If you’re a fan of the Georgia Southern Eagles, or really any college football team, you know things get ugly when the wrong side of the win-loss column starts ticking up.
For GS, what hopefully was rock bottom occurred during the second week of the season with an unthinkable loss to FCS New Hampshire. After moving up to the FBS and tearing up the Sun Belt Conference in 2014, losing to a team from the old lower division was the final straw.
Fans took to Twitter, GSUFans.com and Facebook, to screaming at a TV or whatever electronic device was handy, and to their email accounts.
Yep, it’s always the emails.
Though an open records request, SB Nation and Underdog Dynasty obtained football-related emails sent to Southern’s athletic director, Tom Kleinlein, and to school president Jaimie Hebert the weekend of the UNH game (major thanks to Matt Brown for doing the leg work).
Most of the emails went to Hebert rather than Kleinlein, but there was plenty of anger to go around.
Here’s a sampling of what we received, edited only for length:
Recruitments could be in danger
The game this past Saturday was an embarrassment. This is NOT Eagles Football. And our coaching team is entirely to blame. Not our hard working football players. Our possible recruitments for the future is compromised as long as the current coaching staff is in place. They have to go.
The supporters of our football team have endured this for one year already, and now we are in worse shape. I don't see us winning a single game. And the blame for this falls at your feet. Do something about this and fire Tom Klienlin for writing up such a destructive contract for Tyson Summers, and of course Mr. Summers and his staff must go. Now. Before irreparabledamage is done.
I'm hoping to see our beloved team get the attention they so richly deserve while I am still alive to witness it. At this time, that isn't looking promising at all.
GS also dropped its third straight game, to Indiana, by the score of 52-17, so there could be more emails lurking come Monday.
Here’s another example.
Remove these two fools
I find myself in dismay at the current state of the schools football program and particularly the coaching and athletic director positions and the persons filling those jobs. Note that I didn't refer to them fulfilling any duties, clearly that is not taking place... Now is the time to act. We the alumni and donors of the school demand the removal of these two fools from their roles. Future donations can and will cease if no changes are made.
Another contained what appears to be a copied and pasted email from Hebert with an update on Hurricane Irma, with this text inserted as a bold headline:
Fire Tyson Summers and then we will worry about Irma
I know right, “It just means more.” Maybe not that much.
Here is one loyal fan pleading with Hebert to take some action.
Check out Facebook if you don’t believe me
PLEASE consider replacing Coach Summers and Tom Kleinlein they are both making an embarrassment of our Football program. I was at GSU when it was GSC, during the Erk Era. YES, that was some AWESOME football. We have had it since. Last season with Summers was a joke and then yesterday. Losing to a no‐name team was just embarassing. You will be losing a LOT of alumni support if some actions are not taken to get rid of both of those individuals. If you dont believe me, check out Georgia Southern Football on facebook. There are a LOT of unhappy alumni on there. PLEASE take action before our football program is a total loss!
Money was a common theme in the electronic mailings.
Fix the front porch or else
I'm an alumni and booster. I've never sent anything like this before, but I can't give my money to the university anymore. I believe education is the main responsibility of a university, but I also believe athletics are the front porch to the school. I would never have known about GSU if it wasn't for the football team. What I have seen is humiliating, and I will not give anymore of my money until there is a change.
As were firings.
They should both go even if one is nice
How can you, the president of this storied university, sit by and watch what TK has done to our program. Where Summers is a nice guy, he lacks the experience and the wherewithal to keep our tradition alive. He lost with the most prolific team that we have ever fielded. TK allowed him to lie about his coaching staff. Even if those allegations are false, allowed him to bring an already failed coach at GS out of a high school program to run our FBS team. Not to mention, allowing him to bring a co-offensive coordinator from a division 2 team. On top of that, to create mud on the face of this concrete "do right" university when they were fired. After the continued backward progress, it is time for you to do something. TK and Summers should go.
The lone email sent only to Kleinlein was fairly succinct. The donor noted he gives $2,500 per year, buys more than a half-dozen season tickets, parks in the RV lot and has “never seen anything at GS this bad. Hope to see changes announced Monday.”
Here’s Kleinlein’s response.
I appreciate your support and hope you continue to support the young men and women who represent your institution each week. I also feel your disappointment and frustration as do the players and the coaches. We are all working to get our FB program back to the level where it was in 2014 and 2015. Thanks for the note.
For what it’s worth, the note seemed to soften the emailer’s demeanor.
OK, he’d make a great coordinator
Tom... appreciate the response and I am not going anywhere., Love my Eagles too much Had a few days to reflect and hope things will improve. I think TS is a good guy and probably would make a great coordinator but I am not sold on the HC position but perhaps I am wrong. I guess we will see what happens.
And you think Monday mornings at your office are rough. Here’s hoping this thing gets turned around sooner than later and we can talk about a few happy moments again.
Or at least acknowledge hurricanes are slightly more important than football.