George mason '06, Alabama '04.
I've said this before, I'll say it again. Alabama basketball, and certainly Mark Gottfried's version, is mid-major basketball. and until the powers-that-be down there decide to make a championship commitment, that's all it will ever be.
For some folks, that's fine. for those of us who want a little more, well, it can certainly be a frustrating experience. And most certainly this time of year.
The most interesting game this tournament to date for me has been the Duke-Belmont game. Certainly this wasn't your grandfather's Duke team but the coaching chessmatch that went on between Rick Byrd and Coach K was a treat to watch. Coach K's body language after the match indicated he'd been out-coached and he knew it. And that's the thing.
True mid-majors that make the dance are, as a rule, well-coached teams. They have to be.
That's the difference between them and us. Mid-majors who make the dance have great coaching coupled with inferior talent. Alabama has great talent that's poorly coached.
At Duke, Kentucky, UCLA, Indiana, UNC, UCONN, Mark Gottfried would have been fired long ago.
We have been told by reputable sources (Cecil Hurt being one) the Board of Trustees and athletic director Mal Moore didn't want to buyout Mark's contract. No money.
Then, when LSU whips out the wallet and gives Les Miles a raise that tops Nick Saban, money flies out from the hinterlands to respond with a football staff pay raise. We already had the highest paid football staff in the conference! It's a big member contest. LSU whipped theirs out and said mine's bigger. When put in those terms, there's money.
I argued with Bob Bockrath years ago on a radio show about blasting Coleman Coliseum and building a new arena. Of course, you know where that went. And in the end, that's the bottom line.
Commitment. For those reading this blog, know my position on gottfried. I've never thought he was that much of a basketball coach. After the Ron Steele debacle, he should have been fired. Period. But hiring a competent coach isn't going to solve all of Alabama Basketball's problems.
C. M. Newton left Alabama years ago because he felt there wasn't the backing to get where he wanted to be. He didn't hide it.
The more things change, The more they stay the same. At Alabama anyway.