Herd fans frustrated that Marshall has not had a real winner

Last updated: April 21. 2014 10:37AM - 630 Views
Ron Gregory ronjgregory@gmail.com

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I, like most Marshall University fans, have come to the conclusion that the men’s basketball team will operate next season without a head coach. While virtually the same situation existed the past four years with Tom Herrion at the helm, this is not exactly the best way to run an NCAA Division I basketball program.

There’s no doubt Los Angeles Laker Head Coach Mike D’Antoni is the preferred candidate for the job left vacant when Herrion was fired at the end of the 2013-14 season. But wanting D’Antoni to be head coach and getting him are two different things. MU Athletic Director Mike Hamrick appears poised to wait until LA makes some final decision regarding D’Antoni’s employment there.

Most knowledgeable fans thought D’Antoni would be history as the Laker coach after exit interviews last week. But LA General Manager Mitch Kupchak left the meetings by voicing support for the coach. He noted that D’Antoni has two years remaining on his contract, as if that makes much difference these days.

“If anything changes, we’ll let you know,” said Kupchak. Does that mean Hamrick and company intend to wait weeks or months for the Lakers to make a final decision?

I hope not. While I will agree that hiring D’Antoni would be a feather in Marshall’s cap, I hardly believe the team can waste the 2014-15 season waiting for their skipper to come to Huntington. Recruiting plans and scouting should be underway but Marshall doesn’t have a head coach to direct it.

Herd fans frustrated that Marshall has not had a real winner since they allowed Lee Moon to run Rick Huckabay off are getting impatient – and rightly so.

Money is not an object, apparently, in the recruitment of D’Antoni. Millionaire Jim Justice is said to be prepared to underwrite his salary. So, the question is: does D’Antoni want the job? If so, let’s get on with it.

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A proposal by the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission (SSAC) is being met with some opposition from around the state. In a nutshell, the plan would allow high school student/athletes to practice their sports throughout the year. The only exception, it seems, would be the week of July 4.

Well-meaning opponents of the plan argue that by permitting every sport to practice year-round, athletes would be forced to choose which one they want to play.

The long and short of it is that these folks believe a student/athlete would have to choose either practicing and working out for football or basketball full-time.

A bit of cooperation between team coaches would solve that problem, as it always has. The baseball coach inevitably understands that his star right-fielder cannot practice in pre-season if his basketball team is state-tournament bound. A little common sense permits the proposed rule to work perfectly.

Meanwhile, youngsters are provided with a positive opportunity to spend their time rather than the negative activities that inevitably go on. Boone County Judge Will Thompson is a big proponent of youth athletics as an alternative for youngsters – and he’s right, as usual.

I would much rather a child be playing baseball than creeping in dark alleys or attending parties from dusk to dawn.

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Scott’s softball team continues to impress, sporting a 7-5 record as we enter real spring weather. The baseball team is 4-11, although they had won two in a row at press time. Two of their season wins were over county rival Sherman.

Sherman, meanwhile, is 11-7 in softball and 3-7 in baseball. Van’s baseball team is 4-7.

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Game scores, comments, story ideas and rumors are welcome. Use my email address or call my cell, 304-533-5185.

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