And at 11:37 p.m., after a pathetic and largely lifeless Hoosier performance, during a commercial break of the #9 Arkansas vs. #8 IU game at Raleigh in the first round of the 2008 NCAA basketball tourney, a guy you've never heard of at CBS Sports probably said to nobody in particular, something along the lines of, "Stick a fork in the Hoosiers."
And so it was done.
And with that, CBS pulled the plug on the Hoosier season, switching South Florida to #5 Clemson vs. #12 Villanova with eleven minutes left at Tampa Bay.
Thank goodness I get CBS College Sports, formerly CSTV, which I've been watching for years.
I signed up for that NCAA.com web deal last Sunday after the tourney selections, but considering we'd gone down something like twelve with less than three minutes to go, there seemed little point of going to it.
By Barry Jackson
No matter which games CBS assigns to individual stations, some fans usually will be dissatisfied. The challenge for CBS programmer Mike Aresco, who crafts the regional maps, is identifying the games with the broadest appeal.
At 7 p.m. Friday, for example, Channel 4 was assigned North Carolina-Mount St. Mary's, even though the three other games at that time (including Mississippi State-Oregon) would appear, on paper, to be more competitive.
''The thinking is we would like to start you off with North Carolina, the No. 1 seeded team in the Tournament,'' he said. "We don't expect the game to be competitive. We would be switching fairly quickly if it isn't.''
Aresco said that approach was similar to his thinking for Thursday night, when Channel 4 had Belmont-Duke even though many Heat fans would have preferred to watch Kansas State (and likely No. 1 draft pick Michael Beasley) against USC (and top prospect O.J. Mayo). ''We like to give the East Coast a taste of Duke,'' Aresco said. That decision worked out well, with Belmont nearly upsetting Duke.
''It's possible,'' Aresco said. "Our feeling has been Miami has been a Big East region for so long, and you have a lot of transplanted Northerners. . . . You go back and forth on decisions. It's not easy.''
• The good news is that all games are available for free on cbssports.com. DIRECTV also offers all the games for $69.
• If UM wins Friday, its next game would be 2:15 p.m. Sunday. . . . CBS assigned Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel to those games in Little Rock, Ark.
• CBS did its usual good work switching Thursday afternoon, taking us from Michigan State-Temple to the closer Xavier-Georgia game.
• CBS College Sports Network -- formerly called CSTV -- is presenting simultaneous Tournament coverage while CBS is broadcasting the games. Available in 25 million homes, CBS College is offering two games in their entirety (including Oklahoma-St. Joseph's at 7 p.m. Friday), plus live look-ins, interviews and highlights.
• CBS College borrowed Greg Anthony from ESPN to serve as a studio analyst. And in exchange for again being able to borrow Jay Bilas, CBS gives ESPN: 1. Better access at the Final Four; 2. Fewer restrictions on airing highlights. 3. Promotion for ESPN's women's NCAA coverage; and 4. The right to replay men's NCAA Tournament games on ESPN Classic.
Instead, as I write this, I'll listen to longtime South Beach Hoosier favorite David McCullough for the full hour on the Charlie Rose Show on WLRN-TV, Channel 17, the second Miami PBS station here, since WPBT-TV, Channel 2, the bigger PBS station, has been running Charlie at 3:30 a.m. for months now.
If there is a PBS station that does more fundraising than Miami WPBT-2, I've never heard of it!
I could be wrong, but I honestly think that freshman or no freshman, Eric Gordon has no idea of the volume and quality of the vehemence that's heading in his direction over the next few weeks from a justifiably disappointed Hoosier Nation, after just the latest in a long line of his
When champion Aussie tennis player Yvonnne Goolagong-Cawley spaced out for large periods of time during matches in the 1970's against players who didn't have her ability, they call 'em "walkabouts."
So what 'term of art' do we call the last and most disappointing Eric Gordon performance in Hoosier cream and crimson?
Let me know what you think, but with apologies to David Spade when he was on Saturday Night Life doing Weekend Update talking about Eddie Murphy, after showing a photo of Murphy from one of his many bad movies -perhaps Pluto Nash?- he deadpanned and said simply, "Catch a falling star?"'
Yep, I'll stick with that one until I hear a better description.
Listening to CBS' Jim Nantz and Billy Packer talk about him, especially in the middle of the second half of the ballgame, with references to things he once did, if you didn't know any better, you'd think that they were talking about someone who had just died.
And fifteen minutes later, all I can do is repeat my kernel of insight that I've been repeating to friends for weeks: please hire Tom Crean!
