April 5, 2013
While our team’s season may be over and most of our brackets long since busted, things could be worse. We could be Rutgers basketball fans. This week the university fired head coach Mike Rice after a video surfaced showing him physically and verbally abusing his players at practice.
The Scarlet Knights program has been a shambles since the turn of the century, with only three postseason appearances and one 20-win season (2003-04) in the past 12 years.
The firing of Rice is the latest embarrassment for the hoops program: Rice’s predecessor Fred Hill was axed in 2010 after a verbal outburst at a Rutgers baseball game. Prior to Hill, coach Kevin Bannon ordered two players and a student manager to run wind sprints in the nude after losing a free-throw contest at practice in December 1997. Bannon was let go when the incident went public in 2001. This year the conduct of coaches, players and officials have taken away from what has been a sensational year of competition.
After BEATING Michigan to capture the Big Ten title, Indiana head man Tom Crean verbally berated Michigan assistant and former Indiana assistant Jeff Meyer, claiming Meyer “ruined our program.” What a gentleman.
Even officials have made colossal mistakes in 2013. Besides a slew of terribly blown calls, this week news surfaced of Pac-12 official Ed Rush allegedly conspiring to reward a colleague for ‘teeing up’ Arizona coach Sean Miller during the Pac-12 Tournament…Miller did get “rang up”, costing his team the game. Did money change hands? We’ll never know.
The most bogus incident of the season has to be the late-game brawl between Big East foes Notre Dame and St. John’s. Down 26 with under two minutes left, St. John’s forward Sir’Dominic Pointer lunged into Notre Dame forward Cameron Biedscheid, starting a near-riot at the Joyce Center.
As this season comes to a close, I propose a toast to next year. Here’s to a season where our minds are blown by the talent on the floor, not the morons on the sidelines.