Monday, June 11, 2007

Just as we were about to close up shop...

...Steve Alford has returned to the Iowa headlines in typically ugly fashion.

We were going to avoid any non-Iowa news about Alford--we're Hawkeye fans, not stalkers--but the latest news from the Cedar Rapids Gazette reminds us that even though Steve Alford is gainfully employeed far away in New Mexico, he's still not far away from our hearts--or, if he had it his way, the UI's pocketbooks. Here are some highlights:

Just hours after Alford resigned to take New Mexico's head coaching position, Iowa men's basketball secretary Shelly Deutsch sent an e-mail to Rae Parker, administrative assistant to Athletics Director Gary Barta, to see how long Alford could keep his university-issued phone. She also asked about vehicles leased through the university for Alford and his wife, Tanya, and when e-mail accounts for Alford and former associate head coach Craig Neal would be shut down.

March 23, Neal asked the basketball secretary if the school would pay for his and Alford's trips to the Final Four in Atlanta. Deutsch, in an e-mail to Parker, wrote that she told Neal, ``I (doubt) it.''

Four days later, March 27, Alford asked again about the Final Four bill.

``Steve is now asking if we are paying for any of his Final Four stuff or NABC membership stuff and I said no, correct?''' Deutsch wrote to Parker. ``I told him I had already asked you for Craig, and you said Iowa would not pay (for) it.''
Give Alford credit: 99% of us wouldn't have the temerity to ask for a trip to be comped by a former employer from which we'd willingly resigned just days prior. Sure, there's no real honor or credit to be earned, but it's almost worthy of admiration. Almost. Less worthy of any glowing words, however, is the stunt he tried to pull with their university vehicles he and Tanya had been using.
Alford was supposed to turn in his keys for his two leased vehicles that day (March 27).

``He filled out the vehicle paperwork Tuesday indicating he turned in the car, but he obviously did not,'' Deutsch wrote March 28.
Now, nobody is accusing Alford of grand theft auto, or anything; the fact is that this all occurred about 2 1/2 months ago, and had he still not turned over the cars by now (or even shortly after that e-mail), we would have heard a lot more. The point is that there isn't much noise coming from either camp about each other, which indicated that the split is going well.

Nonetheless, it seems pretty clear that both Craig Neal and Alford were interested in keeping their hands in Iowa's honey pot as long as possible. It shouldn't be surprising. We know it sounds like a broken record, but this is an inevitable result of the atmosphere of adulation and idolization that has surrounded Alford since he was in high school. He's not used to getting anything less than exactly what he wants, and he probably never will get used to it.

Since the aforementioned split does seem to have been clean enough not to make any waves, it's probably as good a time as any to hang up our cleats at the Hair Gel. Rest assured you'll see us again; I'll be starting another site very soon, and I just might take Buddy Light and Deacon with me, depending on what they want). It'll remain Hawkeye-centric, but there's as much need to continue associating UI athletics with Steve Alford as there is a need to associate Gator football with that fuckwad Ron Zook. Watch this space: as soon as a new site goes up, the link, like Richard Marx, will be right here waiting for you.

Fight, fight, fight for Iowa, friends. We'll see you soon.