If you’ve read this blog, you know I make fun of everybody. Myself, friends, family, teams (even my own) and, of course, Kansas fans.
Among the entries on this blog have been several about coaching searches and hires. Despite offering some damn good advice, Kansas passed on Bobbie “The Brain” Heenan to replace Turner Gill and Missouri opted not to offer Jesus a deal once Matt Painter worked the Tigers over for a massive raise.
But I’m going to pass on belittling Kansas State today. I’m not going to say Joe Pesci should replace Frank Martin. Why? Because I genuinely feel bad for the Wildcats. I mean, their coach, the same man who preached loyalty and called Missouri “whiners” for going to the SEC, is going to South Carolina … in the SEC.
MOVE ON …
Relax, Wildcats. Coaches do this. It’s who they are. In all the years I covered coaches in the newspaper business, I trusted them to be honest about a lot of things. Their job prospects weren’t on that list. If they have a chance to take what they perceive to be a better job, they’re gone.
You’re mad. You’re stunned. You’re hurt. You’re worried. I get it. But don’t act like Kansas fans when Roy went home for a better gig. No crying. No anger. No hating the man 10 years later.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN …
Days after Mike Anderson led Missouri to its third straight NCAA Tournament appearance, he bolted for Arkansas. The timing was terrible. The Tigers had fallen apart down the stretch. Some were happy he left. Some were devastated. Some were pissed because the options at that point were underwhelming.
And when Painter opted to stay for Purdue (I’d argue he never planned on leaving), Missouri was in a world of hurt. Plan B (perhaps Plan Z) turned out to be Frank Haith, a hiring that floored Tiger fans. It was like taking Beyonce to the dance and coming home with Courtney Love.
HOW’D THAT WORK OUT?
A year later, the Haith hire looks like the work of a genius. Despite losing its second best player in the preseason, Missouri won 30 games and the Big 12 Tournament championship. The Tigers were a play (or a couple of ridiculous Allen Field House calls) away from winning the regular-season title.
Haith could run for governor and win.
THE POINT …
Let’s see who John Currie hires to replace Frank Martin before we barbecue the guy. There are reports that at least one player was going to bolt if Martin stayed. Based on his comments about paying high school players, would it be that surprising if Jamar Samuels received more than a few hundred bucks? Or that other players received impermissible benefits?
It’s possible Kansas State ends up with a better coach. And if it’s not a big splash hire, give the new guy a chance. If Faith in Haith worked at Mizzou, a similar hire can work at K-State.