Scott Woodward has left Texas A&M to return to LSU as athletics director, the latest turn in the SEC’s game of thrones. Woodward is a Baton Rouge native, an LSU graduate and a former LSU administrator. A kid who used to sell peanuts at Tiger Stadium is now running the whole dang athletics department.
It’s a great story, but not one without political implications.
Woodward, as we know, is one of the main reasons Jimbo Fisher left Florida State for Texas A&M. The pair worked together as understudies a decade and a half ago, Woodward to LSU AD Skip Bertman, Fisher to Tigers head coach Nick Saban. Fisher’s faith in Woodward gave him the courage to leap from Tallahassee to College Station.
Well, that and the money.
A&M offered Fisher a 10 year, $75 million contract, one that includes zero buyout. Technically speaking, Fisher is free to leave for LSU or any other school at any time with zero penalty. But, of course, when you give out a $75 million, fully guaranteed contract, a deal like that is a buyout in and of itself.
On Tuesday, Fisher sat down with TexAgs to assure the maroon faithful that just because his buddy has crossed the Texas-Louisiana border doesn’t mean he’s going to follow suit.
“After being here, this place is phenomenal,” Fisher said. “I plan on being here a long time. I love the people, I love the direction we’re going, I love the commitment they have here to excellence in all phases, for kids personally, academically, athletically…. I think this place is a very unique place and I plan on being here a long time.
“I wish Scott and those guys the best, but we’re here to do a job. I’m extremely happy here. People asked me the other day, ‘When did you finally feel comfortable?’ I thought about it and my answer was, I never felt uncomfortable. I haven’t been since I’ve been here. This place fits my personality, I love the people, I love what’s here, and I plan on being here a long time.”
For those counting at home, that’s three “I plan on being here a long time” phrases in 30 seconds of speech.
Jimbo Fisher: “Scott [Woodward] was one of the reasons that I came out here … but after being here, this place is phenomenal. This place fits my personality, I love the people, and I plan on being here a long time.” pic.twitter.com/7TA86DLRoA
— TexAgs (@TexAgs) April 24, 2019
Fisher’s stated happiness in College Station is a great thing for everyone at Texas A&M — and also for Ed Orgeron.