One of the things critics of Scott Shafer's firing have been saying since is that Mark Coyle and the Syracuse Orange better be ready to play ball with the big boys if they're going to take a chance like this. If the initial report over why Oregon Ducks OC Scott Frost is going to coach the UCF Knights instead of the Orange are true, it doesn't quite sound like we are.
Over the weekend Syracuse — whose athletic director had been at Boise State in 2013 — offered the job to Frost with a starting figure close to $1.2 million, according to a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The figure is in line with the salary fired Orange coach Scott Shafer earned this year. Frost wanted to keep his options open, however, and quickly received an offer from Central Florida.
If that is in fact the full offer....woof. There's a time to negotiate hardball and there's a time to prove that you're the one worth taking a chance on. Syracuse may have tried the former when they should have been the latter. Yes that number sounds like what Scott Shafer and even Doug Marrone were getting but this is a buyer's market right now. You can't go same-old, same-old and expect to get better results.
That said, we may also be getting incomplete information. SU's basketball and football coaches get a large percentage of their salaries paid for by IMG. The full offer could well have been higher than that "base." Who's to say what that source knew, exactly?
Also, it also leaves out some details. How many years were we talking about? Some reports say that the issue was more about years than salary (Frost reportedly only wanted two while Coyle offered five). That very well could have had more of an impact than the financial compensation.
However you slice it, it doesn't look good that Syracuse is on the record as having offered Frost and he instead decided to go coach an 0-12 AAC school. It's probably a smart move by him because any positive movement there is improvement and many people suspect he's just treading water until the Nebraska job opens up anyway. If he goes 6-6 there next year, he's royalty.
Syracuse moves on but the cat might be out of the bag in terms of what SU has to offer. In any kind of negotiating atmosphere, that's never a good thing.