"Can you guys shut up about f*ball?"

“Can you guys shut up about f***ball?”

Tonight Capital published an email from PrezBo sent to the football alumni calling for  M. Dianne Murphy to commission a review of the f***ball program. Considering the unsurprisingly horrible past season for the team, PrezBo is finally ready to figure out what’s wrong with the program and why we suck. The review is asking former coach Rick Taylor to lead the review. Taylor led a successful review of Dartmouth’s program years ago, so here’s to hoping he can work some magic at Columbia. Further, this review does not call for the resignation of current head coach Peter Mangurian as many would hope as a solution to the failure of the team.

PrezBo’s email to f***ball alumni:

Dear members of the Columbia Football Players Club:

It goes without saying that the results of this football season have been disappointing, not least to our dedicated players who continue to commit so much of themselves to excelling as scholar-athletes.

Many people throughout the University have worked very hard over the past decade to provide every level of support for all Columbia sports. The results for almost all of our sports have been spectacular. Our teams now regularly win championships, vie for Ivy championships, and often compete on the national stage. Columbia Football should be, and must be, competitive within the values of Ivy League athletics. The several obstacles to success that have been noted over the years have now been removed. We have new and renovated facilities, generous support from loyal alumni, an impressive recruiting effort that includes faculty and deans, and thoughtful support on campus for our student-athletes.

Yet the fact remains that no one has yet succeeded in building a sustainable, competitive football program at Columbia in several decades. But you can be sure that as I speak with candidates who might succeed Dianne Murphy as Athletics Director, this is a key topic of conversation. We must, therefore, ask ourselves whether the changes instituted still need time to manifest successes on the field and whether there is still more we can do to help our students be competitive.

To help us answer those questions, I have asked Dianne to commission a review of our football program by respected former coach and athletics director Rick Taylor, who performed a similar review several years ago at Dartmouth as it began its own long-term effort to turn around its football fortunes. Rick coached football as an assistant at Lehigh and Dartmouth and was head coach at Boston University. He served as athletics director at BU and Cincinnati prior to ten years at Northwestern. Importantly for us he was part of demonstrated football improvement at each of those institutions. He will begin immediately to talk to coaches, current and past players, administrators, alumni, and others, as well as working with Coach Pete Mangurian to see if there are steps that can be taken immediately with our current program.

When Pete started as coach, he was candid in saying that it would not be an easy or short process to institute fundamental change in a long-standing culture that had failed to produce success. I know there are some frustrated students, alumni, and fans who understandably feel we should hire a new coach and start yet again. It is my belief, however, that this is a moment when we will benefit most by enlisting a new superb Athletics Director and engaging in serious self-reflection, while maintaining our course in helping an extremely young team grow, recruit top-flight student-athletes to bolster our depth, and ultimately work with the new Athletics Director to do everything we can to make Columbia football every bit as competitive as the rest of our thriving intercollegiate athletics.


Lee C. Bollinger