So today was going to be the day when I got out in front of the stories circulating around the football program with what I know about the coaching search and the situation with names that keep coming up. That takes a bit of a backseat as some news has broken this afternoon that the Ball State football team will have no recognition banquet or season close out which was originally planned for January 17.
In a message sent from Michael Clark, Associate AD for Strategic Communication, to the 2015 football team:
To the 2015 Football Team:
I hope you had a wonderful holiday break. We look forward to seeing you soon.
As you know by now, Coach Lembo has taken a position at the University of Maryland. Because of this transition period, we are cancelling the football banquet. To honor our seniors who have played their last game for Ball State, we will hold a reception for the student-athletes and their families early in the spring semester. More details will follow soon.
Please enjoy this last week with your families and travel safely back to Muncie this weekend.
So that’s delightful. A source close to the program also shared an email circulated to parents that indicated this was the first cancellation of such an event in the last two decades. We’ve also received reports from OTP sources that the football staff that remains in place in Muncie was prepared to move forward with the banquet, but senior athletics administration decided that would not be prudent. “Thanks for your service guys, we’ll try to have some cookies and punch for you at some point if we can get somebody hired!” was what I presume that conversation was like.
Admittedly, the hiring of a new coach takes the utmost priority and attention, but I think you’d be hard pressed to find many people (apparently including those that work in the Fisher Football Complex) that don’t think having some sort of celebration of the team, staff, and coaches isn’t appropriate, needed, or expected. If the argument is that a new coach isn’t in place, I’m quite positive Coaches Lustig, Kelly, and Lynch can figure out how to get guys shown up to a banquet. Football players like to eat. I was one. If the worry is a new coach will be there, I would hope like hell he’s adult enough to handle that or if he isn’t, don’t show up. Seems simple enough.
The biggest reason to absolutely ignore is that Coach Pete Lembo is gone. CPL always preached that the program should be recession proof and live on after he’s gone. If it can’t even sustain a cold cut tray or some baked ziti, I’d say we’re officially screwed. This is Ball State University, not the University of Pete Lembo, and I think we’d do well to remember that before we sob over milk that’s already been spilt. So, no banquet, no coach, and the beat goes on in Muncie.
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