Tuesday, February 26, 2008

It's Early Tuesday Morning...........

and as I wait for the rain this morn and fret over the future of my Alabama basketball team..........

Bill Ellis speaking on The Paul Finebaum Radio Network yesterday concerning the state of affairs with Alabama basketball: "I've burnt my bridges with this staff."

In other words, Bill has decided after watching the ineptitude of this season, 'Bama needs to go another direction. He's publicly called for Mark Gottfried to step aside as the head basketball coach. Bill Ellis is one of the most knowledgable, credible and faithful Alabama basketball fans I know. (he's also a longtime season ticket holder) He's been cut off from the Gottfried camp for speaking his mind. Now mind you, after the farce of last season, in the wake of the Ron Steele knee surgeries, Bill stated on his radio show and blog Gottfried should get two more years. I was very surprised to hear him a couple of weeks ago start calling for Gottfried to be replaced. Unlike me, Bill is pretty level-headed, not prone to knee-jerk reactions or decisions.

Consider, Mark's now had his wife go into the stands at a game, accost and berate a man, Paul Finebaum, who, love him or hate him, led the media charge to get Mark that job. That cannot be denied. It was a very nasty public scene.

Mark's now locked out a loyal season ticket holder in Ellis. What positive can possibly be gained from that??

Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News stated last week when questioned by Finebaum about the possibility of Gottfried being replaced at season's end, his sources told him Mark would be retained. His feeling on the matter was that (1.) there was no stomach for buying out his contract. (three million bucks) (2.) No one wants to engage in a search for another basketball coach. When asked today on Paul's show, after the embarrassing loss to Auburn Sunday, if with four games left there was a scenario in which the decision makers in Tuscaloosa (apparently the Board of Trustees) might reconsider Gottfried's employment, Hurt hemmed and hawed in a manner that, frankly, gave me pause. He obviously had something he wanted to say about the situation but knew better in the end. He finally begged off the question for "a couple of weeks". Don't hold your breath waiting on any groundbreakers on this front. Cecil's been around this situation. He's already walking a fine line by saying what he's already said. He doesn't want to get cut off either.

I think it's increasingly clear Mark's gone in the bunker. And as long as you're perceived to be on his side, you'll get media access from down there. If not, well, the rain's here.

And it's coming down in.........buckets.

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