Students in Bob Frederick's graduate course in sports administration had a hot topic for discussion Monday.
Frederick's class started at 4:30 p.m. -- about the time the story broke that Kansas University men's basketball coach Roy Williams was headed to North Carolina.
"They were all walking in talking about it," said Frederick, who was KU's athletic director from 1987-2001. "It was the buzz."
Among the topics related to Williams' departure, Frederick said, was a class discussion about hiring a successor.
"I asked them if they thought it was important to have an athletic director in place before hiring a new coach," Frederick said, "and they didn't think it was that important. It is, though."
KU chancellor Robert Hemenway fired athletic director Al Bohl Wednesday. Drue Jennings, a Kansas City-area businessman, is filling in on an interim basis and is not a candidate to succeed Bohl.
Frederick, who made the decision to hire Williams in 1988 after Larry Brown departed for the NBA, stressed the importance of having a full-time athletic director in place before hiring a new coach.
"It's so important for coaches to know who their ADs are," Frederick said. "It's difficult from the standpoint that you're asking someone to take a job with tremendous pressure, and he doesn't know who his boss will be."
Frederick, who became a professor in the KU School of Education after resigning as Kansas AD in May of 2001, had mixed emotions about Williams' decision to leave.
"I'm saddened for the University of Kansas," he said, "but I'm really happy for coach Williams."