By Bill Barrows
First of all, let me clarify my stance. I am not your typical college basketball fan.
I appreciate all of the major college programs that take up most of the space on the sports pages in Indiana. There are rabid and loyal fans for each school, namely, Indiana, Purdue, Notre Dame and Butler. That’s great. That’s what makes the world go around here in the state that is named for basketball sickness -- “Hoosier Hysteria”.
IU Basketball is steeped in tradition. Purdue is quietly one of the all-time winningest programs in the Big 10. Notre Dame has provided a number of big upsets down through the years and Butler has become the mid-major to watch year in and year out. So my perspective may be a bit different from yours, so indulge me on this.
I do not necessarily disagree with IU parting ways with Tom Crean. It appears that program has its issues, including injuries that made this season turn south late. I know not what happened in the locker room or on the practice floor, other than what I read, just like you.
I also have trouble stomaching the fact that after all the guy did rebuilding a program left for dead 9 years ago with only 2 players returning, this is the way he is treated on the back end. I also understand that there is more to it than just wins and losses. But I still ask: Knowing what we know and what we have seen over the past 9 years, who would want to come to Bloomington after how Crean was treated by the fans, alumni, boosters and the administration, especially on social media?
The Indianapolis Star’s Greg Doyle's current article (from Thursday) is kind of the voice of reason, but alas, he is part of the media that questioned Crean or fueled what we, the fans, did to have athletic director Fred Glass have to act. Go back and read Doyle’s article for a better understanding.
“Inside the Hall,” a webpage that is all things IU Basketball, is exploring all of coaching candidates that are already discussed, some of them speculation, over the past couple of weeks on social media while Tom Crean’s future twisted in the wind. Some are laughably well out of our league. Others make sense, but are probably not realistic. As Doyle says, “Fred Glass had better get this one right.” But I still ask, who wants to come here knowing full well that the fan base didn't appreciate a guy who came here when IU was dealing with scandal and got the program back to much more than respectability…….and the program is clean!!!!
As a friend of mine, who is an IU supporter, says, “I have a feeling of relief, especially for Crean.” Another has said many times during this stretch, “The Coach K's of world aren't coming to IU anytime soon and John Wooden is deceased.”
Good luck, Mr. Glass!
Sorry for the rant, but I just can't help it this time.