three strategies for their next coach–each one has risks and the question is what is appropriate. Find some older established coach who would look to Indiana to reestablish themselves after underperforming at a previous job. Enter Gerry Dinardo. We know how well that worked out. Next, Indiana could do the WSU strategy where a coach’s star faded because they were fired due to scandal, violations, or other issues. Indiana never considered those kinds of coaches. In my opinion, I’d rather lose by 60 pts than see someone luring Bobby Petrino, Art Briles or any of those other successful, yet fatally flawed people to Bloomington.

      The last strategy Indiana has is to find an assistant who’s proven themselves, but hasn’t had a major head coaching job yet. Sometimes this works out amazingly, sometimes not. But we do know, in most cases, there is a learning curve in becoming a head coach.

      OBVIOUSLY PJ Fleck specifically wasn’t under consideration. The point is that TYPE of candidate would never consider IU. It isn’t a strawman. These are names to provide examples of the TYPES of coaches you allude to in your false axiom, which is that Indiana didn’t hire them because we’re too cheap to pay them. These types are the up and coming head coaches who are at mid-major schools who become hot coaching prospects for bigger jobs. We were SUPER fortunate once to grab one of these coaches when we got Hep. Hep was rolling at Miami of Ohio, but he grew up an Indiana Hoosier fan and was deeply connected to the state. That was a rare combo.

      And yes, I did know some folks there were involved in those early searches who didn’t give me specific names, but confirmed exactly what I’m telling you. Hiring for the Indiana job has been extraordinarily difficult. And I DO agree with you that it is stems from the lack of investment into the football program and it’s facilities for decades. It isn’t because they weren’t willing to pay a big coaching prospect the money they wanted.

  25. Not to nitpick, but what is IU “rebuilding” in terms of football? To “rebuild” implies there was something of a recognized sound structure to start with…
    Hoosier Basketball is a rebuild.
    Hoosier Football is an abandoned job site ….or maybe something like the ‘Area 51’ of college football. Pretty sure we’re hiding aliens underneath the field….Why else would we try to intentionally keep so many people away for so many decades? Nanu Nanu!

    1. Actually, that is very true. IU Football is closer to terraforming Mars than it is restoring the Sistine Chapel. Indeed.

  26. DD, do you work for IU’s Athletic Department? If not, you don’t have any more facts or better insight than I do, and are basing your argument on hearsay. Minnesota is paying Fleck $3.5 million a year, guaranteed for five years. Even after Wilson got his new contract and big pay increase after the 2015 season, he would not even be close to making $3.5 million in 2017 if he were still with IU. Allen is making even less than Wilson was when he got fired, in part because it provides means of allowing IU to recover the $546,000 severance paid to KW. Glass must work within his modest budget.

    How does anyone know which coaches might be interested in taking the IU job if Glass is not willing or able to offer them a compensation package that is above the mean for Big Ten football coaches? Being the lowest or second lowest paid head coach in the Big Ten is not my definition of “competitive” compensation. You want the best talent, you have to be willing to pay for it. And the word throughout the college coaching circles is that IU has not been willing to pay for top football coaching talent. I’ve heard that from a lot of folks that have been around the Athletic Department for a long time, and they’re just as credible as your sources.

    The flaw in our system is that we’re looking for the best coach we can afford, which, with the exception of Hep, has not made a splash in the media, inspired confidence or created new hope that the program will become a winner. As a result, many IU fans yawn when the hiring of IU’s new football coach is announced. Last time it was, “Who’s Kevin Wilson?” Last fall, outside the state of Indiana, it was “Who’s Allen?” And that pattern has not produced a head coach who can build a winning program within a few years of taking the job. Hep was a great hire. Hep was the ideal hire. Hep was on his way to building a winner (and for one year, his team did win). Why have we gotten away from that hiring model? Why are we willing to spend two or thee times the amount of money on a basketball coach but continue to treat football coaches like red headed step children?

