Why, Coach, why?
That's all I can say in the wake of the news that Gary Andersen is no longer the football coach at Oregon State. I don't know why. It makes no sense. Colleges don't change head coaches in the middle of the season -- any season -- and although the school's athletic director, Scott Barnes, insisted many times over that it was "a mutual decision." Really? Nobody was pushing from either side? Boosters played no part in this? I just don't see Andersen leaving his team in the middle of the season. He doesn't seem that sort of man.
This was a shocker. And, of course, so was the news that Andersen is walking away from more than $12 million owed him by the university.
This stuff doesn't compute and when all you get is "this is a mutual decision," you can't help but speculate. Be my guest.
But this I know: Andersen is a quality coach and quality man. I believe, given time, he was going to get it done in Corvallis -- at least as much as is humanly possible. Mike Riley spoiled a lot of Beaver fans who think winning is easy at Oregon State. It is not. I said it when Andersen was hired -- this is one tough job. You're in the rising shadow of the Ducks, you don't have the facilities that many other Pac-12 schools have and don't have a lot of money to throw at recruiting.
So don't ask me what happened in Corvallis. For right now, I just don't know. But what I do know is that Oregon State lost a good one Monday.