If CU AD Rick George won’t fire Karl Dorrell, maybe he should fire himself

Sep 6, 2022, 6:00 AM | Updated: 6:17 am
Karl Dorrell...
Photo by Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post

October 2, 2021.

That should’ve been the last day the University of Colorado employed Karl Dorrell as its head football coach.

Following a blowout loss to USC at Folsom Field, Dorrell inexplicably lost his cool. While jogging off the field, a local photographer from CBS4 was getting video of Dorrell. It’s common practice after every game for journalists to get shots of the head coach, win or lose. Any experienced coach knows it’s going to happen.

But for Dorrell, apparently it was too much. He couldn’t control his emotions and shoved the photographer to the ground. Video of the incident quickly went viral on social media, with fans, alumni and journalists stunned that the man leading CU was so fragile. How can he guide these young men to success on and off the field if he can’t manage his own temper?

What happened in the following hours was even more perplexing. Rather than apologize himself, Colorado athletic director Rick George apologized on Dorrell’s behalf. It wasn’t until that received proper backlash that Dorrell issued his own apology, but not until the next morning. The whole thing was mishandled, but then again that’s the norm for CU football the last couple of decades.

Dorrell continued to coach the Buffs, poorly, and the season ended with an ugly 4-8 record.

Flash forward to Friday night in Boulder. CU welcomed in TCU for an intriguing game to open the 2022 season. Folsom Field was electric, both figuratively and literally, with lightning delaying the start of the game. A rambunctious student section was willing to give Dorrell and the Buffs one more chance. And he blew it.

CU was rolled by the Horned Frogs 38-13 in a game that wasn’t even that close. Good luck getting another crowd like that the rest of the season.

Dorrell tried to create mystery around his QB situation by refusing to announce a starter pregame. He went with Brendon Lewis, who looked like the Lewis of a season ago. Just not inspiring, at all. When Dorrell gave J.T. Shrout a chance late in the first half, he led a high-paced drive that ultimately ran out of time. The crowd was back into the game — and then Dorrell inexplicably switched back to Lewis to start the second half. Talk about sucking the oxygen out of a stadium.

Late in the third quarter, down 17-6 in TCU territory, Dorrell decided to punt on fourth-and-five. The decision was the latest head-scratcher, with fans voicing their displeasure. What do you know, TCU took the football 80 yards for a quick touchdown to start the fourth quarter and that was the ballgame. Once again, disappointed Buff fans flocked for the exits. They had seen one too many bad decisions out of Dorrell.

How could the AD George watch that game and think it was anywhere close to good enough? His coach can’t pick the right quarterback and has no feel for in-game decisions. Throw in the photographer shove, and this should be it. What’s the point of letting Dorrell finish this season and lead the program to even lower lows? George should pull the plug on the Dorrell tenure right now.

And if he’s not able to make the tough decision, maybe George should look in the mirror. Is he willing to do what it takes to let CU compete for national championships again? Or is he content being a bottom-feeder as one of the worst programs in the country?

CU will play Air Force on Saturday and is listed as a 17-point underdog. Think about that for a second. With all due respect to the Falcons, shouldn’t Colorado be that kind of favorite? It’s a sad reality about how far the Buffaloes have fallen.

Looking at Colorado’s schedule, it’s hard to find many wins. Or any wins, really. If George wants to let Dorrell coach out the year and then blame it all on him, maybe that’s a strategy? I guess? The AD can throw the (former) football coach under the bus, while once again saving himself.

The wiser choice would be to take some accountability, and dismiss Dorrell now. Then again, considering George apologized for the coach after the photographer shove, maybe he’s a fan.

He might be Dorrell’s last one.



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If CU AD Rick George won’t fire Karl Dorrell, maybe he should fire himself