Tulane’s athletic woes go beyond on-field problems

Whatever fans Tulane has left, they sure lit up the message boards after a 65-10 loss at Georgia Tech.

Fire the head coach! Fire the offensive coordinator!

Like somehow what was seen at Grant Field in Atlanta on Sept. 12 was an anomaly.

Lest they forget that in Bob Toledo’s final season, 2011, the Green Wave lost at the Superdome to Houston 73-17.

My take has been consistent: if at the end of this season, Tulane decided to hire its 11th different football coach since 1976, it wouldn’t make any real difference.

Tulane is a university with a football problem. And, the reason Tulane football is not successful is that the university won’t do what it takes to build a program that can sustain success.

Let’s run down the list of excuses, just over the past 15 seasons.

Former Tulane president Scott Cowen railed over the unfairness of the BCS, while his school’s football program floundered under his leadership. Katrina came along, and though it presented challenges, it was used as an excuse for almost a decade of constant gridiron failure.

Then, once the Katrina excuse grew old, the Superdome got the blame. Too big, they said. No tailgating, they said. Need to develop that on-campus atmosphere, they said. Need a home field advantage, they said.

So, $80 million was raised to build an on-campus football stadium. On game nights, it costs a lot of money to operate that stadium. Tulane was paying $12,000 a game to play in an iconic football venue. Tulane’s record in the new stadium, against FBS competition, currently stands at one win, five losses. Over the past five seasons and two games, Tulane's record was 18 wins, 46 losses. Four of those wins came against either Southeastern Louisiana or Jackson State.

Yulman Stadium was supposed to be the facility that got Tulane’s football compass moving a steady north.

Does head coach Curtis Johnson get some blame for the current state of the football program? Sure. He’s the head coach. His special teams are abysmal, again. But, if you go back and watch the tape, you quickly realize that Johnson faces the same hurdle most every other Tulane coach has faced. The other team has better players, and more of them.

So if you give money to Tulane athletics, or buy tickets to games, you need to ask why there is no accountability in the president’s office or on the members of the Tulane board. Are they not embarrassed by the continuous losing?

Don’t they realize that an “academic” institution – Georgia Tech – beat the Wave by 55 points?

And, here’s my biggest question: If you change coaches, who in their right mind would want the job?

Ed Daniels is sports director of ABC26 WGNO. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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