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Retiring No. 22 Saturday; an addendum to today's story on FIU football

Among the fuss surrounding Saturday afternoon's home men's basketball game against Florida Gulf Coast will be the retiring of jersey No. 22.

No, not Elvis Lopez nor Keith Greer. Senior guard Jerica Coley, the shining light of the women's basketball program and, right now, the athletic department, will get the honor at halftime of Saturday's game. Coley's putting up 26.0 points per game this season for team she's had to carry all the more because of the ineligibility of center Marita Davydova.

Be one of the first 300 students into the arena and get a blue basketball tank top. And there will be a Greek Row Tailgate outside the student gate from 1:30-3:30. The first 10 organizations to e-mail Maegan Azpiazu at mazpiazu@fiu.edu get to pound their food there.


Not everything we write makes it to print or online. An editing decision made on today's FIU football story cut an important part.

I tried to talk to FIU athletic director Pete Garcia Wednesday. My opinion was he was the one who pulled the trigger on Mario Cristobal's firing, he should be the one to give his point of view on where things stand with the football prgram a year later. Whether you agree with the firing of not, this wasn't a normal sacking with an easy, by-every-number explanation, but one that still has some people around the country shaking their heads. This is one that's going to be revisited.

I requested to speak with Garcia at 12:16 p.m. At 5:55 p.m., an FIU athletic department spokesman got back to me that Garcia preferred not to comment for this story. I wrote that at the close of the story. That line was removed in the editing.


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Well it seems that Mr. Garcia does NOT answer to anyone, including President Rosenberg. Don't be surprised he side stepped you. Mr. Garcia needs to begone already!

What a wuss! Man up and defend your actions. At a minimum say something that people can understand and stand behind you. Jesus, at the very, very least, lie and state we are in the process of bringing together the best team ever! Or something like that. Say something!!!

This is why our football program is hopeless now: paying double (if not triple) amount of money to hire a clown as AD and when things go down this clown hides behind the door....


No offense, but who cares. I'm over the Cristobal story line, already. As a story, it's a year old. I'd rather focus on a story with Turner about what the plan is to turn everything around.

And honestly, I'd rather hear from Turner then Garcia on the state of FIU Football. It's Turner and his staff that are going to be evaluating talent, recruiting, signing, hiring new coaches, teaching & implementing their scheme, etc. Those things are infinitely more vital to the health of FIU Football then what Pete Garcia has to say about a firing that occurred one year ago.

Oh, and count me as one of the fans that's excited to see more attention being given to men's basketball. Aside from the on-court activities, the overall atmosphere was bland last year (as well as previous seasons). They've done a much better job dressing up the place, adding a few in game promotions/giveaways, and attempted to create a more festive environment for the big games. I have a feeling those kind of things might pay off more for men's basketball in the short term, then it did for football this season.

Count me in as one of those fans that thought firing Cristobal was a huge mistake. But, I am not in the fire PG camp either at this point. However, I can easily switch over if I don't see improvement next year. Unfortunately, too many FIU students don't care about FIU. The director of entertainment needs to step up and be bold.

DP, I agree, basketball last year was fun and even the atmosphere this year, at least to the two games I have gone too this year, have had a fun atmosphere. I especially liked watching Taylor, which for some reason is not playing because the athletics department dropped the ball; embarrassing!!!

Anyhow, I could careless about the Cristobal firing; what I do care about is the football program, the basketball program, the baseball program, etc. The football program sucked and the basketball program just had a drastic loss against Nova, Nova!!!!!. We are suppose to be a Division I program, no? All athletic programs are under the responsibility of the athletic director. All of FIU's major sports are sucking. Who do we blame and hold accountable? I only see one thing in common with all of the FIU programs that are currently sucking and embarrassing the FIU students and alumni; the AD. I want to hear what he has to say and what he envisions for the future for all of FIU's sporting programs. He should speak and not hide. Again, I could careless about Cristobal, but I do have a vested interest in having a successful athletic program which I can be proud to be associated with, and unfortunately, he is not providing that, quite the opposite, he has embarrassed us more than ever before.

FIU Love, for what it's worth, Athletics didn't drop the ball on Taylor. As David Neal pointed out, Compliance is overseen by the University and the person who screwed up is no longer employed there. For once, Athletics and PG had nothing to do with it.

Garcia is the problem with his big salary and ego. He is guilty as charged and prefers to remain silent. He needs to be fired soon. What a waste of money for FIU.

Preferring to remain silent on a firing that occurred ONE YEAR ago is not an issue. People want to keep Cristobal alive as if he's Santa Claus. As if forgetting about him makes him cease to exist.

Read the basketball article today. PG was quoted plenty. It doesn't look like he's sitting there silent.

