Greg Auman, the wonderful beat reporter covering South Florida for the Tampa Bay Times, has uncovered what many of us on the outside have suspected: there's a growing dissatisfaction with the performance of the South Florida football program. The Bulls are 2-4, have lost four in a row, and two of those losses came at the hands of MAC team Ball State and Temple. The team picked to finish last in the Big East, and whose only other win had come against FCS team Villanova. Auman, via an open records request, Auman uncovered an email expressing clear dissatisfaction with head coach Skip Holtz and the team's performance. He writes:
The one-line email was fired off at 3:26 p.m. Saturday, within a minute of the end of USF's humbling 37-28 loss at Temple, and sent to the chief of staff of USF President Judy Genshaft.
"Disgusting and unacceptable," it read. "We have major problems with our football program."
By Monday morning, that email was forwarded to USF athletic director Doug Woolard, with another one-line note: "Hope things are better. Make sure you have conversation with the Board Chair. Thanks."
Yes, the sentiment of the email echoed that of dozens of others sent to Woolard by USF fans in recent days and obtained by the Tampa Bay Times through a public-records request, but the sender was notable: John Ramil, a USF graduate, the president and CEO of TECO Energy, and more important, a powerful man on campus as the chairman of USF's Board of Trustees.
Obviously, this is bad news for Skip Holtz, because it's never a good thing to be on the bad side of the chairman of the Board of Trustees. If the chairman of the board can get Joe Paterno fired at Penn State, he can surely get Skip Holtz run out of South Florida after three season of below average football. The Bulls are 2-4 and still have games against Louisville, Cincinnati, and Miami, all on the road. The likelihood of just making a bowl game are low. Would a second straight losing season with a senior-laden team that arguably has as much talent as anyone else in the Big East be enough to cause South Florida to eat Holtz's long extension and make a move? Perhaps.
While this is bad news for Skip Holtz, I think this is good news for South Florida fans. Many have expressed frustration with the sense that perhaps athletic director Doug Woolard and others are not aware of the discontent among fans. Well, it's obvious that not only are they aware, but the powerful people that have pull are aware and are making their feelings known. If things continue to go south, it looks like it won't be tolerated for long.