Should Augie Stay?

Augie Garrido. (Texassports.com)

Augie Garrido. (Texassports.com)

COOK: Texas rallies against OSU, stays alive in Big 12 tourney

Most of you, I would suspect, will not agree with what I’m about to say. If you are on this site, you probably are serious about your Longhorns, you have high expectations for UT sports teams, and you want the school to always strive to do the right thing.

Which is why Augie Garrido should be allowed to finish his contract next year as the Texas baseball coach.

The ads all say “We’re Texas.” What starts here changes the world, right?

We spend football season impressed by the on-the-field prowess of the Southeastern Conference, but over beers we always add the disclaimer that we don’t want to “win like that.” We brag – sometimes smugly, sometimes obnoxiously – about our standards being higher than others.

When realignment talk heats up, we never entertain the thought of joining the SEC because, “we aren’t aligned” with those “types” of schools. For the most part, we laud Charlie Strong for his “core values”, though certainly a sub-.500 won-loss record makes those values a little more difficult to embrace.

We say we are above the fray.

We’re different. We’re Texas.

Which is why Garrido should be allowed to finish his contract next year as the Texas baseball coach.

Here’s what we do if we are, in fact, Texas:

We honor the last year of Garrido’s contract. No one argues that the baseball program is losing far more than expected. The results are obvious: it seems like every Tuesday, the Longhorns are losing to somebody lower on the totem pole. Sunday games are a problem. Winning conference games is a problem. Hitting is a problem. Defense is a problem. Attendance is a problem. It’s not good.

It’s very similar to football and basketball in recent years on the 40 Acres, but we should all pray the ending here is handled with considerably more grace.

Anyone recall how clumsily the exits of Mack Brown and Rick Barnes were handled? Poor communication, or lack of communication at all, and misleading signals all around, rumors bubbling to the surface from everywhere. Boosters popping off. Completely embarrassing, unprofessional, uncaring and more than a little icky.

If the higher ups want to replace Garrido, that’s certainly within their power, and completely understandable. Everyone’s job gets evaluated.

When the season ends, bring him in and tell him we want him to complete his contract, and then we want to build him a statue and a boat and buy him a luxury box during football season. Give him a 30-minute, Ellen DeGeneres-type talk show on the Longhorn Network; that would be epic, listening to Augie Zen wax poetic with guests about everything from race relations to fine food.

If you’re concerned about recruiting with a lame duck coach, then find your next head coach now – if it’s Skip Johnson, the current second-in-command, then make the announcement now. If it’s not Johnson, then you have some time to find out who the next skipper will be. Texas baseball is down, but will certainly be able to attract a Cadillac coach. We’re Texas, after all.

And if 17- and 18-year old high school baseball stars aren’t sharp enough to realize that, then you probably don’t want them on your team anyway.

Honor the contract; be honorable. Be who we say we are. Let Augie have the love-fest that he, and Texas, deserves. He’s under contract because of what he’s done, what he’s earned, what he’s won. He did what he was brought here to do. Make it special, not sloppy.

After fumbling Brown and Barnes, surely Texas will realize that allowing Garrido to fulfill his contract is not only the right thing to do, ethically, but also spares the embarrassment that came when Brown and Barnes left. This time, when the school and the coach says it’s a “mutual agreement” maybe it will actually be, in fact, a “mutual agreement.”

This time, maybe we can actually be who we say we are.

We’re Texas, after all.