You don't see this often, but you probably heard the news yesterday that Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell will be paid to coach Kent State one last time in the January 6, 2013 GoDaddy.com Bowl against Arkansas State, whose coach Gus Malzahn also left to coach Auburn.
I'm really torn on this. Kent State hasn't been to a bowl game in 40 years and Hazell absolutely deserves the privilege to lead the team in the postseason. More to the point, it is not ultimately important to the program that they win the game; just getting to the MAC championship was beyond expectations. Plus, we like the man and want to see him coach in the MAC as long as he can.
The weird part is that Purdue is letting him do this. They're going to up his annual income by a bunch over what Joel Nielsen was paying him. I would expect them to want 100 percent of his attention. Instead he's going to spend it with the Golden Flashes, not just for one day, but to run practices for this team and basically he won't be able to do much, if anything, with the Boilermakers until mid-January. It leaves a lot of people hanging in the balance.
I know other people have done this, most notably Bill O'Brien at Penn State, telling them that he was going to wait until after the Patriots finished their postseason to do any Penn State work. Of course, the Patriots made it to the Super Bowl ... and the waiting game continued well into the recruiting period.
Long story short, if Purdue's OK with it then I don't see the issue, but it's very odd that Purdue's fine with effectively prolonging their vacancy.
What happens when a coach is too good at his job, setting Kent State fans' expectations to strange horizons they've never seen? The coach leaves, putting the team and its fanbase back into an uncomfortable purgatory. But it gets better.