I'd really prefer to be talking about the upcoming game vs. Creighton, or Minnesota's outstanding performance in Puerto Rico over the weekend, but Kevin Coble won't stop talking to the media. On the heels of his unsolicited email to SI.com's Luke Winn, he's now talking with the Tribune's Teddy Greenstein, and not only rips into Carmody, accusing the coach of "launching personal attacks against him", but also accuses the Northwestern medical staff of lying to his parents in an attempt to examine his foot.
I'm not sure what Coble is trying to accomplish by continually taking potshots at various Northwestern employees, but in my mind, all he's done is make himself look bad. First of all, even if all his allegations are true, I'm confused by the timing of them. He left the basketball team in late July, and didn't speak to the media then, only releasing a short statement that didn't criticize anyone.at NU, but almost 4 months later, after the season has already started, now he ends his media silence and starts ripping the coaching staff and the medical staff? I find his behavior here to be very selfish, as he's become a distraction for his former teammates as they begin what has the potential to be an excellent season. It's ridiculous that the Northwestern players now have to answer questions about the Coble-Carmody feud, and Coble has only himself to blame for that.
And after reading Coble's comments in the Tribune, I'm having trouble sympathizing with his situation. This quote in particular really jumped out at me:
In May, Carmody told Coble about the team's trip to Italy leaving in late August.
"I got pretty strong feedback that not going on trip was not going to be an option," [Coble] said. "That was a red flag."
Wait, what? How is that a red flag, or any kind of issue? Carmody has every right to expect Coble, and every other player on the team, to go on the team trip to Italy. There is only one valid reason why Coble wouldn't be able to go, and that would be if Coble's injury prevented him from traveling. But apparently he was healthy enough to travel to Hawaii:
While Coble declined to join the team in Italy, saying he would be in the final stages of rehabilitation, he did take a family vacation to Hawaii around the same time.
So Coble's injury did not prevent him from traveling thousands of miles; he would just rather spend time with his family in Hawaii than in Italy with his teammates. Making matters worse, Coble neglected to mention the Hawaii trip when he e-mailed Luke Winn on Friday, implying that his rehabilitation process rendered him incapable of traveling, which we now know not to be the case. His behavior here is completely ridiculous, and Carmody has every right to be upset with Coble for putting himself ahead of the team. If he played for Tom Izzo or Bob Knight and pulled a stunt like that, he'd probably find himself kicked off the team immediately.
To be clear, I'm not saying Bill Carmody isn't at fault here. In this SI.com article, Carmody makes it sound as though Coble quit the team out of nowhere, which clearly isn't what happened; he would have been better off not saying anything. And if Coble is correct that Carmody is the one leaking things to the media, then that reflects poorly on Carmody, and he should stop doing that and just let the story die. I for one am extremely tired of this whole debacle, and very much wish this is the last thing I have to write about it. But if Coble keeps sending out emails ripping the coaching staff, it's going to keep being in the news, and I'm gonna have to waste more time discussing it. Here's to today being the last time I mention it.