Pollard Announces Morgan is Gone

Jamie Pollard held a press conference Friday morning announcing that Wayne Morgan has been fired as Iowa State's basketball coach. Here is what Pollard had to say from the Jacobson Building, completely transcribed.

Pollard: Thanks to all of you for coming this morning. I'm here today to share with you that President Geoffrey and I met last evening with Coach Morgan and informed him that we were making a change in the leadership of our men's basketball program effective immediately.

 

When I accepted President Geoffrey's offer to become the Director of Athletics at Iowa State University I accepted the responsibility to lead this program to academic and athletic heights that have never been achieved before at Iowa State. I knew that journey would be difficult and challenging and would require vision, passion, integrity and resolve. I have no doubts that Iowa State University's athletic programs can achieve great things if we have the right people and a relentless work ethic. Our men's basketball program needs to be a catalyst for our department to achieve its goals. Our men's basketball program needs to be a marquee program.

 

We have the loudest and greatest fans in the Big 12. Annually we rank among the best in the conference in home attendance at Hilton Coliseum. We have outstanding support from out student body, especially Cyclone Ally, who is arguably the best student section in the country.

 

In addition, we have invested significant resources in our men's basketball program and have plans to increase than investment with our renovations to Hilton both this fall and in the future. The fact that we didn't make the NCAA tournament, or the NIT, contributed to this decision, but I want to emphasize that clearly it is not the only reason for making this decision. Our expectations for our sports programs are far greater than the win-loss record of any one team, of any one year or any post-season participation.

 

I've had the opportunity in the last six months to perform an assessment of our men's basketball program, and as a result of that assessment I concluded that I do not believe our current coaching staff can sustain the level of performance needed for this department to achieve its goals. Although I'm not going to go into specific details, I can assure you that conclusion was reached by looking at many many factors.

 

Although the events of this week concerning basketball scheduling is not the reason we are making this change, the timing of that situation and the negative national publicity that Iowa State is receiving has contributed to the timing of our decision.

 

I also want to assure you that no state tax dollars or public funds will be used to pay the remaining obligations to Coach Morgan and his staff. The funds that will be used to make those payments will come from athletic department reserves that have been accumulated over the past decade.

 

As the person who is ultimately responsible, for the performance and actions of all of our staff. I have to be able to make difficult and challenging decisions by using my own personal observations, professional experience and belief of what is best for Iowa State University.

 

I can assure you that I did not make this decision lightly or without regards for the impact it has on the many individuals that are involved in this situation.

 

Our challenge now shifts to finding a men's basketball coach and staff that we believe can perform at the level to allow this department to reach its goals.

 

Cyclone Nation will have the Q&A portion of the press conference posted within a couple of hours.


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