It doesn't look like the Miners have much choice but to replace Coach Mike Price at the end of this season. It's either that or a miracle turnaround. The team's record is 1-4 and it's not looking good — plus there's the big omen, attendance.
I like Price a lot. But history will say he, like so many predecessors, got" UTEP-ed." Gary Nord got UTEP-ed. He thought he had a good team coming back, but UTEP knew it couldn't sell tickets. Price was hired and won eight games with that team.
Starting in the mid 1980s: Bill Yung, UTEPed; Bob Stull (only one to leave for a bigger school ), David Lee,UTEP-ed; Charlie Bailey (retired with no winners), Nord, UTEPed ...
UTEP works on a scant athletic budget compared to many of the schools it plays. Football has to fund many of the sports in order for the school to remain in the Football Bowl Subdivision (big schools). It has to sell a whole lot of football tickets.
The Miners did not sell out the season-opener against No. 4 ranked Oklahoma. That was a shock. The NMSU game was no hard ticket, when that rivalry game used to draw near sellouts in the 50,000-seat stadium. And El Paso does not have a history of backing the team when it's not winning.
Don't expect a bulging crowd Saturday vs. SMU. Or for Tulane, Central Florida or Rice. Oklahoma and NMSU were the big ones. Now UTEP is not winning.
Some believe a deal is already cut that this will be Price's last year. After all, the school did not extend his contract after 2012.
UTEP has to sell tickets, or the coach has to go. Cold-heartedly, it can be called a "business decision." It doesn't matter that three of the losses were against Oklahoma, Ole Miss and Wisconsin.
Start winning games, Miners? Get the fans back? A 1-4 start has not been turned around by a Miner football team in generations. Bad starts usually mean horrendous season records.
And El Paso fans have never supported a losing UTEP team.
Miracle? I think UTEP's best coach in many years is coaching his last Miner team.