To most of the country, a school like “Central State University” sounds precisely like the setting of a movie about college sports and a program where the ethics have begun to run dry, (movie trailer voice) until one man takes a stand. Think Western U in Blue Chips. Or Eastern State in The Program. Or Big State U in He Got Game. We could go on.
But no, it’s real– Central State is a historically black school (HBCUs, the kids call ‘em) in Ohio. Their athletic director is someone you’ve probably heard of, Kellen Winslow Sr. No, not the effing soldier, his dad. This guy. Anyway, he had a job opening at CSU, so he contacted ousted Tampa Bay Bucs coach Jon Gruden about it. To nobody’s surprise, Gruden passed on the opportunity, but according to the HBCU SPORTS BLOG, KW1 seems to think his Marauders were just so, so close to landing him:
Winslow said his first phone call about the job opening went to former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden, the former University of Dayton quarterback, who Winslow said seriously considered the opportunity.
Emphasis, as always, is ours. What Winslow probably means is that he offered Gruden the job, then Gruden said “Seriously?” and hung up the phone before punching through a wall.
Setting aside the notion that Gruden might not want to go from making millions a year coaching in the NFL to, what, $50k (if that?) to coach in front of a couple thousands of fans, what message would that hire send to students at an HBCU? “Yes, black people can achieve anything, but we’re going to have to bring in this diminutive screaming white man to teach you about football. No double standards here, no sir.”
Winslow eventually settled on former NFL All-Pro E.J. Junior, who is not related to this guy. Junior is oh you don’t care great neither do we goodbye.