The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Football staff, not the players, is to blame for early losses

As a proud SMU football fan from the class of 2007, I have witnessed a total of eight wins in the past three years. I came back with optimism after an 0-12 season in 2003. I believed in the rebuilding process as we went from 3 wins in 2004 to 5 last year.

I rushed the field as hard as I could after we beat TCU, and I wish I could have been in Birmingham last October to witness the dramatic victory over UAB.  I have put hundreds of miles on my car driving to Lubbock, College Station, Stillwater and, most recently, Denton to support our team in early season games.  After Saturday night’s humiliation at the hands of UNT, my optimism for the future of SMU football has all but disappeared.

Since I arrived as a freshman in 2003, the football staff has kicked off each season by telling students, parents and alumni that this is the year to expect significant progress. They tell us that the right players are finally in the right places and that we are ready to contend for a conference championship and a bowl berth. With a favorable non-conference schedule on the slate in 2006 and renewed optimism among the players, I believed them this year more so than ever. 

After Saturday night’s disaster, I only hope they have some answers for the remainder of a season that’s going nowhere fast.

I have made the effort to get to know many of our players and tell them how excited I am to support them every Saturday. We have many talented student-athletes at SMU who deserve better than this, which is why I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of Phil Bennett and his staff.

I first heard Coach Bennett speak at a leadership conference my freshman year. In the midst of that forgettable winless season, I discovered that he was a man of high integrity who was committed to improving SMU football. He may have a great resume as a defensive coordinator or assistant coach, but based on what I saw on the field Saturday night, this coaching staff is hardly capable of leading a Division I football program.

UNT did not have better football talent or better athletes, but they were better coached, better prepared and hungrier to win than we were. Our effort Saturday night reflected poorly on Coach Bennett and his staff.

On a personal note to Bobby Chase, Justin Willis, Randy Denman, DeMyron Martin, Joe Sturdivant and every other football player I have met over the past three years: I am extremely supportive of all of your efforts on the field and elsewhere in the name of our university.

Along with many other students, I recognize the hard work and time commitment required of football, and I will continue to attend both home and away games this season.

I wish all of you the best in the remainder of your time at SMU, but many of us are running out of reasons to believe in the current state of the program.

 

About the writer:

Kyle Snyder is a finance and political science double major. He can be reached at [email protected].

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