Thursday, April 9, 2009

How Disappointing

I'm a week late to the discussion but the powers-that-be at the University of Oregon decided being a mid-major program is acceptable. It was fairly shocking to me since Pat Kilkenny held coaches of sports that no one cares about accountable for winning. Considering basketball is one of two sports that pays all of the bills I figured a lengthy track record of being mediocre was enough to turn the page.

The best part of the whole thing is that Oregon fans that trust what their eyes see and think a new coach was needed are supposed to feel better because a high-priced assistant was brought in. In what universe should fans be so excited about an assistant coach? This isn't football where coordinators are in charge of one side of the ball. This is basketball where there are only five players on the court at any given time. Only at Oregon would they be able to convince the fan base and local media that "an excellent assistant coach hire" is the perfect answer to the program's worst season ever. I challenge any basketball fan to name more than one assistant coach that isn't coaching his/her alma mater. The sport of college basketball is all about the head coach. It's not about the players, assistant coaches or team managers. How else do the same coaches no matter where they are coaching make teams successful?

If nothing else, the decision to keep Kent will mean next year's season tickets should be sold at a severe discount. There will likely be one road game, one "neutral" site game (Pape Jam), and 13 or so home games against some of the least talented D-I teams. The naive fan base will get excited and think the genius assistant coach has pushed all the right buttons. If this sounds like something you have heard before, it is. I feel sorry for the players that the administration has bought into the coach's theory that one trip to the tourney during their careers is the definition of success.