SportsProf

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pimp My School?

Someone should tell those who run St. Louis University that Bob Huggins already left Kansas State after a single season to return to West Virginia.

You see, the Billikens fired head coach Brad Soderberg today, this after his team won 20 games this season and this after the season ended several weeks ago. To use a football analogy, the firing is like a "late flag." Why did the St. Louis administration wait so long?

It goes something like this. St. Louis is going to open a new arena in a few years, and they think that they need to perenially contend for the title to help pay for the edifice. Which means, of course, they'll need a more successful coach who can help fill the seats. After all, 20 wins just ain't what they used to be.

Is Jerry Tarkanian coming out of retirement? Imagine St. Louis, a respectable school and program, doing to its program what MTV does to rusted eight year-old cars with their doors falling off in "Pimp My Ride." Because the explanation provided in the article isn't a good one. Hiring a coach to fill and arena and win titles may be the American way, but for a school that isn't a perennial Sweet 16 contender that reason should raise eyebrows at the NCAA (especially because that august group seemingly only wanted schools from the Top 8 conferences or so to get at-large bids in the NCAA Tournament.). What will they do if the Billikens are successful in this quest? Narrow the tournament back down to 48 teams? Suspend them from post-season play for two years because they hire a slick new coach and if they succeed he must have cheated.

Sorry, but firing a coach who just won 20 games, didn't insult anyone, didn't commit any recruiting violations, didn't get photographed in a drunken stupor with co-eds and didn't have an assistant get caught sending a FedEx envelope with $1,000 in it to a recruit doesn't make any sense.

Except, perhaps, in St. Louis, where it has to make cents.

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