The big story from yesterday: Penn St. basketball coach Ed DeChellis, best known to Northwestern fans as the guy who bitchmakes Bill Carmody twice a year, has resigned to take the head coaching job at Navy. That's right, he's now on a boat:
On the surface, this move makes little sense for DeChellis; in fact, it may be the first time in history a coach has voluntarily left the Big Ten for the Patriot League. But after reading some insider's perspectives (like Dana O'Neil's excellent piece linked above), it's clear DeChellis had his reasons. More significantly for NU fans, this whole mess has done the unthinkable: de-throned Northwestern basketball as the worst job in the Big Ten.
It took DeChellis a while to gain traction at his alma mater, finishing at .500 or worse each of his first 5 years at Penn State, but in the last 3 years, he made significant strides. In 2008-09, Penn State had their first winning record in Big Ten play since 1996, and while they were snubbed for the NCAA tournament, they went on to win the NIT. After a disappointing 2009-10 season, DeChellis rebounded last year and led the Nittany Lions to the NCAA tournament. Sounds pretty good, right?
In the eyes of most fans, yes. But the Penn State athletic department certainly didn't agree; Dana O'Neil reports that DeChellis would have been fired if he hadn't reached the NCAA tournament last year. That's quite an ultimatum from a program that hadn't made the NCAA's since 2001, and DeChellis didn't just have to battle opposing schools in one of the nation's toughest conferences, he had to deal with Bon Jovi rehearsals, career fairs, dance marathons, and crooked rims. It's almost as if Penn State was hoping DeChellis would fail so they could fire him, sort of like a college basketball version of Major League.
And even after he overcame the many obstacles his own school put in his way, Penn State still didn't give him credit. No contract extension, no public vote of confidence, not even a promise to give him a practice facility with regulation rims. And with the team in a rebuilding year following the graduation of 4 starters, DeChellis had to assume he was getting fired after next season unless he could pull another rabbit out of his hat and take a team of unheralded freshmen to the postseason. So he dumped Penn State before they could dump him, and while Dave Jones of the Patriot News thinks DeChellis could have done better than Navy, at least he's now at a school that actually wants to have him as the head coach.
Meanwhile, Penn State basketball is in serious trouble going forward. They were already going to be in rebuilding mode, but DeChellis' departure may cause some recruits to go elsewhere; 4-star recruit and Dayton transfer Juwan Staten in particular now seems unlikely to end up in Happy Valley. Plus, how are they going to find a good coach to clean up this mess? The basketball program is already an afterthought next to the football team, a men's ice hockey team will start up in 2012 to steal some of the winter spotlight, and it will be tough to sell the basketball coaching job considering the last guy (who was a Penn State alum) decided he'd be better off at a service academy that competes in the Patriot League. The following sentence from Inside the Hall is quite the indictment of Penn State basketball:
If you had any reservations about calling Penn State the worst hoops job in the Big Ten, you can now tuck those safely away.
I'm not quite sure if I'm ready to call Penn State a worse job than Northwestern, but the fact it's even a conversation shows just how screwed Penn State is long term.
Gonzalez, the sister of former Seton Hall coach and noted wackjob Bobby Gonzalez, goes on a lengthy tirade about the ten worst college basketball writers in the country. It's fantastic, I'd recommend reading the entire thing. One of her fantasies involves Pete Thamel getting hit by a car; no, really.
After some transfers and academic trouble, the Minnesota basketball team sees its APR fall substantially, but not low enough to lose any scholarships. The only commenter on the story, a certain Ron Langevin, is displeased:
Get rid of tubby and perhaps players will stay around. What a OVERATED non-coach he is. If we are going to lose almost all the conference games, get a white coach qnd white players. I'd rather see them lose with white than black felons from far awy places. The whites possibly wouldn't drop out, be dumb enough to be cought w/MJ, and might just be smart enough to go to class so they don't have to "hang out" when they gewt out of school.
Um, yeah. What's incredible is that the guy posted that under his real name; there's even a link to his Facebook page right in the comment. Terrifying that such people still exist in 2011.
After years of pro-bono blogging, LTP is finally selling out. More power to him in my opinion, the guy puts an incredible amount of time into his blog and he certainly deserve a little income for his efforts. However, the man does have some standards:
I’m open to any potential sponsor as long as it makes mutual business sense (no gambling, no porn etc..)
No gambling AND no porn?!?!?!? Guess that rules out sponsorship from yours truly...