Wisconsin athletic director Chris McIntosh claims he had no intention of firing Paul Chryst during their final meeting.
McIntosh fired Chryst following a horrible 34-10 home loss to Illinois a couple weekends ago, and now more details are out.
Most notably, McIntosh claimed to the Wisconsin State Journal he didn’t go into the Sunday meeting October 1 with the intention of canning the face of Wisconsin football. Apparently, it just shook out that way.
What happened between Paul Chryst and McIntosh?
“After … in excess of two hours meeting with Paul, it became clear that a change in leadership was needed. The two of us care deeply about the health of this program and the direction it’s going. That didn’t change in that time. It was at the conclusion of that meeting that I had arrived at a change in leadership is needed and we arrived at how that was going to take place,” McIntosh explained to Jim Polzin when breaking down what happened.
The Wisconsin AD also hit back at a report from FootballScoop.com that “an extremely heated conversation between Chryst” and his boss “rested at the foundation” of the firing.
“It couldn’t be further from the truth that it was heated. It was not an emotional decision. It was not an outcome of tempers flaring on my part nor on Paul’s part. I’ve got too much respect for Paul and everything he’s done for our program, everything he means to our program, everything he means to me as a person to allow that to be portrayed that way,” McIntosh explained when it came to refuting the report.
Is McIntosh asking Wisconsin fans to believe a bit too much?
While it’s clear McIntosh is a bold man, I’m not sure he can reasonably expect fans to buy the version of events he’s selling.
The only two people who know the full truth are Chryst and McIntosh, but this just doesn’t really pass the sniff test.
Nobody fires a coach who has won 72% of his games without notifying people ahead of time. That’s even truer when the coach was originally owed $20 million. That’s not a spur of the moment decision. It’s something a lot of people, including boosters who write checks, are generally dialed in on.
That’s not to say McIntosh isn’t telling the truth. He very well could be, but it’s just a stretch. He’s relatively new to the AD job and the idea he would fire a man at the conclusion of a meeting when that wasn’t his initial intent is just a tough buy. It’s a very tough buy.
There’s so much smoke surrounding this situation, it would make for a great documentary. Wisconsin fans would love to know what was actually said. It must have been something crazy for McIntosh. If not, how did McIntosh go from not thinking about firing Chryst to making Jim Leonhard the interim over the course of a single meeting? It seems worth asking that question.
Let’s all hope we eventually get all the details. I think I speak for a lot of people when I say there are still holes to fill.