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Friday, March 7, 2008

About Face......Forward March!

With the loss to Louisiana State University Wednesday night, my beleaguered Alabama Crimson Tide basketball team is now 15 - 15. The loss also means that this team, this season is winless on the road. And in what has to be the worst season overall for SEC basketball in recent memory. At this point the only locks for the NCAA tournament are Bruce Pearl's Vols and the Vanderbilt Commodores.

Closer to home the Mark Gottfried Machine is spinning 24/7 to try and influence the Board of Trustees to retain Mark for another season. Those on the wagon now include:

Mark McCarter - Huntsville Times
Kevin Scarbinsky - Birmingham News
Ian Rappaport - Birmingham News
Neil McCready - Mobile Register
Paul Gattis - Huntsville Times

Reasons for retaining Gottfried are varied and sometimes confusing. Mark McCarter writes, "Gottfried, to be frank, is not one of the 8 or 9 best X's and O's coaches in the league." Later in his column he describes him as "bright". Huh?

Others describe him as a loyal alum who represents the University well despite the claims of some that Mark on two occasions has allowed his name to hang out there while coaching searches have went on elsewhere, netting himself pay raises. Mark also told Kevin Scarbinsky in an interview in 2005 that if UCLA (his former employer) came calling on him to be their head coach, he'd have to consider it.

No Ron Steele.

Recruiting busts.

No assistant coaching.

Lack of commitment from the University.

But the one reason to retain Mark Gottfried conspicuously missing??

He's a great head basketball coach.

You won't hear anybody say that. Because it's just not true. You can argue the other points.

Can't touch that one with a Ron Steele three pointer.

1 comment:

Mitchell said...

Finebammer: Msmilie here from the AL.com forum. I'm glad to see you have a blog. I only hope you'll write in it more frequently as I think you have your finger on the button where it concerns the problems facing the basketball program as well as the athletic department in general in Tuscaloosa. People seem easily annoyed by your observations but the truth can frequently be a very sharp stick to the eye for some.

Anyway, it's been a very depressing week for hoops to go along with the perpetually depressing seasons. Hendrix bolting, Steele bolting, rumors of Gee bolting as well as Tubbs, Jemison, Torrance and Pickett splitting town.
Speaking of Pickett: what I find amazing is that other fans are immediately attacking this kid for what they perceive as "low-character", even though things in Tuscaloosa are so disorganized right now. Pickett was put in a tough situation at times this year having to compensate for Gottfried's meal ticket sitting on the bench. Couple this with the fact that Gottfried never puts players in situations that play to their strengths and it's no wonder so many of the young guys struggled this year.

Anyway, keep writing your blog because I find your insights interesting.

Mitch