    The reason we can’t afford to pay a football coach that kind of money is that attendance at IU’s home football games is chronically low. For Christ’s sake, a few years back, Glass sold a home game against a Big Ten team back to PSU for cash. WTF? How desperate was he? That’s the kind of move that a mid-major makes so it can keep the lights on. What kind of statement does that make to the college football world? IU Football is never going to be OSU, Michigan, or PSU. But we can’t get 50,000 people into Memorial Stadium more than one home game each season? Here’s the cycle we’re stuck in: IU football is not generating enough revenue to allow IU to compete for the best up-and-coming coaches, second tier coaches don’t produce winning seasons, which further dilutes attendance at home games and fan interest. And Glass (or his key donors) is not willing to break that cycle by taking the risk of “over spending” to hire a head coach that has the proven ability to produce a winning program and who would inspire hope. So instead, Glass takes the safe road, the road that leads to self-preservation and stays within his modest budget.

    I simply refuse to believe that good young up-and-coming head coaches with winning records would refuse to consider the IU job if we were willing or able to offer above average compensation. Aside from our history, which in the last two years has not been bad, there’s nothing inherently wrong with IU, Memorial Stadium, living in Bloomington, etc. Relative to that frozen outhouse in Minnesota, IU should be a great destination! The common denominator over the years has been low attendance and below average compensation for football coaches, not some inherent problem that turns off quality coaching candidates.

    As I said, let’s hope Allen breaks the cycle and that when he does, IU’s administration is smart enough to send the right signal by rewarding him and his assistants with above average (in the Big Ten) compensation. I’d hate to see Allen produce two consecutive winning seasons and bowl-game victories only to see him get poached away by a traditional football power because IU was unwilling or unable to pay him what the market says he is worth.

    1. Yup. Facts mustn’t matter. Your refusal to believe it doesn’t make it untrue.

      My ties to the AD for a period of time were about as close as a non-employee could get. I don’t care you if don’t believe me. You’re being kind of silly about it. All because it challenges your belief, which you refuse to budge on. I’ve said what I’ve had to say in detail. Let the audience decide.

  27. DD, what facts? You haven’t presented any facts. Perhaps you could convince me that you are right if you could explain the specific reasons (i.e., facts) why top up-and-coming coaches like Fleck would never consider coaching at IU. What is it specifically, according to your sources, that is so bad about Iu that would cause these men to completely reject IU as a career destination. Is compensation any part of it, or is it a variety of other factors? You make it sound as if they think IU Football has cooties.

    No matter how bad IU’s history has been, it’s got to be considered both a career promotion and compensation upgrade for many, if not most coaches in charge of mid-major or top FCS programs. And are you saying that IU simply can’t do anything accept hire assistant coaches/coordinators? I just don’t believe that could possibly be true. Hep’s hire proves it’s not true. Mallory’s hire proves its not true. And IU’s football facilities, reputation and budgets are better now than they were back then. That “reality” certainly has never been discussed in the media. Is it an open secret that I’ve missed. If the money was there, and I don’t mean just the head coaching compensation, but a big enough football budget, including assistant coaching compensation, recruiting budget, marketing, etc., I believe there’d be an ample number of head coaches willing to take on the challenge of making IU a winner. Sure would be interesting to see if above average compensation would work, because the current model certainly hasn’t.

  28. As published in Forbes in ?December, 2016:

    “The Hoosiers moved quickly in replacing Kevin Wilson, promoting defensive coordinator Tom Allen after a year on staff. While the stipulations of his contract have not been released, Indiana has committed to Allen for six years. While the former defensive coordinator can expect a big raise, the bar is low at Indiana as Wilson was the 10th-highest paid head coach in the Big Ten in 2016 at $2.32 Million.”

  29. As published in that same Forbes article about Purdue’s new head coach!

    Contract: 6 year, $20 Million
    2017 Compensation: $3.33 Million
    2016 Rank: 28th
    Raise: $2.53 Million
    Average 2016 Big Ten Salary: $3.52 Million
    “Brohm’s hiring at Purdue was well received in the college football world and the former Western Kentucky coach is set to get a big raise with the Boilermakers. Purdue was clearly confident in Brohm’s ability, shelling out more than the conference average to get the deal done and placing their new coach just behind Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald in compensation.”

    Note the comment, “clearly confident in Brohm’s ability, shelling out more than the conference average to get the deal done….” Wow, that’s the lowly Purdue program. Glass must be embarrassed.

