Thursday, March 22, 2007

Thank you Steve!

I would like to openly thank Steve Alford for his services here at the University of Iowa. Steve, as you probably know is leaving Iowa City for sunny Albuquerque not for the golf, but because it's a basketball school and not a football school, like Iowa (eleventh paragraph).

The thing is, when Steve Alford came to Iowa (ugh... 7 years ago), Iowa was a basketball school. The football team won 4 games over the 2000 and 2001 seasons. The basketball team was a combined 37-28 over those same academic seasons, and they had quality players in Luke Recker, Reggie Evans, and Dean Oliver (specifically in the 2000-2001 season). They made it to the NCAA Tournament and got the only win during Alford's tenure. The prospects for the hoops team were very bright. Dean-O left but Iowa still had their stars. Unfortunately, they proceeded to throw the next season, then flew to sunny Mexico after a first round home loss in the NIT to LSU.

That season was the turning point. The football team stepped it up late in 2001 and continued to grow (unlike Alford's boys) in the coming seasons. 2001 saw a trip to the Alamo Bowl, followed by one of the greatest seasons in Iowa history which led them to the Orange Bowl. The proverbial tables were reversed. When Iowa had a chance to be one of the best schools in the two major sports, one team stepped up and one (Alford's) team wilted.

The reason Alford is leaving is his own doing. The University of Iowa was a basketball school, but Steve played a big role in making it a football school. His quality teams decided to make spring break plans that didn't involve a 64-team tournament, he vouched for felons, he sold out his student section, he crapped on some of his better players (most notably Jared Reiner) and he drove his recruits to transfer (Marcellus Sommerville, Nick DeWitz, Carlton Reed, just to name a few) and now he's leaving because Iowa is a "football school. " Thank you Steve. Instead of Iowa being a formidable power in both major sports (like Florida, Ohio State, Wisconsin, LSU, or Texas), you made Iowa a "football school."

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