Georgia Southern has released a statement saying that their AD Sam Baker is giving up the position. It looks like one of those forced-resignings. Although they have had a resurgence in football as of late, the school has faced several big problems.
To start with, in the race for FBS they (and us) were passed by little old Georgia State. It looks horrible, but in reality nothing short of picking up the school and moving it to Atlanta was going to prevent that.
Second, Georgia Southern isn’t really in a financial position for FBS. I don’t think it would have changed anything, but it sure made it an easy decision for the Sun Belt to pick Georgia State instead. This to me is the most damning. Although Appalachian State didn’t get picked either, we could be ready to go tomorrow.
Third, they have faced basketball sanctions recently, under Baker’s watch, and have never really excelled in the sport.
Finally, and although I doubt this was much of a factor, there was that memorable debacle back in 2010 where Baker’s athletic department misread some important NCAA documents. That led to Georgia Southern failing to submit a bid for a home game in the FCS quarterfinals – ouch.
So what’s the timeline and what will Baker do now? According to The Statesboro Herald:
“Once a new AD is in place, Sam will transition to serve as a special assistant to the president where he will assist the university with a number of projects including academics and capital construction projects,” Georgia Southern’s President said. “With the start of fall semester fast approaching, my goal is to identify the right candidate for Georgia Southern. There is no set time frame for the search, but given the upcoming start of our fall sports season, we would like to have someone in place in the near future.”
Georgia Southern is the 2nd SoCon school to lose their AD in recent weeks. UT-Chattanooga lost their AD to SMU back in early July.