Instead of CBS signing Bill Cowher to an “exclusive” five-year contract and then refusing to comment on whether “exclusive” means “he can’t coach for five years,” Cowher has opted to use his Sunday platform to throw water on the possibility of returning in 2012.
Here’s what Cowher said earlier in the hour, as transcribed by Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated: “I’d just like to say this. I’ve not been contacted directly or indirectly by any football team or any organization. It’s all speculation, and it’s unfortunate because it affects the lives of many people that are in the profession. I am here to say to you today, I do not plan on coaching next year. I love where I work, and more importantly, I enjoy the people that I work with up here. So I can put all the speculation to rest. And if I have to repeat this in December again, I will.
“It’s a tough profession, I know there is speculation out there. I’m flattered by it to be honest with you. But at the same time it affects too many people’s lives. I like what I’m doing right here, and I plan on being back in the same seat next year.”
First, he said “I do not plan on coaching next year.” He should have said something more definitive, like “I will not coach next year, period.” He may not plan on coaching next year now, but plans can change.
Second, he came a little closer to being unequivocal by saying “I plan on being back in the same seat next year.” Again, he used the tried and true wiggle word: “Plan.”
Third, it doesn’t matter if he repeats it in December. It matters if he repeats it in January.
Fourth, even if Cowher were unequivocal, it really doesn’t mean anything, as we learned five years ago when Nick Saban told anyone who’d listen that he’s not going to be the Alabama coach.