Week in and week out over the last couple of seasons, fans have watched the sun set on most Saturdays with Eastern Michigan University football being embarrassed by schools in the Mid-American Conference and teams from other leagues such as the Big Ten Conference and American Athletic Conference.
Even worse, the same old script of whether or not EMU athletic director Heather Lyke will relieve head coach Ron English of his duties now or at season’s end has reached its apex.
Given the double-digit losses of the last five weeks (45-7 at Penn State, 28-10 at Rutgers, 51-20 vs. Ball State, 42-14 at Buffalo and 50-25 at Army), more than ever fans deserve an answer now as to when, not if English gets dismissed.
“I think we will hear nothing until the decision to let him go is made,” Eagle Totem blogger Jeremy Rosenberg said. “I would hope that the AD [Lyke] is doing what is necessary to move the program forward.”
I am okay with him going now or at the end of the season, but the longer this issue is not addressed in public, then the message Lyke is sending whether it is intentional or not to the fan base is that you are okay with EMU losing every week to teams by double digits.
If that is the case, then it is a far cry from trying to build a sports culture at EMU.
Even worse, with English’s job status uncertain, this could start to hurt from a recruiting standpoint, even though in my opinion it has been that way since at least a season ago or maybe longer.
Before English took over in 2009, Jeff Genyk had little success as he went 16-42 (.276 win percentage) in five seasons as EMU head coach and never had a winning season.
In his four and a half seasons as head coach, English is 11-43 (.204 win percentage) and even if he were to win out, would only be one game better than Genyk.
Sure, people can make the argument about English having a 6-6 season in 2011, but if you go into detail, two of those wins were against Howard University and Alabama State University from the lower level Football Championship Subdivision, so in theory he won six games, but let’s be real, it did not come close to feeling like a successful season despite the official records.
I get that EMU is not the likes of the University of Alabama, the University of Texas and the University of Southern California in terms of prestige, but a standard for the program must be set now or there never will be and it will become the school where coaching careers come to die every five seasons.
For what seems like an eternity, EMU has tried to copy its model off of Michigan in hopes of gaining notoriety and respect.
The bitter reality is that the complete opposite has occurred with fans in the area flocking to games at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, while Rynearson Stadium is nothing more than an afterthought.
Lyke can no longer run from the situation as English’s get out of jail free cards have expired and owes everyone in the community a decision on his future so everyone can move forward and look for better days with the program.
If another Saturday comes and goes with no whisper about English’s immediate future, then the sports culture Lyke talked about is nothing more than another hoax to keep everyone from having a true voice and at the end of the day makes all of us losers.
Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @EasternEchoGeno.
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