We have seen some head scratching moments in college basketball this past season. But, this is nothing that unusual. College basketball is full of “what was he thinking” type moments. From Bob Knight…oh well, just pick one…to Jim Boeheim melting down at a a press conference, to Billy Gillispie being Billy Gillispie, we have seen a lot of them. Here are some of the doozies the we think are the biggest coaching blunders in college basketball.
Billy Gillispie taking the Kentucky job in 2008- Taking the Kentucky job may not have been the big mistake. Not realizing what that job entails before he took it was probably the big mistake. If you are a basketball coach and only a basketball coach, then you don’t go to Kentucky. At Kentucky you have to be a basketball coach, celebrity/politician, NBA scout and P.R guy. You have to be mindful that the the Blue Bloods and Blue hairs take basketball extremely seriously. As a coach, you are going to be scrutinized 24/7/365. If you can’t handle that, and he could not, don’t go to Kentucky. Gillispie wanted to coach his team, then go out to bars afterward and be left alone. This did not go over well in Kentucky. Losing a bunch of game only made it worse.
Bill Freider taking the Arizona State job in 1989- Why was this a bonehead move? Because he announced he was taking the job before the NCAA Tournament while he was the coach of the Michigan Wolverines. This prompted then athletic director Bo Schembechler to announce that “A Michigan man will coach Michigan” in the NCAAs. He told Freider to take his happy butt on to Arizona and handed the reigns over to Steve Fisher. Under Fisher, the Wolverines went on a memorable run to win the NCAA Tournament. DOH! You had a national champion already and you screwed it up to go to Arizona State?
Bob Knight Ruining his Indiana Relationship- It is a shame that Bob Knight never learned how not to be a jerk. It cost him what should have been a Coach K/Duke or Wooden/UCLA or Smith/UNC type of legacy. Knight won three NCAA Tournaments at IU, but could not control his temper. He choked a player, threw a chair onto the court, and finally had an altercation with a student before a Hoosier football game that ultimately cost him hi job and his legend status at Indiana. Tom Crean is well on his way to becoming the Adolph Rupp of Indiana, and that should have been Bob Knight.
Mike Rice being a complete ass to his players- This year we saw disturbing footage of Rutgers coach Mike Rice verbally and physically abusing his players. Way to sabotage a career there coach. Who in his right mind would think throwing basketballs at players, calling them something that to gay people is the worst thing you can be called, and physically grabbing at kicking them would result in anything less than destroying your career and reputation? Let’s also throw in the A.D. who could have fired him immediately, but decided only to suspend him in an effort to keep the negative publicity to a minimum. After all, Rutgers was trying to move to the Big Ten and this would not help. There should be plenty of lawsuits stemming from this one.