DP, it's not about the firing, as in "Why'd you do it?" Pete Garcia made a huge move with that firing that had ripple effects. Any time you make a huge move, especially an unexpected firing, you can expect a year later, the beat scribe to ask you "Did it/Has it worked out like you thought it would?" Ron Turner can't speak on attendance or suite sales. Those don't fall under his job description. Ron Turner can't speak on whether players off-field behavior has improved or not. He wasn't here for perspective. Ron Turner wasn't the guy who said a year ago how he's evaluated will be linked partially to how well the coaching change works overall.

The guy who said that was being asked "Where are you now and what do you think about where you are now and where you're going?" This wasn't revisiting the firing. It's revisiting the program. Journalism 101.

David, that's a fair point and I can see where you're coming from.

I guess I'm just tired of the overall belief that somehow if Cristobal were still here, this team would have performed better under him then they did under Turner. I, personally, think it would have been as bad or worse. They players suspended/expelled were all Mario's. I'm happy for a fresh start, even though the first season was rocky. I'm holding judgement until I see what Turner's first recruiting class looks like.

One more thing, David. I really enjoyed your basketball article. Well done.

The team woukd have performed better. Cristobal and the coaches knew these players well. Turner and his assistants are disconnected. Garcia is a coward. If it weren't for his drinking buddy Maury, he would have been gone after the release of the report.

And by the way, check your sources, Turner is already speaking with NFL coaches about job opportunities regardless of his buy-out clause. His value as a coach is dropping like cement after the season that should be expunged from the record books. Charlie Strong called him out for his running clock request. Don't be naive and face the facts.

Rosenberg? He is livid over David Neal's article. The concerns are legal now. That's why Garcia is hiding. He was instructed by counsel to remain silent.

At any other school, Garcia would have been fired for his errors. He has handled situations poorly. I don't know a school that conducts a formal review, identifies problems that start with leadership and does nothing to fix the trouble. This is a public relations fiasco that is impacting all athletics teams. The only move now is to dump Garcia or risk further loss of support for all FIU Athletics.

Don't want to blame Turner for academic problems, but those marginal "student-athletes" were basically abandoned when Mr. Garcia fired Coach Cristobal and told all assistants, who were these students structure to get lost one week before finals. These students lost ALL support and FLUNKED. That's not Turner's fault, however it is ANOTHER bad employee move by Mr. Garcia. He has never answered for these decisions. He should.

Garcia, better known as DP on this blog, is the sole cause of FIU's downfall. He believes he is above the NCAA and law. David Neal: Can you review the list of NCAA AD positions and salaries and point to someone who earns as much as Garcia in a comparable position. The answer is no. Or how about that ridiculous tittle? Director of entertainment? Are we sailing on a cruise ship with Petey your cruise director? Well this sinking ship aint no Love Boat. For what we see, Petey is more of a regular customer of Isaac the bartender.

FIRE PETE NOW. YOU HAVE LOST YOUR FAN BASE AND FINANCIAL SUPPORT. Pitino, Thomas, Cristobal and a long line of former coaches have spread the word about the negative employment environment at FIU Athletics. Only retreads with few options in the NCAA consider FIU for employment.

David Neal gets no answers from Garcia AKA DP because Garcia answers to nobody. When he is terminated soon, he will have nowhere to go except the indian bingo parlor, where he has a shot as a casino host.

Would love to know what the other C-USA AD's are saying about allowing us into their conference. Think about it, Mr. Garcia isn't liked by the vast majority of our fans, alumni, other FIU Administrators, Mr. Garcia's employees & was despised by SBC AD's. This "trend" of unpopularity would lead one to believe that he isn't the most liked AD in C-USA. The clock is ticking.


That's a paddlin'.

He has one supporter, Maury. They are two of a kind except for the fact that Maury has money and Garcia doesn't. David could uncover a trail of deception and ethics violations if he wanted to do so. Remember that Al Dotson was the previous chair. When Maury moved into that position, Garcia magically earned a contract extension despite the issues and recommendations for immediate termination. This was the turn of events that surprised everyone.

I must say that in looking back, Cristobal was stupid. He turned down head coaching jobs with Pitt and Rutgers to stay and work at FIU. This was silly. His salary would have more than doubled for what are two high profile jobs. Coaches have to take advantage of opportunities when they are hot. Look at Cristobal's mentor, Schiano. We, on the other had, got stuck with someone named Turner who was discarded by every program. He was not going to be retained by Schiano in Tampa. And he had been fired one year before by the Colts. He is lucky that his brother is respected and currently working to help him.

David: Can you find out if it is true that Turner is going to be on the Browns sideline for Sunday's game in New England. This was leaked by an assistant who is actively seeking a new job in the NFL.

No way DP is Garcia. You really think PG going to be writing on this blog? Not buying that.

Go FIU basketball! Hope they can find a way to bounce back from that loss to Nova.

Stupid acts and Pete Garcia go hand in hand. Garcia would do anything to save himself.

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