College Football’s Inconvenient Truth

Based on his MAC championship turnaround of a Buffalo Bulls football team that had been the worst in Division I-A when he took over in 2005, one would think Turner Gill would have already been money-whipped by a bigger football factory school by now. But no, Syracuse passed him over for Doug Marrone, who has never been a head coach at the pro or college level (although reports say Gill wasn’t really convinced that ‘Cuse was right for him), and in one of the dumber coaching hires since I’ve been following the sport, Auburn decided on Gene Chizik for its head coaching vacancy. Yes, the same Gene Chizik who went 5-19 in two years at Iowa State.

This is the kind of environment black coaches are in, now with their ranks up to 4 out of 119 D-IA schools as head coaches.  Outside the Lines looked at the number in its Sunday report, based on an article by Dr. Richard Lapchick making recommendations on how to remedy the problem — and this was even before Chizik’s hiring.

The OTL show is in four parts. I’ll link to them, since WordPress hates outside video players not YouTube or DailyMotion:

  • Bob Ley’s tracked piece on Gill and the hiring issue
  • Discussion with Mike Locksley, the new HC at New Mexico and Houston head coach Kevin Sumlin
  • Another discussion, this time with Ohio State’s AD, a member of the board of trustees at Michigan State, and Floyd Keith, the head of the Black Coaches Association
  • Roundtable with Lapchick, an NCAA diversity administrator, and ESPN’s Mark Schlabach

OK, so you’ve likely watched all of them by this point — or I hope you have, because Schlabach made an absolutely stunning statement, or it would be to people who think we’ve somehow gotten past institutional racism in less than half a century:

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Short Notes On College Hoops

Arizona is probably going to miss the tournament save a very deep run in the Pac-10 tournament — and losing a very, very close game to UCLA was really the last thing the Wildcats needed.  Obviously, most teams in college hoops don’t have a way to really body up on Kevin Love, but the Wildcats don’t have enough talent on the floor to match up in a conference with one stand-out team and a few other good ones crowding for space (Arizona State, Wazzu, USC) and tourney bids.   The program may be in transition, and it needs a solid post player to go with it next season.

Tennessee ekes out a needed victory over a surprisingly resilient Kentucky squad, one without Patrick Patterson — and while it does give us a glimpse of how the Vols were able to bounce back, I’m a bit more impressed with the work Kentucky is doing after such a tough start to the season.  Billy Clyde Gillispie will be okay in Lexington — if he keeps being competitive now, wait until more of his recruits come in to town.

Is getting blown out by 29 points merely a blip or a harbinger for Indiana? The recent chain of events in Bloomington doesn’t necessarily point to anything good in that regard, but considering that this is the Big Ten we are talking about, the Hoosiers have enough talent to get over, if not actually being a Final Four threat.  The Spartans just came out hot early and got so far in front that it wasn’t ever really close.

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Syracuse gets another stamp for the ticket.

Since there wasn’t a bunch to do at work (slow news day), I got to watch most of ‘Cuse just whooping on G-Town this evening (it helps when your sports anchor/occasional drinking buddy is a ‘Cuse alum and wants to watch the game on the myriad of TVs anyway.) It was just a thorough, nasty deconstruction of the Hoyas, making them play unlike themselves with 19 turnovers and shoot under 30%.

That said, I still like the Hoyas — 11 wins in a row is no small feat, and even the best of teams lose at times, and lose badly. Syracuse just hasn’t had their younger players put it together and show what they’re capable of for most of the season. This was a win the Orange needed more than the Hoyas, though — and they may have just gotten themselves in the NCAAs, although winning a game or two in the Big East tourney wouldn’t hurt either.