Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Case Study: Redskins Dysfunction

Got this email from a real person. Checked it out. It's legit. As the kids, would say: OMG.


A friend of mine is attending the Georgetown MBA program. One the classes this semester is Sports Management which is taught by Charlie Casserly. I thought you might find it interesting that he was essentially able to base one of the major projects of the class on the Redskins poor management practices - see below.

I'm a big fan and long time listener of the Sports Reports.

Mike from DC

Group Project

1. When the Redskins hired head coach Jim Zorn they hired almost his complete coaching staff first and then hired him, allowing him to hire only 3 coaches on a staff of over 15.

2. Early in the season Redskins management hired a Consultant to help with the offense against head coach Jim Zorn's wishes.

3. A couple of weeks later the Redskins promoted the Consultant to play caller against Zorn's wishes. The Redskins offense was struggling at the time of both of these moves.

4. Two players, Clinton Portis and Albert Haynesworth, both had a direct line to the Owner and EVP Vinny Cerrato. Thus, they could bypass the Head Coach with their complaints.

5. During the season on his Friday radio show Vinny Cerrato gave a "vote of confidence" to Jim Zorn saying he will finish the season. He neglected to tell Jim Zorn this and the media informed Zorn of this when he met with media later that day.

6. Vinny Cerrato admonished Jim Zorn over a play calling decision in front of the team after a game against the Philadelphia Eagles.

7. With Jim Zorn and Vinny Cerrato still in their positions with the Redskins, Redskins management interviewed people for their jobs. These were minority candidates, thus fulfilling the NFL’s Rooney Rule, which states minority candidates must be interviewed for certain positions before a hire is made. The NFL ruled the Redskins were in compliance with the rule.

8. Redskins management banned fans from displaying signs in the stadium, but later
changed the policy. The ban was put in place after derogatory signs about Redskins
management and ownership were visible in the stadium.

9. Albert Haynesworth complained to the coaches about having to come in too early on Christmas Day for meetings. The meetings were scheduled for 10:00 AM. He privately told players he was purposely going to come in late for the 10:00 AM meeting. The coaches found out about it. When he showed up late on Christmas Day he was sent home. Later on that day he ripped his Defensive Coordinator, saying he was not being used properly. He went on to start the next game against the Dallas Cowboys.

10. Vinny Cerrato stated publicly that the Redskins had a "playoff" roster to the press during the season. However, the Redskins had not addressed what their coaches had said was their number one priority in the off-season: the need to improve the offensive line. The offensive line was in disarray for much of the year.

Please address each point above by doing the following:

Philosophically from a management point of view (not a football perspective) explain why you believe the Redskins action was correct or incorrect and relate it to how it would parallel to a situation in the business world. If you disagree with the Redskin action, explain why and say what you would do in the business world.

REACT: Well, this surely makes for a good biz school exercise. But the real life follies of the Redskins are over, aren't they? Aren't they? Um.....


  1. Home Ec exams have harder questions.

  2. Cute blonde in the front row.

  3. If you want an A in the class, here's a hint...

    The Redskins management was wrong in every one of those decisions.

  4. Walnuts: How do you know she's cute? She could be cross eyed, buck toothed, with a big hairy mole on her forehead for all you know. From what I CAN see though, she looks mighty "fine".

  5. The "cute blonde" could be a dude.