WHAT THEY'RE SAYING

PUNDITS ACROSS the land, from Spokane to Huntsville and everywhere in between, are chiming in on the tear-stained fall of the man formerly known as Saint Mike.

So this is what happens when you make a date with Destiny. This is what happens when you go for the gusto when you really should be reaching for the Geritol. This is what happens when you give the keys to the Mercedes to a guy used to driving a Chevy pickup. This, my friends, is what happens when an outsider from Pullman tries buddying up to the good `ol boys -- and a few bad young girls -- in Alabama. -- Greg Johns, King County Journal

It didn't have to be done because Price is a bad person. He's not. What he seems to be, if anything, is a good person with a problem. He admitted as much on Saturday, although his admission was conditional and his logic in asking for a "second chance," while understandable, was flawed. No one is "entitled" to a second chance. You cannot embarrass your employer in a public setting on one or more occasions --and Price did that, at the very least -- and not expect severe consequences. Price is not a villain, but neither is he a victim, or a victim of anything more than circumstances. -- Cecil Hurt, Tuscaloosa News

This was not the best thing for the football program by a long shot. Turmoil and uncertainty reign just four months before the season opener. But the University of Alabama will move forward, because it is bigger than one man or one football coach. It always has been, even in the glory days, and it always will be. Price may not have realized that before. Chances are, today, he finally does. -- Alan Clemons, Huntsville Times

The Mike Price was hired by Alabama last December, I wrote that the laid-back West Coaster was a bad fit for a school that chews up and spits out its never-ending cycle of coaches. The 'Bama fans who read it were none too pleased. Well, congratulations Tiders, you've outdone yourselves this time. Four months -- a new land-speed record, after which I have changed my mind about at least one thing. Alabama doesn't chew up and spit out coaches. It tortures, mangles, dissects and devours them. And that's before they coach their first game. -- Stewart Mandel, CNNsi.com

Around here, Mike Price was more apt to be caught getting an extra scoop of his favorite bubble gum ice cream than tipping another glass ….Now Price will presumably return home -- his house in Pullman has been sold, but he does have property on Lake Coeur d'Alene -- burdened with the knowledge that he is directly responsible for jeopardizing the careers of two of his three children. -- Carter Strickland, Spokesman-Review

Given the legacy of below-the-waist thinking by coaches in Tuscaloosa -- former basketball coach Wimp Sanderson's affair with his secretary, former football coach Mike DuBose's affair with his secretary, which resulted in DuBose reimbursing for the $360,000 it paid out in a sexual harassment suit -- Witt may have felt that he had nothing to lose by firing Price. -- Ivan Maisel, ESPN.com

The incredible arrogance. George O'Leary allowed a little white lie to lay there for decades before it de-evolved into a job-ending cancer. Larry Eustachy posed for photos with college women while drinking the night away. Jim Harrick played the deny game even as his career crumbled around him. The latest to join this rogues gallery of hauteurs was the Alabama coach formerly known as Mike Price. All of them were pompous and proud enough to believe that their incredibly bad behavior wouldn't cost them their jobs. -- Dennis Dodd, CBSsportsline.com

Not so fast, ye pigskin persecutors. Stop piling on our beloved former Wazzu football coach as if he were a Super Bowl fumble …. does anyone really think a great man like Coach Price would risk his marriage and self-respect and flush away a $10 million coaching contract for a few hours with some bump-and-grind bimbos? Could anybody be this box-of-bolts dumb? -- Doug Clark, Spokesman-Review

It was a surreal scene at the Bryant Conference Center, a public spectacle of the firing of a coach hired to repair a program rocked by the unexpected resignation in December of Dennis Franchione. In fact, a lane of Bryant Drive outside the conference center was closed to accommodate the onslaught of television trucks. -- Paul Gattis, Huntsville Times

Technically, Mike Price is no longer a Coug, but neither was Ryan Leaf when he fell so precipitously from grace. So now, as then, the embarrassment for the clucks who actually used to call Price "Saint Mike" is only by association. -- John Blanchette, Spokesman-Review


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