If the past few days have shown us anything it’s that this Gopher fan base is one demanding group. Crazy indictments on the administration, Norwood Teague in particular, and the media frenzy to come down with the most ridiculous takes that further inflame the search process continue to amaze me.
Take a chill pill, people. It’s going to be okay.
I wish there was a voice in the local media telling us that hiring good coaches is what Teague does for a living and why he is where he is today (remember, he DID hire Anthony Grant and Shaka Smart)[UPDATE: Teague may or may not have hired Grant directly; it’s unclear. Grant DID develop under Teague’s watch]. Instead we get fanatical cries from people like Jeff Dubay and Charley Walters and crap like this that make it seem like because we haven’t found a coach six days into the search process that Teague has somehow failed in the process and is embarrassing the university. SIX DAYS. Does anyone actually know how the conversation went between Saunders and Teague? No? Perfect.
Can we get a little perspective here? Good lord. Hasn’t it ever occurred to anyone that maybe Teague has this thing COMPLETELY in control? Where’s that story angle? He hasn’t NOT found a coach yet; the NCAA season is still going on for Christ’s sake.
The biggest problem is that the entire search process and expectations have been been blown WAY out of proportion, and the rumors that come from nowhere feed themselves which make the broader fan base think that this whole thing is failure. As if Teague has somehow messed the whole process up because he hasn’t hired a homerun coach within a week of letting the previous one go.
I blame many members of the local media for lazy takes, creating a story based almost completely on speculation, which is now being taken as fact. Is it wrong to ask media members to take a more thoughtful approach to the whole thing? The truth is that there isn’t any actual insight into the process from the university’s perspective, yet the administration is getting skewered for not having a guy yet. No one knows how the negotiations went down with Smart or Hoiberg or Flip Saunders and to pretend like there is actual evidence to the contrary is unfair. So far there have been a whole lot of “reports” and “sources” but no actual comments from any of the coaches that have been approached and certainly no comment from the university.
So, I ask, why the apocalyptic reaction? Remember, Teague and Ellis do this for a living. This is their job. They deserve the benefit of the doubt. It hasn’t even been a week yet and just because Shaka Smart and Fred Hoiberg signed extensions at their respective schools doesn’t mean that the coach search is somehow blowing up.
My overarching point here is that it’s unfair to the administration to beat them up for something they haven’t even done wrong yet. And with such a dearth of hard evidence and insight into the search process no one actually knows what’s going on. It’s important to reserve judgement until actual reports surface into how the process is working, who is being targeted and what the results are. Real names with real quotes (not unnamed sources and anonymous reports) go a long way in the credibility department. So far that’s been severely lacking.