Bill Snyder announced Wednesday he is a definite maybe to be back at Kansas State next season.
In other words, a continuing example of how not to run a college football program on National Signing Day. Or perhaps more accurately -- a textbook example of how to take out that same program at the knees.
"I'm in the process [of deciding]," Snyder told reporters. "It will be a little bit."
The guess here is that Snyder -- the game's oldest coach -- absolutely knows whether he is coming back for a 27th season. But for reasons both petty and stubborn, he's stringing out his announcement.
Better for his agenda. Bad for K-State football. Really bad.
Start with this significant issue: On the same signing day his program was trying to lure the best and brightest recruits to Manhattan, Kansas, Snyder threw a stink bomb right in the middle of the recruiting process.
The smelly message: Hey guys, the head coach recruiting you today may not be back. Unless he is.
K-State may need another Miracle in Manhattan to save this recruiting class.
You don't leave recruits, your staff, players and a multi-million dollar program hanging at this point unless it's intentional. And given Snyder wants his special-teams-coaching son to replace him at any cost, it looks like just that.
If Snyder planned his comments to have such a devastating impact during the Early Signing Period, shame on him. If he didn't, well, there really isn't any other scenario that makes sense.
This is a program that has never signed a five-star in its history. It typically exists on the sweat and backbone of three stars. In one ambivalent statement at the worst possible time, Snyder put doubt in the minds of any stars.
The head coach wants his son (Sean) to replace him. Never mind obvious concerns about nepotism and qualifications, the more Bill can back the administration into a corner, the better … for Bill. The vast majority of fans and administration don't want Sean -- for good reason. Sean has never managed a clock, recruited a class, called a play or … oh yeah, been a head coach.
After what Bill Snyder has built at Kansas State, the program deserves someone with experience.
We already know Snyder shot down a plan to bring in Oregon defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt as coach in 2018. Snyder did so over the wishes of his boss, K-State president Richard Myers.
That's beyond scary. It's dictatorial.
No coach should have that much power. Apparently Snyder does. If left unchecked, that power could ruin both his legacy and Kansas State football.
What the 78-year-old lacked in marketing ability for his program on National Signing Day, he certainly made up for vindictiveness. Thank goodness there is another signing day in February to salvage Snyder's wishy-washiness. But don't be surprised if the coach drags things out beyond Tuesday's bowl game, beyond that February signing date to the last week of August.
With contracts signed and staffs in place all over the country, what coach would want to take over the K-State mess? There would be no choice but to elevate Sean. Bill has to know that.
Oh sure, there would be some guys interested. We already know Leavitt has an out in his contract that allows him to come to K-State. But again, what shape would the program be in?
On its best day, K-State football is not self-sustaining. It exists in a sparsely-populated state in one of the most remote locations in the game.
It was signing day on Wednesday. Snyder probably had to say something. But to be this ambiguous held not only Kansas State's fan base hostage but probably the entire recruiting class.
That may be exactly what the 78-year-old coaching icon wanted.