  30. Glass is embarrassed to have Allen as coach…

    no no wait wait wait…..you like Allen, I forgot. Nevermind. You think he’s great….

    Ow my neck. Even I can’t do a 360 like that.

  31. These rambling posts are way too long to read. Up and coming coaches; what are they? Phil Dickens, Lee Corso, John Pont, Sam Wyche, Mallory, Cameron, DeNardo, Hepner, Lynch (some success Ball State and success currently @ Depauw, still could be up and coming), K.W., and now T.A. (Brady up and coming from Ball State to San Diego State then to Michigan. Then Rodriquez @ Mich), what is an up and coming coach? I suppose if they produce a winner for extended period of time in a major conference program, then they were up and coming.

  32. t- Couldn’t agree more. And they are the same old arguments. Butts in seats….whine…whine…whine.

    And it always turns to salary for the football coach. I could sure live with a couple million per year to do graveyard maintenance.

    Death of hope this decade? Nothing shocking…Just when it appeared Hoosier Football was pulling one foot out of the grave, we cough up the ball in a major fumble against a Buckeye. Possession goes to OSU….Only this one was a quality coach.

    The graveyard grows larger…The maintenance costs are through the dark cloud ceiling. ‘Losses by Shellacking’ burial sights(engraved as blasé coaches who prefer to remain nameless, disturbing one-sided games when Hoosiers were beaten by a team of nuns, death by tempering of expectations, empty seats spooking other empty seats, and a place your college love life died because you took a date to a Hoosier football game) are a like of sea of demons talking Hoosier trash into all ears of any big name coach who dares go near the gates of Memorial……

    How dare we hire a guy like Wilson? How dare we hire a man who didn’t believe the best way to put makeup on lost lore in hoops was to simply maintain the graveyard. But that is the shocking reality of what Wilson was able to achieve in hardly more than one full recruiting window(freshman class to senior class). But the demons won again…and we fumbled him over to OSU. Did you hear me correctly? OSU.

  33. t, it’s really about men with successful head coaching experience that have proven they can lead a winning program, whether they be up-and-coming talent, or re-treads. I used Fleck as an example of a coach who was recently considered an up-and-coming head coach. Jerry Kill was in that category before he was hired at Minnesota. Mallory, who had won at Colorado before going to Northern Illinois, could have been categorized as a “retread.” I guess you could say that RichRod at Arizona and Mike Leach at WSU also fit that category, having been successful at West Virginia and Texas Tech, respectively.

    DD, your cynicism on my opinions seems to be affecting you interpretation of what I write. The subject of the post in which I suggested “Glass must be embarrassed” was about compensation, not the men involved. Lowly Purdue is paying their new head coach a great deal more than IU is paying Allen, and over a million dollars a year more that it would have been paying KW if he had not been fired. Lowly Purdue, who IU has beaten five consecutive times and who has been worse than IU in football for several years now, and who faces the same challenges and budget limitations that IU confronts, has given their new head coach a compensation package that is above the mean for Big Ten head coaches. That must stick in the craw of Fred Glass.

    So let’s project forward. Let’s say Allen leads IU to its first winning season in a decade, which is determined by IU’s sixth consecutive victory over Purdue. Then Allen leads IU to victory in a significant bowl game. Do you think Glass will conclude that Allen deserves to be paid more that $3.3 million per year, putting him on par with our rival school to the north? Or do you think Glass will take the position that Allen already has a contract and will be expected to honor its terms. See, if Allen achieves the above scenario, I would suggest that Glass provide Allen with a brand new contract, worth about $3.5 million per year for another six years. That would make a big statement (money talks and BS walks) and protect IU Football against Allen being poached by the 20 or so schools that would not hesitate to pay him between $3.5 and $4 million per year.

    1. I’ll bet you the difference in contracts that if Allen leads Indiana to a winning season, he’ll get a hefty raise. I don’t mean 7-6 either. I mean 8 to 9 wins+.

