Alabama baseball coach threatens to pull players' scholarships, gets fired
- Author: Larry Hoffman May 25, 2017,
May 25, 2017, 16:00
The Tuscaloosa News previously reported that Goff attempted to reduce or revoke scholarships for up to 10 players in violation of NCAA rules during their exit interviews earlier this week. "We want to find the best possible college baseball coach that we can for The University of Alabama".
Byrne said he informed Goff of the decision Wednesday morning and then met with those players who were available to explain the situation to them before his public announcement.
After a tumultuous first year that saw the Crimson Tide (19-34-1, 5-24-1 SEC) founder through one of the worst seasons in program history, Goff was sacked Wednesday morning - less than a year after he was hired. It was the team's fewest wins in a season since 1980 and the worst SEC record for the program since 1994.
Goff was sacked without cause and will receive the $1.06 million he is owed for the remaining four years on his contract.
Associate head coach Terry Rooney was named interim head coach until a new hire can be made, but Byrne made it clear Rooney wouldn't be considered for the position. Coaches are going to make decisions that sometimes aren't going to be popular to everybody, that aren't going to be popular to the team, aren't going to popular to the fan base and the families, and that's OK.
Byrne discussed the dismissal, noted that no NCAA rules had been violated (as has been speculated), and touched on the future. Don't read too much into that, I'm just trying to give you some examples. That could be a head coach, that could be an assistant coach, but we want somebody that's been in college baseball and understands the dynamics of that. It was his first stint in the Power Five as a head coach with previous stops coming with Montevallo, Campbell and Louisiana Tech.
"Things are not easy for these coaches; their families; this program; and this is not something we take lightly at all", said Byrne. "Coach Goff has had a lot of success over the years as a baseball coach, and I know that he will have success in the future as well". The Crimson Tide did not qualify for this week's SEC tournament in Hoover.
Byrne pointed out the advantages at Alabama, including the Sewell-Thomas Stadium, that the athletics department funds baseball "at a very high level", and the Alabama brand.