Reactions to the Willie Fritz Audio Leak

On Monday I posted an audio clip from Willie Fritz’s last meeting with the players at Georgia Southern. This kicked off a firestorm of controversy across Eagle Nation and beyond. The Savannah Morning News responded to it. WJCL, the local ABC affiliate, ran a piece on it last night with an interview of Tom Kleinlein himself. Heck, I even got a retweet from Barrett Sallee.

Word is the NBC affiliate, WSAV, in Savannah will do a piece on it tonight as well. Mike Anthony of the Statesboro Herald covered it too and wouldn’t even use Forgotten5.com’s name in the article. I found that amusing. Aside from maybe being a bit salty that he got scooped on a major story by some unpaid hack blogger (Hi, my name is Nick Burgess), Anthony does bring up interesting information.

The new contract Georgia Southern offered Fritz was approved by the Georgia Southern University Athletic Foundation during a Nov. 25, 2015 board meeting, according to a record of the meeting minutes provided by Kleinlein.

According to the meeting minutes, Kleinlein briefed the board on the contract specifics, which included increasing Fritz’s salary from $500,000 to $700,000 and increasing the salary pool of Fritz’s assistant coaches by $150,000.

The contract would have been for four years, commencing on July 1, 2016 and expiring on June 30, 2020. It also included an option stating if Fritz won seven games during a contract year, he would receive an additional one-year extension. In other words, if Fritz were to win seven games every year at Georgia Southern, he would always have four years remaining on his contract. Fritz’s buyout would have been $1.2 million if he was fired, and he would’ve had to pay Georgia Southern $1 million if he left.

Tom Kleinlein got approval for a 4-year, $700,000 contract extension to offer Fritz on November 25, 2015. This is the document he supposedly showed the three members of the local media yesterday in an emergency meeting triggered by the leak.

We did not receive a copy of that extension here at Forgotten5.com (ya know, the outlet that published the story). Remember, this is an athletic director that is currently being sued for contract malfeasance after all. But let’s take it at face-value to save time.

Aside from a vanguard of boosters and media members that have an interest in protecting Tom Kleinlein, most of the reaction to the piece has been positive. I was personally pleased to have several former players corroborate the audio I published yesterday.

I am not going to do much in the way of editorializing today. Eagle Nation can make up its own mind with the information that is available. Maybe Kleinlein offered that extension and Fritz turned it down and went to Tulane anyways? Tulane can far and away outspend whatever Georgia Southern can offer, especially in 2015. Was the extension offered too late? Probably, but hindsight is 20/20.

The more important part of the story is that the Georgia Southern fan base is pissed off. Don’t take it from me, go to gsufans.com or check of the Georgia Southern Football Facebook page. Not just about the audio clip, but the fact that the football team is 5-10 in its last 15 games since Tyson Summers took over.

It is pissed that the athletic department is part of a lawsuit where the school’s Board of Regents and the Georgia Southern University Athletic Foundation never signed the contracts given to Rance Gillespie and David Dean. It is pissed that the school squandered the best FBS transition in 20 years. If change does not happen soon, it won’t be anger President Jaimie Hebert faces, it will be apathy.

The last piece of information I will leave you is the copies of the contract Willie Fritz signed in 2014 and the one Tyson Summers signed and is currently working under. I think they speak for themselves.

https://hkm.com/football/contracts/tyson-summers/

 4 years, $500K to a green Tyson Summers or ~$300K on a year to year basis for Willie Fritz? Which one would you choose?

7 thoughts on “Reactions to the Willie Fritz Audio Leak

  1. Mute vs Moot. Look it up, Rodney.
    Re: Mike Anthony
    The guy covers GS sports and wears GS gear while doing it. Is he really going to play the role of Mr. Objectivity now? What a joke. Nick, Mike Anthony is just pissed because you scooped and embarrassed the local media. He seems like a decent guy, but he needs to get a grip. You did absolutely nothing wrong. You simply exposed a tape that answered some questions which had lingered for 2 years. It was Team Tiki Torch over on the GS fan website that caused the stir by jumping to insane conclusions about the contents of that tape. And the fact that the local media are now all covering this tape is total validation of what you did. Anybody who claims differently obviously has a personal axe to grind, whether they be media or athletic administration.

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    1. I gave him my phone number. He claims to not know how to contact me. I’m on twitter, Facebook, Reddit. My email and phone number are listed on my profile. All he had to do is, ya know, investigate…

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    2. Phone keyboard typo grammar police F. Cole Medina. Now to the article, who gives a _ about Willie Fritz audio now? It’s two football seasons later, get over it. Tyson Summers has steadfastly said over and over again that Georgia Southern is a shot gun option offense. And he has stated he doesn’t have the players to run a under center option and that he doesn’t have the players to win with the shot gun option, but those are the players he is recruiting and plan on winning with. Basically Tyson Summers is just full of garbage and he is stubborn. Tyson Summers has a defensive background, yet his defense isn’t good enough to give his offense any time to gel. Seriously, 41 points to Auburn, 22 points to FCS New Hampshire, who a week later was blown out 56-21 by Holy Cross, and 52 points to Indiana. So Tyson Summers offense is bad, and the defense is bad also. That is definitely a formula to fail as a head football coach.

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  2. It trips me out how many people have the inability to discern the difference between a straight news piece and an opinion column. Yet these same morons are the ones complaining about your so-called lack of journalistic standards. Doesn’t compute.
    You did a nice job in starting the process of exposing the truth about a subject that had been only filled with rumor and inuendo before. Does a big booster like Mike Sanders really believe that a sunshine policy is not a good thing for this athletic department? Does a guy like Sanders, who has a holds a career requiring one to accept a fiduciary duty that includes ethical honesty, really believe that you should’ve swept this info under the rug when you acquired it? Just to save face for TK?
    Mike Sanders should get off his high horse, and off your back. He should ask himself who’s interests he is protecting. TK’s or Georgia Southern’s?
    Just for the record, I am a TK supporter. I think he’s done far more good than bad, aside from this Summers situation. I certainly don’t believe he was at fault in either Monken or Fritz leaving.
    What I do believe though, is that sweeping stuff under the rug is not good for this program. Good on TK for immediately addressing this issue by the way. It’s just a shame guys like Sanders apparently can’t handle the truth, unless it’s their little secret. I guess being in the know like that makes the guy feel important. I don’t really know. Seems kinda sad.

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  3. The people who are attacking you make me sick. Truly.
    You did nothing wrong. Nothing. All they are doing is blaming the messenger.
    You should make note of the fact that many of those losers are the same people who backed Sam Baker and Chris Hatcher up until the end.
    For completely self-interested reasons, they think that exposing this tape is a shot at the school. It is not. It’s a shot at the poisonous secrecy that so many of our “insiders” seem to thrive on.
    The idea that you did one iota of damage to GS with your article is ludicrous.
    You know what really damages universities and athletic departments? Good ol boy networks.

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    1. I’ve been through a lot worse believe me. You’re not doing your job right if you don’t ruffle a few feathers. I can take a punch. TK and TS have done more damage than I could ever do.

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