Scott Cordischi On Sports: Feeling The Heat!
Thursday, February 28, 2013
I'm feeling the heat, but staying in the kitchen!
Twenty years ago I moved to Rhode Island where I have been both a sports talk radio host and sports writer. As such I have given my opinions on many local, national and international athletes, coaches and teams. However, none have elicited the type of response that Tuesday’s column entitled “Hurley To Rutgers? Don’t Be Surprised” has.
The premise of the column was that URI men’s basketball coach may be a top candidate for jobs at Rutgers or Seton Hall should they open up in another month or so.
I was simply connecting the dots on what I believe could be a logical scenario.
Rutgers coach Mike Rice is believed to be on thin ice and could very well be fired by the school this offseason. Dan Hurley, a former Rutgers assistant and New Jersey native, is a well respected coach in his home state of New Jersey for his work as both a high school and college coach. And a program that will soon be transitioning from the Big East to the Big Ten could surely offer a financial package to its head coach far more attractive than what the University of Rhode Island can.
For all of those reasons, I did not think that it was unreasonable to suggest the possibility of a scenario whereby Hurley could be offered and accept such a job.
This generated quite a stir in both the comments section under the column here on GoLocalProv.com as well as Facebook.
I was accused of “stirring the [expletive],” “shabby journalism” and having a “PC bias.”
Criticism comes with the territory when you put your opinion in print or over the airwaves for everyone to see or to hear. I can live with that.
But, in this particular case, I think that has gone a bit too far.
I certainly understand where the loyal, diehard fan would dig in his or her heels to defend the program they love so much. No fan wants to believe that a coach could leave after only one year on the job.
You would think that college basketball fans would remember that Rick Barnes left George Mason after just one year to come here to Providence in 1988. And Hurley, himself, left Wagner after just two years on the job to come to URI.
One critic suggests that there is no way that an 8-win coach like Hurley could be hired by a team in a power conference. Generally speaking, I would agree with that statement. But there’s more to this story that meets the eye.
Hurley won 25 games at Wagner a couple of years ago and his reputation is well-known in New Jersey. Furthermore, there was no expectation of greatness in his first year in Rhode Island so this 8-win season could be easily overlooked.
What’s more important is the fact that Hurley has managed to put together a solid first recruiting class which combines talented freshman and transfers that will all join the mix next fall. That is what a smart basketball person will focus on.
If offered a job at Rutgers or Seton Hall, would Hurley feel guilty about leaving URI after just one year? Certainly! He had mixed emotions about leaving Wagner to come here last spring. Those feelings are only natural.
However, ultimately, there would be other factors to consider, factors such as more money, a higher level of competition and exposure and the chance to return home.
To put it in terms that the average Joe like you and me can understand, it would be like having a chance to double your salary AND go back home to work. Who would say “no” to that type of opportunity? Not too many people.
Maybe my favorite comments are those suggesting that I have some type of “PC bias” that has prompted me to write such a story.
Let me make a few things clear.
First, I like Dan Hurley and think that he is an excellent coach and would like nothing more than to see him remain at URI and lead the program back to prominence.
I am a fan of URI basketball just as much as I am a fan of the Providence Friars and the Bryant Bulldogs. If I have any bias, it would be towards Syracuse (my alma mater) or Brown (the team whose games I have broadcast for many years).
In fact, earlier this season, I wrote an article critical of Friars head coach Ed Cooley for how he handled his postgame press conference following a loss to Brown. There were some Friar fans who didn’t agree with my opinion in that story which was fine. But that’s what I get paid to do, give my opinion on sports. And it’s funny how I didn’t have one URI fan suggest that I had a “PC bias” then.
But, back to this story. This whole scenario may ultimately never take place. Rutgers and Seton Hall may not fire their head coaches. And, even if they do, maybe Hurley wouldn’t be on their short lists of candidates. And maybe Hurley wouldn’t leave URI after just one year.
Still, unlike some of my critics, I don’t see any harm in suggesting that this scenario is a possibility to consider. There are plenty of logical reasons to support the argument and I stand by my story that it remains a possibility.
-If anyone has a old, dirty pair of socks, can you please stuff them in Terrell Suggs’ mouth? I’m sick of hearing him whine about how nobody likes the Patriots. Enough already! You have your Super Bowl title, don’t you? Now shut up and go away!
-Did you see where Red Sox 3B Will Middlebrooks reinjured his right wrist last night in the team’s exhibition game against Baltimore? Not good!
-You’ve gotta love new Sacred Heart Athletic Director Bobby Valentine who said, “not even Connie Mack” could win with the Red Sox last year.
-Tom Brady renegotiates his contract to help the Patriots and he still gets criticized. I don’t get it. Meanwhile, Peyton Manning is on the books for $18 million with Denver this season but nobody criticizes him.
-This just in: the Bruins are good!
-Given the way that the #1 team in the country has fared this season in division one men’s college basketball, I wouldn’t want to be the top-ranked team heading into this year’s NCAA Tournament.
-Various reports say that the New England Patriots may cut WR Brandon Lloyd. That would seem to make re-signing Wes Welker an absolute must.
-I wish I could figure out a way that the Miami Heat don’t win another NBA title this year. But, short of an injury to LeBron James, I can’t.
-The “Open Tournament” for Rhode Island high school basketball is now in its third year and continues to be an overwhelming success.
-Did you see where police in Milwaukee are searching for the sausage? I kid you not. Police are investigating the theft of a $3,000 Italian sausage costume used for the sausage races at Milwaukee Brewers games at Miller Park.
-Congratulations to Rhode Island College men’s basketball player Tahrike Carter who became the first player in Little East Conference history to win Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Little East Tournament MVP honors all in the same season. And congrats to the Anchorman who have won another Little East title. I have said it before and I’ll say it again, when is RIC’s Bob Walsh going to get his much-deserved shot at being a D-1 head coach?
-When will the Ivy League wake up and have a conference tournament for men’s and women’s basketball?
-The Rhode Island Interscholastic League’s Unified Sports pairing students with intellectual disabilities with able-bodied students in co-ed basketball is a fantastic program that has grown from a participation rate of 10 to about 30 schools in just a few short years and should be celebrated.