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Rich McFarlane, Published December 14 2013

Letter: Forum’s Bohl editorial asks silly question

As evidenced by The Forum’s Dec. 10 editorial. “Bohl sets off raging prairie fire,” The Forum’s Editorial Board clearly doesn’t do their research or tune into competitors’ programming.

The Forum states, “Until Bohl exits the NDSU stage speculation about ‘why?’ will rage like a prairie fire.” Forum, did you even listen to Bohl himself answer the question of “why” on Sunday morning – 36 hours before the editorial was published online? During the Dec. 8 “Craig Bowl Football Show” on a competing news source, Bohl stated (and I’m paraphrasing) that he came to NDSU with the goal of winning a national championship, and he has accomplished this twice. We all know his team is favored for a third title.

He later stated on the same program (again paraphrasing) that he has taken this football program as far as he can take it, and said it’s time for someone else to take over as he steps aside.

A Wyoming salary schedule that triples what North Dakota State University could pay him is also a no-brainer. Yet The Forum asks “why?” Where’s the research before publishing an editorial?

The editorial criticizes Bohl’s timing of the announcement: “Bohl missed a beat last weekend. ... Most disturbing, the coach’s decision seems to have sandbagged team members,” implying Bohl should have told his players first. Wrong again. Bohl had scheduled the team meeting for the next morning, but CBSsports.com beat Bohl to the punch, deciding to run its story Saturday night. Furthermore, University of Wyoming Athletic Director Tom Burman has said in interviews that he had to move quickly to make a hire, regardless of where any other team is in their respective playoff run, as it’s in the best interest of his program. It’s business.

It’s a shame The Forum didn’t do the research and gave Bohl a bit of an undeserved parting blow on his way out.

For good reason, many in the community are emotionally attached to Bohl and his leadership. But keep in mind, college athletics, including timing of coaching hires, is a business. Give the guy some credit.

Thanks for the great ride, Coach Bohl. Please, take the laughable Forum editorial with a grain of salt. It’s a weak one.


McFarlane lives in Grand Forks.