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.


Anonymous said...

Mediocre program? An elite 8 finish in 2003 and 2007 is not a mediocre program. Fans like you take the fun out of college sports. Most universities would kill to have a coach that graduates players (early mind you) and has success on the court.
Check your expectations.

J Smith said...

Hard to believe I ruin college sports but if I do then I will take the credit. You choose to look at two years over 13, I have decided to look at all 13 (or however many it has been). It's no wonder we have completely different ideas.

I liken it to a kid applying to college and asking the school to only look at grades from two semesters. Or telling a professor once they get into college to only use one test out of four to determine a class grade. Only in college athletics can someone have intermittent on-court success and be beloved.

Ernie Kent has Oregon fans right where he wants them. Many have been convinced that academic success and athletic success are mutually exclusive. More power to him for being able to pull that off.

Anonymous said...

Exactly! Look at all 13 years, the program has progressed throughout all those years. Even better, why not research the oregon basketball program prior to kent's arrival. The program had a slight rise under Green and languished under Monson. Kent has taken the program to another level. By your logic washington, marquette, gonzaga, usc are all mid majors. Kent deserved more time, this isn't the nba. How long have you actually followed oregon sports?

Anonymous said...

Yah, 8-23 is definately showing progress!! Well said.

Washington, Marquette, Gonzaga, and USC all made the tourney. Oregon is not even close to the same level as those schools, that would be why 2 of them swept Oregon this year.

You guys get ready to shell out MORE money for tickets next year. Should be exciting to watch us whoop up on DII teams to pad the record and keep EK his job. Then when the Pac10 season starts we might get 4 wins!! Woooohoooo That should earn EK a raise!!!

Anonymous said...

So we are back to focusing on one season of work to judge a tenure. Every coach has a bad season, its how they bounce back. Haters like u won't b happy unless
There is a final four finish every year...and maybe then u might put your money where your mouth is, but I doubt it.

Bruce said...

Thank you for making your mediocre, superficial analysis available (theoretically) to the entire world.

J Smith said...

Anonymous #2: It really does not matter how long I have followed Oregon sports (10 years). How many degrees do you have from the U of O? No matter your answer, whether it is more or less than me, makes no difference on the merits of your opinion.

Anonymous #4: Check any of my writing as it pertains to UO basketball and you will never see Final Four and Oregon in the same sentence. Ernie backers, or haters of consistent winning as you would put it, seem to think that making the tournament is the same thing as making it to the Final Four. This logic is asinine. Perhaps in the old days only one team from a conference went to the tourney but if you hadn't noticed usually at least five make it each year from the Pac-10. I have no Final Four expectation ever. Instead of making the tourney once every four, I contend missing it once every four is reasonable.

Bruce: There really is no need to thank me but I appreciate it. Your command of the English language is so very impressive.