Thursday, April 11, 2013
Behind The Scoreboard
No excuse for coach’s behavior
Well, it has all boiled down to gravy and all that is left is to forgive all those whose brackets were better than your own and celebrate and applaud the winner of the Durable Duo matchup on Monday night (April 8, after sports section deadline).
I am well aware that all of you will have the knowledge of the new champion before you peruse these meager offerings and I congratulate all of you who stuck with the Cardinals as they performed consistently to get to the final point. However, the urge to champion the underdog (and I did not check the odds on this game) is of a prevalent nature. I have to go with the Wolverines. But more on that later.
In this, the very happy time of celebrations in the NCAA men’s basketball world, yet another scandal has surfaced to mar what has been a stellar season. There is probably no one in all of basketball land who has not heard of the debacle surrounding the Rutgers University varsity men’s squad.
The head coach of the program was accused, and finally fired, after being pointed to, red-handed, of abusing players during practice sessions. These incidents were well documented on videotapes. It is clear to see that there were numerous incidents because the coach’s wardrobe changed numerous times.
Let me make it very clear that this is not an attempt to pontificate, although I am probably authorized to do so, having coached at different levels on a few different continents.
It matters not where or when this happened; the truth of the matter is it should never happen. There is no excuse for this type of behavior. Coaches have a very special place in the lives of the young persons who they are trying to influence.
Was this a good coach? No. His three-year record at Rutgers was 44-51. He did have a winning record at Robert Morris, posting a 73-31 record and two appearances in the NCAA. Could he have developed into a good coach? Probably not. Generally, there is a root cause and it goes back to the coaches he had been exposed to during his years of assisting.
The Scarlet Knights now have a “Scarlet Letter” to go along with their uniforms. When the flaws in any program attract the attention of the governor, it has really gone too far. Is this an isolated occurrence? No. Walk down the sideline of most football games and you will hear expletive upon expletive directed at players with some being grabbed by their shoulder pads and jerseys. I suppose that all of us could be thankful that the coach in question was not coaching baseball where they have those really hard balls and those wooden and metal bat thingies.
Coach Pitino and his Cardinals have done a marvelous job of keeping their number one status and wrecking my bracket. If he is successful in his final quest. he will become the first coach in NCCA history to win a championship with two different teams. He is, indubitably, a hall-of-famer. He coached Louisville back from a 12-point second half deficit to shock the Shockers (Wichita State). Louisville Lady Cardinals are in the “Durable Duo” title game on the distaff side of the NCAA.
The Wolverines are trying to go back to 1989 when they last outlasted everyone else. And they are trying to go the Fab Five of ’92 and ’93 one better by actually winning.
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