Q: What do you look for in a new coach or in a coaching staff to get you to that high level?
Pollard: We are going to begin an immediate
national search and we will find the best possible coach for
Q: How did you let the players on the team know about your decision?
Pollard: Bill Smith, our senior associate
athletic director has been in the process of contacting or leaving messages with
all of our current student athletes or recruits. Being on Spring Break, it's a
little bit of a challenge because most of our athletes are not here. In
addition, I sent out personal e-mails this morning in addition to the statement
that I just read, as well as another message to our student athletes about how
difficult of a situation this really is. I can tell you that the conversations
that Bill Smith had with several of our student athletes and the parents of
several of our recruits that it is a difficult situation for them to have to
experience, but at the same time they also are anxious to have the opportunity
to sit down with the coach that we will bring in. Several of the commits parents
told us that they committed to
Q: What about Curtis and Will?
Pollard: Neither individual has been contacted. He has left messages but has been unable to reach them.
Q: Was the negative publicity this week the final straw?
Pollard: As I mentioned in my statement,
there were a lot of factors in this decision prior to the situation this week
that the president and I were having discussions about whether or not we needed
to make a change. The fact that the situation came about is not the reason,
because we still believe that there are no NCAA violations by
Q: So when was this decision made?
Pollard: The ultimate decision was made, I'm losing track of days because the last few days have been a blur, it was made on Wednesday.
Q: Before this weekend, did you have doubts that Wayne Morgan was the guy to lead this program.
Q: Did Stinson and Blalock leaving have anything to do with it?
Pollard: It really did not. I sure was a
coincidence. You'd have to talk to them about why they decided to make their
announcement when they did. As for
Q: Have you talked to either of them at any point this week?
Pollard: I have not.
Pollard: First of all I wasn't here for the
previous, two years so it's tough for me to comment on those years. Our men's
basketball program, as I mentioned has to be a catalyst. We can't get where we
need to get to if our men's basketball program isn't operating at the very best
in the Big 12. As the leader I have to assess in the six months that I was here
if this program would be better off in a couple of years with Wayne Morgan as
the leader or with a different individual. I had to draw upon my own
observation, my professional experience of dealing with several outstanding
basketball coaches, and two outstanding athletic programs and I also had to
judge what was in the best interest of
I sincerely mean it when I said that this decision was a very difficult challenge. Not often do people have to sit across from somebody and tell them and look them in the eye that they want to make this type of decision. I understand the human side of this. But I also understand that when I decided to become athletic director, I accepted this responsibility. I can't run from it. I'm doing a disservice to Iowa State if I accept anything less than what I think is in the best interest of this institution no matter how difficult and how challenging it is to make that call.
Q: How would you characterize Wayne Morgan's performance since he's been here?
Pollard: I can't speak for the first two years. I will speak to the year that I've been here that I don't' believe that I see the trends of a basketball program that can compete on an annual basis for Big 12 Championships and put itself in the NCAA tournament. I don't see the foundation there that has the ability to annually do that.
Q: Why wasn't the decision made sooner say on Monday, what was going on during those three days?
Pollard: It's a challenging decision. It impacts people's lives. It impacts the institution. I get e-mails all of the time, probably 50 or 60 a day that want to tell me how I should run this department. I would bet that 99% of those e-mails are from people who have never had to sit across from someone and look them in the eye and tell them that I'm making a change. That's not an easy thing to do. You don't make those decisions lightly. It's tough, it's tough.
Q: You said earlier that you don't
Pollard: Yes we are confident, based on
what we know that there are no NCAA violations for
This program needs stability. This program has had two coaches leave in the past four years. We've got to get it right and I have that responsibility. I will be judged by whether I can handle that responsibility and I respect that.
Q: Will the settlement be shared with the public?
Pollard: We have agreed to honor the remaining two year's of Coach Morgan's contract. The attorney's are working through it. There are issues such as benefits, health insurance but we have chosen that we will honor the last two year's of his contract. We also want to make this transition as easy as possible on the assistants. We will work to try and help them as best we can to help them transition to another stop. The remaining amount of money on his contract is 1.5 million dollars.