Thursday, March 1, 2007

It has come to this

As Google users flow in looking for "fire steve alford" (The Hair Gel is now the #6/#7 response, depending on what service you use), I feel compelled to actually form a position on his employment status at the UI.

Yeah, he's got to go. Fire Steve Alford (there, I said it).

He's just no longer a positive ambassador or figurehead of the Iowa basketball program anymore. It is no small secret that everybody in the state of Iowa hates him. The litany of rumors floating around Iowa City about his unprofessionalism and greed are not going to go away. Whether they're true or not is, at this point, nearly irrelevant. He's an image man through and through, and his image is awful in the UI community.

He actually isn't that bad of a coach, per se. Say what you want about the guy, but it's not as if Iowa's going 8-21 every year (or any year, for that matter). He does incredibly well in the Big Ten Tourney--he's 13-5 in his 7-year tenure, and one of those losses came in the finals. 3 finals appearances in 7 years does not suck. Even during the years where Iowa doesn't make the tourney, he makes the NIT. Yes, the NIT sucks, but let's not pretend Iowa is the new Northwestern. They're still always decent.

He does not, however, take an honest and accountable approach to the results when it comes to his relationship with the media (and, by proxy, his fans). It's not hard to find examples of his kids being thrown under the bus. Everything I listed there was from the last half of this Big 10 season; those of us familiar with the Alford regime are well aware of his player-based negativity (most notably directed at Reiner) throughout the years. What's more, nearly every single public criticism of his players goes to their mental approach to the game, not anything fundamental. Steve--your team's mindset is YOUR JOB. If they're not going after things the right way, fix that in practice--don't go telling the media and fans!

If we can't trust him to be open and honest with the media, we can't trust him to be open and honest with his players--essentially, we can't trust him to be a good coach to 18-through-23-year-olds. Without that trust, we have to have results that show us he's a good coach, and middling your way through the Big Ten every year is no good way to accomplish that.

The schtick doesn't fly here anymore, Steve. And if you're not going to endear yourself to Iowa City by acting like a normal, humble human being, you may as well deliver some huge seasons. One in seven seasons just won't cut it, especially with nothing good on the horizon.

It's time to start over.

1 comment:

Deacon said...

Steve is open and honest with his players and the media. It's a loving relationship. And love means never having to say you're sorry.

WWJD, you dick. W - W - J - D.

My guess is our lord and savior would tell the Lil' General to look to the next year's recruiting class, put a smile on your face, and get back in there crafting a Hawkeye team that hoosiers can be proud of.