      1. Will the offense perform well enough to keep the defense off the field….? Even with an improved defense, many three-and-outs will become quickly discouraging to team and fans alike. Do we have the depth to bend for 4 quarters without breaking? Was the gunslinger brand of football under Wilson the best brand of football to compensate for disadvantages in depth/attrition?
        Wilson made IU football unpredictable and offensively capable of striking fast. Can Allen draw fans to a stadium that often struggles to fill seats with a more conservative brand of football? Does he have the sales pitch to lure the same sort of running backs and receivers that Wilson could sell his big play designs and 4th down, go-for-it, mentality?
        Lots of unanswered questions. Hopefully, the “big playmaker” from Bloomington South decommitting is not a sign of difficulties ahead.

        The experiment continues….Wilson and Allen sure seemed to be a nice complement of brain trust meets needs to breakout of the eternal struggle that has been IU Football. Not sure if Allen can sell this to the overlooked offensive dynamos/latent stars Wilson could put in a Hoosier uniform.

  34. Then would T.A. be labeled: he was an up and coming coach. If J.K. did not win at Minnesota then would he not been an up and coming coach. I feel it kinda works in reverse depending on how successful the coach becomes when he gets the opportunity to coach in a program that confirms he was up and coming.

  35. DD, I would be delighted with a 7 – 6 record in 2017, and believe that would represent a breakthrough for Allen and his program. And if Allen’s 2017 team goes 7 – 6 , Glass should provide give Allen a new contract worth about $3.4 million per season. And if Glass does not give Allen a hefty raise in those circumstances; if he tries to equivocate by saying something like, “well, we need to give this more time,” etc., then he’s confirming my suspicions and making a huge mistake. Because not only would the IU coach who produced the first winning season in over a decade remain at the lowest or second lowest compensation in the Big Ten, but as a result, IU would be at risk of losing Allen to another school in the following years. It would be cynical and counter-productive. There’d be no excuse for not giving Allen “a hefty raise,”: aside from, as I suspect, Glass is a risk-averse “Manager” who believes his Athletic Department’s budget is sacrosanct, and who would rather lose a promising head coach then exceed his budget. Maybe it’s not the fault of Glass. Maybe those are the marching orders he’s been given by IU’s Board of Trustees or President McRobbie. Maybe his hands are tied, but according to some of the experts commenting on this site, money won’t be a problem if Glass finds the right man for the job. Regardless, it would be a HUGE mistake not to pay Allen at a level above the Big Ten’s mean compensation for Big Ten Head coaches. It would send the wrong signal and extend the negative narrative that exists about IU Football.

    t, Allen was an up-and-coming coach, but without any head-coaching experience at the college level, therefore he was not an “up-can-coming head coach.” Most guys like Allen prove themselves as top-level Coordinators with major-conference schools (which he has done) and then become head coaches at mid-majors. If those men are successful at those smaller programs (like Fleck at WMU), then they get hired by a school in a major conference (i.e., the Big Ten). That’s the route Fleck and K.W. took, and that’s the route Hep took. That approach represents the conventional wisdom applied by most major conference Athletic Directors (“the best indication of future performance is past performance”). But for some reason, Glass does not seem to appreciate that conventional wisdom. I believe it’s because Glass will not, or cannot spend the money necessary to hire an up-and-coming head coach who has proven he creates winners in college football. And I simply don’t believe there is anything inherently wrong with IU, other than compensation, that repulses potential up-and-coming head football coaches from considering the job.

    There’s a big difference between being a top coordinator and being a head coach. Both Wilson and Allen, and many others have testified to that fact. There are different skill sets required. There’s a learning curve involved. And most major-conference schools hire football coaches who have proven themselves as a head coach in lower profile jobs (i.e., mid major programs). But IU, under Glass manages the football program like IU is a mid-major school. And in my opinion, that is one of the reasons why IU football has not produced a winning season in the last decade. Nothing would please me more than if Allen breaks that cycle and establishes himself as a successful head coach.

