Tate: What is Walker's next move?

Tate: What is Walker's next move?

Josh Whitman’s dismissal of John Groce, an appropriate move based on the Illini basketball record, was not made without risk.

First of all, it’s unusual for a coach to be fired in the midst of a highly successful recruiting surge.

Those promising prospects now hang in the balance.

Missouri’s hiring of Cuonzo Martin, which was clearly in the works before Cal’s loss to Bakersfield on Tuesday night, now compounds the UI dilemma.

That’s because Martin and Illini interim coach Jamall Walker have personal backgrounds in the suddenly vibrant St. Louis area and, with Walker’s future at Illinois uncertain, Martin will certainly make Walker an offer he hopes Walker can’t refuse.

In case you hadn’t heard, Walker is the Illini connection whose influence is crucial with five-star recruit Jeremiah Tilmon of East St. Louis and likely Mr. Basketball Mark Smith of Edwardsville.

Walker was in the Metro East area Thursday making contact with UI prospects there.

Whitman has stated that he’ll recommend Walker to the next coach but that’s about as far as the AD can go.

So, in these precarious days waiting for the NCAA tournament to unfold, we hold our breath. No coach can win without players.

For the record, Mike Krzyzewski once had seasons of 9-17, 10-17 and 11-17.

Miller vs. Marshall on Friday night
By Monday’s closing date for the Illini job, 52 of 68 NCAA tournament coaches will be eliminated and free to sit down for negotiations.

Of course, Whitman’s choice might advance to the Sweet 16, which would take longer, but UI recruits — they get the inside word — have indicated the new coach could be finalized next week.

Among the most analyzed games on Friday will be the showdown in Indianapolis between Archie Miller’s Dayton Flyers and Gregg Marshall’s Wichita State Shockers.

If Miller, 38, isn’t No. 1 at Indiana, why wouldn’t he be interested in Illinois? University tax forms had him at $1.16 million after Dayton reached the Elite Eight in 2014, and he’s had two raises since then.

If Miller can expect $1.8 million next season, Whitman reportedly has the funds to double that, thereby drawing him close to Big Ten leader Tom Izzo’s $4.15 million (he actually makes more).

All Marshall does is win
But it is Marshall who is most intriguing among a dozen comparable prospects.

The guy made seven — that’s right, seven — NCAA tournaments at Winthrop.

He’s turned the Missouri Valley into a 68-4 joke the last four years, and has made six straight NCAA tourneys while averaging fractionally less than 30 wins per season.

But he’s the Rodney Dangerfield of basketball. The 53-year-old gets no respect.

For his 30-4 season, he was handed a 10 seed opposite Dayton, even though the Vegas gamblers (who know better) make Wichita State a six-point favorite, and ESPN projects the Shockers with a 72-percent chance of winning.

Even if successful on Friday night, the Shockers will probably have to face Kentucky ... which means, too bad, he’ll probably be gone by Sunday.

But he’s got a nice setup
Marshall, who has indicated he “might listen,” would be crazy to jump.

He’ll make $3.5 million next season, has a strong squad intact, and is the king of a university that has no football and is backed by the billionaire Charles Koch, after whom the arena is named.
If it becomes a money battle, they win.

Furthermore, Marshall’s daughter will be a senior next school year, and his wife loves Wichita.

Now operating the Gonzaga of the Midlands, he has previously shown interest in Texas and UCLA, turned down Missouri when Kim Anderson was named coach, and rejected Alabama’s six-year bid of $4 million per year.

But that ultra-low No. 10 seed must gnaw at his craw.

The Valley is still a mid-major conference, in no way comparable to the cut-throat Big Ten.

In 20 wins against Valley teams this season, the Shockers’ average margin was 21.4. Wichita avenged the lone loss to Illinois State by paddling the Redbirds by 41 and 20.

Playing weak sisters like Bradley, Drake and Loyola is not comparable to tackling upstarts Minnesota, Michigan and Northwestern in order, or even the likes of Indiana and Michigan State when they’re down.

Izzo’s Spartans defeated Wichita State 77-72 this year between losses to Baylor and Duke.

Despite 14 losses, Michigan State may be more prepared for the next challenge.

Loren Tate writes for The News-Gazette. He can be reached at late@news-gazette.com.

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Efrem84 wrote on March 16, 2017 at 11:03 am

I hope he is more honorable than Tracy Webster, current Martin assistant.

IIRC, Webster was supposed to be recruiting a player for UI, and actually told him that he might be moving to Kentucky, and would he go there if he moved. Player ended up at Kentucky, with Webster.

Hope this turns out better.

 

wayward wrote on March 16, 2017 at 7:03 pm

Realistically, Walker needs to do what's best for Walker at this point. Loyalty is a two-way street.

Wiseguy1130 wrote on March 16, 2017 at 10:03 pm

PONDERING OR PUZZLING?

So grateful to be informed a coach can't win without players.

Who knew?

For the record, I don't care about Coach K's record! What does three Coach K seasons with 17 losses, have to do with anything Illini? What was the point?

