Don McPherson, college hall of fame quarterback and leader on Syracuse’s undefeated 1987 football team, said that disruptions in house are what led to the Orange’s 0-5 conclusion to the season in an interview with the CNY Sports Magazine.
“With the Syracuse team last year, there were some disruptions in the coaching staff and personnel. Sometimes you can make that one wrong move in one of those areas and you can lose the team. And I think that’s what happened with SU. I don’t know what it was internally, but I believe that last year’s team stopped communicating with each other. It was very evident in the games I covered for SNY that you didn’t see that positive non-verbal communication happening. You saw a lot of hands in the air after plays which meant they weren’t communicating during plays.”
While Donnie Mac gave Orange fans one of the most memorable seasons in the history of Syracuse football, it is a bold statement to make if you are not inside the locker room. To say there were disruptions with the coaching staff, and then to say that you don’t know internally what the problem was, you are making a blanket statement that can be made by anybody. I understand that his opinion carries more weight than an average fan, but at the same time he is basing that opinion off of the same information that anyone else can get.
McPherson without a doubt bleeds Orange, and could very easily be right in his judgement that there was a problem within the coaching staff. It is pretty clear that something went haywire following the West Virginia game, and it is even more apparent when practices were closed to the public leading up to the season opener this past spring and summer. However, when your voice carries the weight that McPherson’s does, I believe an opinion should be more informed than just a general assumption on the topic.
He turns it in to more of an opinion towards the end of his answer saying that he believes the team last year stopped communicating with each other, and that he thinks a wrong move was made inside the locker room. He establishes his opinion, an opinion that is more knowledgable about Syracuse football than I or the vast majority of other people will ever have. But in a season where there is a lot of pressure on Doug Marrone to win, I am not sure if it is fair to blame disruptions in his coaching staff as the reason why the team collapsed last fall. He backed the statement up with his opinion, but the initial statement was made as if it were fact.
McPherson is an Orangeman, and I absolutely respect his opinion. I just am not sure if this one was a fair statement to make.
Was Don McPherson’s comment about the SU coaching staff fair? Leave your opinions!