Monday, February 28, 2005
More on basketball:I'll be going to the San Diego State Aztecs' last home game tonight -- I fully expect them to lose to Air Force. I also expect the zebras to call the game as though the Aztecs were the away team. If you're at the game, I'm pretty sure you'll be able to hear me -- everyone can.
Sunday's Union-Tribune has an excellent column by Ed Graney on Temple coach John Chaney -- a hall of fame coach who has a thuggery streak rivaling that of Texas Tech's Bobby Knight. In a game last week against St. Joseph's, Chaney was angered by the referees' failure to call moving picks -- a not uncommon occurrence nowadays. So Chaney sent in a player with orders to give the fans a hint of what they're missing with the NHL lockout. Nehemiah Ingram, following Chaney's directions, then went out and fouled John Bryant -- resulting in Bryant breaking his arm.
Bryant's college career is over. Chaney says he feels contrite.
Doesn't he always?
What do you suppose would be the reaction from media and fans if the coach in question were Bob Knight? How deafening would the outcry be? Why is the only thing more extraordinary than Chaney's career record (721-294, 17 NCAA Tournaments at Temple) the fact he hasn't been held more accountable for what has been a history of shameful demeanor and comments?
On one side of the court, he is lauded for signing countless inner-city kids from broken homes, for embracing the disadvantaged and neglected with tough love, for taking more risks in one recruiting class than Jeff Gordon on a Sunday afternoon, for intrepid scheduling. All of it is true and admirable.
But he is also the one who 11 years ago threatened to kill then-Massachusetts coach John Calipari during a postgame news conference, who said if he had a baseball bat after a loss to Xavier last March, he'd use it to beat some of his big men, who has littered many of his postgame gatherings and some banquet appearances with obscenity-laced remarks.
Chaney utters these words and people laugh. It's just John being John, they insist.
What a crock.
Graney calls on Chaney to retire. I concur.