What is precarious about the NCAA tourney for Illinois? Did LT mean precarious days waiting for the NIT to unfold?  

Precarious waiting for a Missouri offer to Walker? Wondering if Missouri's offer will be glorious?

Maybe LT can ask Walker who those fans are that he thinks want Illinois to lose. I mean any who aren't from Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, etc.

The ones Mr. Interim Coach mentioned in the post-game.

 

jjohnson wrote on March 16, 2017 at 12:03 pm

I don't know if we are witnessing an alias in "wiseguy," but for those with logical minds, Tate is suggesting, for instance, that Coach K could not win until he got players -- fairly obvious, I suspect, to anyone who is not obessed witn "getting even" with Tate, and relevance of NCAA and "precarious" is whether Whitman is interested in attracting one of those coaches who is in the tournament, with the need to close out so that another school cannot grab Illini recruits. Maybe it is simply that I am cursed from having been in the College of Engineering, but I cannot escape using a touch of reason rather than blind hatred every now and then.

Wiseguy1130 wrote on March 16, 2017 at 7:03 pm

I'm personally quite delighted that you have set your sights on building a better bridge, or designing a nifty faucet, JJ. Very admirable. Especially the bridge work. Safety is serious business.

You were clearly not in a lot of English, or composition classes. But I am impressed that you set a world record for the most words used in a run-on sentence. And invented a new word, obessed.

And I'm also aware that the grammatically challenged, are likely to call me the police to divert attention away from carelessness.

Now get back to that bridge design, JJ.

skm1962 wrote on March 17, 2017 at 10:03 am

Wiseguy, maybe you should brush up on your grammar and writing skills before throwing stones at others. You have commas where they aren't needed.  You begin sentences with the word "and".  You have put together a string of words that are incomplete sentences.  Perhaps you should head back to English or composition classes?

Wiseguy1130 wrote on March 17, 2017 at 11:03 am

Not necessary to have complete sentences in a creative piece.

Thanks for playing.

skm1962 wrote on March 17, 2017 at 12:03 pm

Then I'd venture to say it's not necessary to have short and concise sentences in a creative piece.  jjohnson's piece was very creative.

Too bad you aren't as smart as you think you are.

Wiseguy1130 wrote on March 18, 2017 at 6:03 pm

Actually I am.  And I have the paperwork to prove it.  Just wish you hadn't bullied me into possibly sounding egotistical by defending myself.

Also never said short, or non-complete sentences are necessary. It's a chosen, acceptable technique. Read more and you'll discover the N-G writers also use it.

Please pay atttention.

 

Moonpie wrote on March 16, 2017 at 1:03 pm

Successful recruiting? Really? What we know is that Coach Grimace could not nab the top talent necessary to compete in the upper echelon of the conference. Does The Legendary Scribe mean those two recruits who have yet to play a single minuite as Illini and so they are essentially unproven? That, as usual, is The Ancient Seer violating one of this own edicts -- that highly-touted recruits to other schools must be regarded as unproven, but if they choose Illinois, they're the greatest thing since sliced bread. But then Ancient Tate is a consistent hypocrite and cheerleader.

cowpie needs a hobby wrote on March 16, 2017 at 3:03 pm

"But then Ancient Tate is a consistent hypocrite and cheerleader."

Based on your demonstrated lack of reading comprehension skills and post history, I  think we can all safely assume you have no absolutely idea what those 2 big words you used in your sentence there actually mean.

Objective Reporter wrote on March 16, 2017 at 2:03 pm

To Tate - Um, his next "move" is to win his next game.

 

To Moonpie - A top recruiting class in the country and the best in the Big 10 isn't landing high calibre players? 

OrlandoIllini wrote on March 16, 2017 at 3:03 pm

Moonpie and Wiseguy rhyme. Probably just a coincidence.

Moonpie and Wiseguy are obsessed with pummeling Loren Tate. Probably just a coincidence.

Moonpie and Wiseguy say they’re former newspaper guys. Probably just a coincidence.

Moonpie and Wiseguy sometimes write with similar cadence and sentence structure. Probably just a coincidence.

Moonpie has neglected to use his MasterOfTheObvious moniker for a while. Probably not a coincidence.

 

Wiseguy1130 wrote on March 16, 2017 at 6:03 pm

OrlandoIllini rhymes as well. Perhaps more palatable would be the pseudonym NashvilleIllini?

I could change, if that would make you happy and able to reach better conclusions.

Frankly, dude(or dudettte), I think your phrasing matches mine more closely than Moonpie's does.That's my compliment of your style.

For all you amateur analysts out there, observe the harsher tone in Moonpie. Not that I do not utilize an acerbic style occasionally. Well, ok, pretty often.

I don't think that alliteration is part of Moonpie's repertoire, nor on a consistent basis, is word humor.  I consistently try to insert cleverly crafted, creative quips. You don't think so, don't get it, don't like it--I DON'T CARE!

So I'm very tired of the entirely goofy conclusion that Wiseguy is just a different handle for Moonpie. 

