Walden gets a horrible rap, but when you look at the scholarship situation along with cleaning up Criner's mess, it was an uphill battle.
Add in some horrific facilities, and it's easy to see why it ended the way it did for him.
I chuckled a little bit when I read this lineQuote:
Iowa State is no Alabama or Penn State
So he's blaming the NCAA sanctions for attrition, transfers, and graduating seniors??? Sounds like BS to me. Good coaches win, bad coaches lose, and Walden clearly lost a LOT.
I couldn't remember all that happened during Criner's regime. For those who don't either or are too young, read this comedy:
Jim Criner's Firing Ends 21 Months of Unrest at Iowa State - Los Angeles Times
Hughes Suffren played for Johnny Orr after getting kicked off the team? Don't remember that. I do remember him playing pick-up BB at Beyer hall when I was in Junior High ( i think i was still in j-high at the time. Too lazy to think about the dates
I remember how bad the Walden years were but had no idea it was such an uphill climb for him. Of course that was before the internet existed so you didn't have so much information readily available to you.
It still doesn't excuse the fact that he refused to play Troy Davis. I remember one game he sent Troy in to a thunderous ovation. He had 1 carry for I believe 13 yards and never saw the field the rest of the game.
Walden faced an uphill climb, there is no doubt. But it seemed, especially towards the end, he would rather just throw up his hands and cry about it than work his ***** off. ******** to the media about facilities about how he couldn't recruit got real old after a while.
Then when Danny Mac came in, Walden hung around town and ******* about all the special treatment he got: New facilities, new surface at JTS, new press box, etc. Where was all this when I was there?
Like most fans, I liked him at first, but his "poor me" act got real old after 7-8 years of it.
The gist that I took from the article:
1) If you're at a school that isn't a traditional power, like ISU, recovering from steep sanctions is all but impossible.
2) If you're at a traditional power, like Alabama, then it's a blip on your radar.
3) Rough for Penn State right now, but then back to rolling along.
I've been watching games since the Clay Stapleton era. Walden energized the fan base for the first few years, ie. postering with Johnny Orr for example. However, his teams kept fizzling out as the season wore on. During his last 2 years, it was so obvious that he was loosing his teams - they just gave up about 2/3 way through each of last 2 seasons - SO OBVIOUS. I don't know how much of this was really the result of less scholarship players or his whining was a smoke screen for poor success on the field. We celebrated when he resigned.
Geesh, that was a painful read.
But it doesn't sound like the sanctions were even that steep. In the article, he's literally blaming his lack of numbers on graduating seniors and transfers. Transfers are a fact of life with any coaching change, and if he wasn't aware that football players do in fact graduate (or at least run out of eligibility), then I don't really know what to say about him.