Tuesday, March 14, 2006

John, We Hardly Knew Ye


John Chaney retired as Temple coach yesterday. He leaves behind a stellar legacy as a coach, 5 trips to the elite eight, 17 NCAA appearances, 7 A10 titles, and 516 wins. He's a Hall Of Famer who has helped many kids get an education and has been a tireless proponent of education over athletics.

If that were all there was, John Chaney could ride off into the sunset with all his deserved accolades with him. However, there is just a little bit more. John Chaney once walked into the press conference of an opposing coach and threatened to kill him. He had to be physically restrained from attacking him. Obviously coaches get a little heated after loses, but to threaten to kill someone? That seems a little above and beyond the call of duty, don't you think?

And of course if that were the only incident, then we could chalk it up to a one-time lapse in judgment. I mean who hasn't lost their temper at an inappropriate time before. Well then there was the incident last year when during another losing effort, he inserted an enforcer to intentionally foul the opposing players. That enforcer ended up breaking the arm of one the players from the other team. Enforcer isn't a position in Basketball. This isn't Hockey. This isn't Football. This isn't Boxing. The goal of the game is not to injure your opponent. He should have been fired. Can you imagine, Roy Williams or Mike Krzyzweski or even Bobby Knight pulling a maneuver like that? Great coaches don't resort to being thugs. Woody Hayes snapped at the end of his career and ended up punching a player from an opposing team. He retired the next day, but the incident has stained his legacy. For some reason the press just seems to want to look the other way when it comes to Chaney's Indiscretions and I have no idea why.

Chaney has been cut a lot of slack over the years because of his "good" deeds, but it is clear that his time has past. He probably should have retired after last year's incident, but he got off with a short suspension. Will Temple be better off without him? I don't know. His match up zone has caused problems for opponents for years. He managed to get various under manned teams into the NCAA's and brought the Temple basketball program to prominence. The bottom line however is that he's a bully. And at the end of the day, I think the school, the team, and college basketball are better off today without him.

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