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Texas State head coach Everett Withers stirs up controversy by attacking former players

It's hell up in San Marcos as Withers has shifted the narrative around the program in a negative direction. Again.

Texas State v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

After the Texas State spring game head coach Everett Withers gave his overview and critique of the scrimmage but also had some words to say about last year’s team that would become controversial.

“I didn’t like those guys last year. I didn’t like them, just so you know.”

Referring to this year’s team:

“Love ‘em. Are we more talented? No, we’re not. But I like being around them. I like being around our guys. They are good people, they care. Generally, I feel they have a better care for each other than a year ago. I want to be around them, I want my son to be around them. I want our coaches’ families to be around that. I want (defensive coordinator) Randall McCray to bring his son and his daughter over here and be around the team. Last year, I didn’t bring my kids over here because I didn’t want them to be infested with what was going on.”

As you could imagine the comments ruffled the scruffs of many a Bobcat. So were the comments necessary? Let’s take a look.

The Good

Coach Withers has received mixed reviews in how he's going about rebuilding this Texas State program and the way he’s purged the roster, it seems that he is setting a precedent of excellence while trying to get Texas State out of the gutter.

What intensity and direct interaction that was lacking during previous head coach Dennis Franchione’s regime Withers has made up for with blunt, honest and full frontal evaluations and comments. No matter how confident and excited Bobcat fans may be about the upcoming season Withers was being honest about the core talent as of spring 2017.

Texas State’s football program has never really had any major controversies that have tarnished the program but at the same time they’ve never really had any consistent success to put them ahead of Texas’ other mid-major schools. It’s been almost 14 years since Texas State changed their name but people still call our school “Southwest” or “San Marcos.”

Withers came from P5 schools and a FCS team with major success. He’s came to San Marcos with pedigree of success. It seems he’s quickly caught on to Texas State’s historical mediocrity and wants to dig the Bobcat’s out of their former past’s reputation.

Texas State's morale was pretty low when Francione left and didn’t really dissipate. Withers just wants to fan out the smog left over from 2016 and make winning the number one goal as well as foster a group of men that makes Texas State fans and San Marcos natives want to rally around.

The Bad

The wording in regards to last year’s team may have been better left unsaid.

“Infested” is a word Withers used to describe the last batch of seniors. 2016’s Former Bobcats still have friends that go to State and they of course took his comments personally.

2016’s Inner turmoils were never really given any light of day so when Withers continually brings up last season's baggage in cryptic comments it really makes people question how much he is looking ahead if he keeps looking back and bashing kids that don’t even play anymore. Also, bashing kids is never a good look.

If there really was an epidemic of behavior, personal or dedication problems last year the coaching staff and administration should’ve taken care of it. Withers feels that the previous coaching staff didn’t give a rat’s ass about accountability and now Withers’ approach is pissing Bobcats off.

The Ugly

The Twitterverse exploded after Texas State’s spring game and not for the play on the field but in reaction to coach Withers’ post-game press conference. Former players, current Bobcats and alums and fans of other teams chimed in on the critique of Withers’ controversial comments giving Texas State football some attention but not in the way needed.

As I mentioned in my Reddit Q&A story disenfranchised Texas State alumni make up the majority of who Texas State is trying to win over. Add this debacle to the pot and now you can add anti-Withers to the lost fans.

It’s an eye opener seeing Texas State fans split on Withers’ comments on social media and it’s making Texas State look like a mess.

If I were a current Texas State player I’d be pretty down on myself for not being as talented as last year’s team, according to the man who is leading Bobcat football.

The Verdict

A spring game isn’t the time to drag out the dead horse known as 2016. Texas State’s worst enemy is their past, especially when the future is so critical. Withers is pretty up front so when given a question addressing the progression of the football team he usually gives a honest answer that sometimes doesn’t sit well with fans.

In all fairness, Withers inherited a squad that became the worst team in the nation and I’d probably be ranting during press conferences myself. But it's this kind of weird and unwarranted set of comments that is just the cherry on top of the quote-machine that is Everett Withers.

I just want to see a focus on the positive and the future. I’m trying to forget 2016 and it’s kind of hard when Withers seems to believe that ghosts from the past haunt Jim Wacker Field.

Personally I’m tired of being the worst program in Texas. If the Bobcats do way better than last season we’ll probably look back at this moment and say, “hey, he was on to something,” at least that’s what I hope for. Until then fellow Bobcats, can’t we all get along?