How many Hoosiers does it take to screw up a coaching search?
By Bob Kravitz
March 20, 2008
WASHINGTON -- This is the city that made committees famous. This is the nation's capital, where politicians too clueless and afraid to act form committees to study the feasibility of establishing other committees.
You want to know what I think of IU's 10-person blue ribbon -- got to love that blue ribbon -- committee to find IU's next basketball coach?
I think it's further evidence that my alma mater still has absolutely no idea what it's doing.
It botched the Kelvin Sampson hiring. It botched the Kelvin Sampson exit. Shoot, it even botched the timing on the establishment of this committee, undercutting its interim coach and his team by announcing it just days before the NCAA Tournament.
Now it's going to botch this. Ten people? It takes 10 people to find a basketball coach? Was Sen. Hillary Clinton right? Does it take a village?
It took a 16-person committee to hire the current athletic director, Rick Greenspan. And that's worked out so well, the new school president, Michael McRobbie, isn't even willing to trust his AD with doing the most important job of an athletic director: hire a head basketball coach.
If the school isn't confident enough in Greenspan's ability to hire a coach -- and after the Sampson affair, they shouldn't be -- then Greenspan needs to be sent packing. He's either the man or he isn't. He can't be both.
If McRobbie wants to save time and money, he can call me and I'll get this done in a month's time. Just give me an administrative assistant and a contract attorney and -- badda bing, badda boom -- IU has a big-name, big-time coach who will unify the fractured fan base and begin the process of restoring the program to its proper glory.
And I won't even ask for the school to pay six figures for a headhunting firm. Pay me instead.
I don't need 10 people to tell me that my Wish List begins and ends with Michigan State's Tom Izzo, Tennessee's Bruce Pearl, Louisville's Rick Pitino and maybe, just maybe, Memphis' John Calipari.
I don't need 10 people to tell me that my next List of Good Candidates (Who Didn't Make My Wish List) includes Baylor's Scott Drew, Marquette's Tom Crean, Georgia Tech's Paul Hewitt, Xavier's Sean Miller, Pitt's Jamie Dixon, Washington State's Tony Bennett, Gonzaga's Mark Few and Vanderbilt's Kevin Stallings.
(As for the rumored candidacy of Scott Skiles . . . nah. Great guy, good coach and as a Bloomington resident, the school would save on moving expenses. But he doesn't fit the profile.)
It's pretty simple: IU needs a slam-dunk sure thing as its next coach. Someone who has shown he can win big at this level of college basketball. Someone who is absolutely pristine when it comes to NCAA violations. (And before you say it, no, Bob Knight is not a good idea, no matter how many times Dick Vitale pleads for Knight's return.)
They can't screw this up.
But with 10 people, only one of them a former basketball player, there's every reason to think the IU administration will find a way to blow it.
Too many chefs. Too many agendas. Too many people who, frankly, have as much right being on this committee as I do dancing the foxtrot on "Dancing With the Stars."
There is one person with basketball ties on this committee. He's former player Wayne Radford. He played for the Hoosiers a pretty long time ago. After him, it's Greenspan and then a whole bunch of academics and lawyers, which can only mean IU might not have a coach until Oct. 1, at the earliest.
Let me ask a question: If McRobbie was looking to hire a provost, would he fill his search committee with former basketball players? This is the typical look-down-your-nose arrogance we see with academics when they poke their nose into athletics. I've got no issues with having a mix of academics and keen legal minds, but if I'm hiring a basketball coach, I want people who have played and coached basketball, people who don't need a headhunting company to tell them who's who.
If you talk to athletic directors around the state and around the country, they'll tell you: Hiring a high-profile coach has to be the work of a limited few. Ten blue-ribbon panelists means a 10 times greater chance this whole blue-ribbon thing will be screwed up.
The thing a 10-person committee does is help dilute the blame when the failed hire goes south.
My fear now is, a big-time guy like Izzo or Pitino will get a look at this ridiculous 10-person abomination, and they're going to wonder if the job is worth it. If you're a candidate, doesn't it give you pause? Who's in charge there? When the coach has an issue, does he go to the athletic director, or will another committee get formed?
They are complicating a fairly simple process.
Today I'm going to watch Purdue, whose athletic director, Morgan Burke, took a potentially ugly situation and seamlessly orchestrated Gene Keady's exit and Matt Painter's arrival. It doesn't take 10 people. Just one, or maybe two or three, who truly have a clue.