  36. If elite football programs like Michigan, OSU, ND, Penn State, etc. attempt to lure any IU football coach, would you honestly believe money to be deciding factor in retaining our coach? The names of those programs on your coaching resume reach far beyond a 5-year contract worth 12 million or 16 million.
    I don’t sell Allen off as being merely about the money. A poor 12 million compared to a comfortable 16 million? Get in soup kitchen line.
    Allen has some very strong Indiana roots…Rather than being so cynical in believing anyone can be bought, maybe we”ll soon realize that we have stumbled upon a man who believes he can bring the first premier Big Ten football program to the state of Indiana? Maybe he understands that sort of miracle is beyond priceless….and a feat yet to be truly achieved by any coach.
    Merely taking the Indiana job is relegating yourself to quasi “assistant.” Wilson never really stopped being an assistant because, outside of some moral victory of never-before-seen competitiveness, he still never got the Hoosiers over the hump. A definition of getting over the hump is defeating the big boys of the conference. It’s defeating more than one on your home field. It’s winning on the road against the likes of a Michigan, PSU, OSU, etc…. Until you take Indiana to such a promise land, you will have remained an “assistant”…or, more devastating(in terms of perceptions by your peers), be demoted into believing you just weren’t as strong of a head coach as you thought you were.
    I truly believe Indiana will only rise via a pathway of cocoon to flight for both the coach and the program. Why? Because any high profile head coach who would take the job is probably just a bank robber whose confidence to coach is on the decline. They will merely come to Indiana to rob our budgets rather than truly makes us worthy to be part of the Big Ten.

  37. Fans know it is early in the 2018 recruiting season, but IU is dead last in the Big 10!!!! Maybe this is to be expect with a first year head coach and a new coaching staff, but IU is in no place to be last in recruiting. Currently IU has a team that on paper and according to some football sources/magazine (Athlon,ESPN,Sporting News, Smith and Street) have a team that will be very competitive in the Big 10. A team that has been built on Kevin Wilson recruits. For all of coach Kevin Wilson arrogance (which all coaches have) and obnoxious, Kevin Wilson had a knowledge of football and could find talented college football players. Enough talented football players to make IU football more competitive. Although Kevin Wilson never had a winning record, and only beat the low hanging (Purdue) Big 10 teams, his team where competitive and most of recruiting classes ranked close to middle of the Big 10. I know it is early in the recruiting process but IU is very well behind the rest of teams in the Big 10, especially when you look at the other school with new head coaches like Minnesota (ranked 5 in Big 10) and Purdue (everybody in the Big 10) ahead of Indiana. Does this reflect that Indiana hired a coach with no head coaching experience. An recruits are waiting/not committing because they want to see what happens. If this is the case either there will be a rush of quality recruits committing late or Indiana welcome back to the cellar in two to three years. Good Luck Tom Allen and Hoosier Nation.

  38. IU79, it’s still too early to draw any conclusions about IU’s recruiting class for 2018. But we can’t be surprised by the slow start to this next recruiting class. People fear the unknown, and Tom Allen is, in relative terms, an unknown. The players, the High School coaches outside of the state of Indiana, and the players’ families don’t know much about Tom Allen and his staff. T.A. and his staff are virtually starting from scratch. And furthermore, they really don’t know if T.A. is stable at IU. Oh, they’ve read in the papers that T.A. has a six year contract, but the details of that contract have not been made public. And didn’t Glass just fire K.W. shortly after giving him a new multi-year contract? From the players’ perspective, they may be questioning if T.A. will be at IU for the next four or five years?

    It is said that Tom Allen is well known and very popular amongst Indiana High School football coaches. And while that’s great, the problem is that IU football has such a long-established image problem within the state of Indiana, it’s unlikely that all of T.A’s personal popularity will be able to neutralize his program’s reputation within the state. “Familiarity breeds contempt, “which is why I think IU will, for the next few years, get its best Return-On-Investment in recruiting by going after players outside the state of Indiana.

    But the good news is that producing a winning season in 2017 will allow T.A. to begin improving IU’s football recruiting is a big way.

    1. Details of the contract were posted by Mike Miller. Saw on Twitter. I’ll let Mike share.

  39. Yes, and it’s not good news for IU Football. In fact, it’s even worse than I expected. From my vantage point, when compared to the deals that Purdue and Minnesota just gave their new head football coaches, every IU sports fan should be embarrassed by terms of Allen’s contract. Glass may be too shrewd for his own good, and I predict Allen’s contract will turn out to be “penny wise and pound foolish.”

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