And I'm starting to think y'all are trying to Badger me into giving out my personal identity.  I'm not even on Facebook.  Not going to happen. I don't Gopher that kind of stuff.

This an arena for COMMENTING people. We make COMMENTS!!

Deal with it!!!

 

 

jdstieg wrote on March 16, 2017 at 7:03 pm

Here's my comment.  Wiseguy is Moonpie.  Deal with it.

Wiseguy1130 wrote on March 16, 2017 at 7:03 pm

Ouch!!

JD, what a clever comment!

You're also wrong. And I suspect are someone who had a lot of difficulty paying attention in class.

Moonpie wrote on March 17, 2017 at 3:03 pm

This is so funny! My goodness--many of you folks are absolute loons.

Other than the fact that I respect wiseguy, I have no idea who he is. I suspect we both are true Illini fans who don't have to get into lockstep behind the clowns who blindly cheerlead all things Illini.

But wiseguy -- you don't think I can do alliteration?

We may have to explain it to the locksteppers.

MasterOfTheObvious wrote on March 16, 2017 at 8:03 pm

Wonderboy is 0-1 on Monty WIlliams.  NBA guy looked at Illini and said no.  Illini spin it the other way.  Not so.

Wonderboy is 0-2 on Cuonzo Martin.  Guy would rather be in the SEC East vs Kentucky than have to put up with the Illini mess.

Tony Bennett is not coming to Champaign either,  Pipe dream.  Charlottesville is a much better place to live than Tornado Alley.  Another airball from Wonderboy, 0-3.

Archie MIller?  He will opt for the ACC too.  Wonderboy 0-4.

Roy and K will retire soon and Miller + Bennett will be in the catbird's seat to take the mantle of power coaches from the Blue Boys.  

Indiana is a better job than Illinois - people all over Indiana care about the Hoosiers.  Illinois not even iin the discussion any more with recruits on a national level.

 

 

 

jk3363 wrote on March 17, 2017 at 10:03 am

Monty said he's not interested in coaching at college at all. Not really a miss in that case, its not like he's going to IU.

Martin would be a lateral move over Groce. Most likely was never offered and the Finebaum story has already been debunked.

The next two are pure speculation. Hard to call something a miss when nothing has really happened yet. I'd be suprised to get either, but money talks and we are willing to spend. 

Indiana's standards are final four or bust, have been since Bobby Knight. A coach would have to be up for a massive challenge.  

 

 

Rocky7 wrote on March 17, 2017 at 12:03 am

How about:

Tom Crean

as the next Illini basketball coach.

wayward wrote on March 17, 2017 at 12:03 am

How about not?

Wiseguy1130 wrote on March 17, 2017 at 9:03 am

Comment of the week, ww!

Love it.

jjohnson wrote on March 17, 2017 at 9:03 am

Sorry your mind cannot digest complex ssentences, wiseguy; no grammatical errors, but I err in engaging in the foolishness of mud-wrestling with a pig.

Wiseguy1130 wrote on March 17, 2017 at 11:03 am

Well, since you hit us with your engineering degree, although I don't think that action would have really hurt anyone, let me say that MY degree and vocational experience would suggest that I can indeed digest the complex JJ, but I am curious however, does ssentences merely describe a run-on sentence, of which this composition is an example, or does it merely reference complexity of wording, for which you provide such a creative example with your magnificent, mud-wrestling pig metaphor, because despite my aforementioned, university studies, I have never heard of that word, so I suspect that perhaps you only made a careless mistake.

Hey! I think I may have broken your record.

But thanks for playing!

skm1962 wrote on March 17, 2017 at 12:03 pm

Sometimes, you just have to use the make-believe "ignore" feature, jjohnson.  Wiseguy is so brainy and witty and smart, none of us will be able to keep up with said person. *insert eye roll and sarcasm*

Moonpie wrote on March 17, 2017 at 3:03 pm

Goodness-- all the silly and needless grief tossed at wiseguy is making me feel down right loved.

Of course -- I know better. The lockstep Tate supporters -- people who don't think for themselves -- love to go after good old Cowpie.

 

Anyway--leave it to the Trib to do what the Lazy Gazoo cheerleaders won't:

 

In the absence of other former Illini, athletic director Josh Whitman sounds prepared to offer $25 million to a new coach, perhaps $4 million per season.

If true, you can interpret that as an impressive level of commitment. I see it more as a sign of desperation.

Cowpie sends his everlasting love...

jk3363 wrote on March 17, 2017 at 3:03 pm

Offering a high salary is desperation now? What else are we supposed to do? Sleep walk through another boring hire like Mike Thomas who will find a guy that is just good enough for a season or two? There's a reason each of his hires have all flamed out to an amazing degree, you either find a diamond in the rough or get set back another five years.

If there is any hope of keeping the recruiting class and inspiring future ones, you need a confident hire.  

That tribune article also repeated that we offered Martin, a fact debunked throughly. #fakenews. But above all, it's of the same mindset that Illinois will fail in everything it does just because it's Illinois. 

Sounds familiar. 

jk3363 wrote on March 17, 2017 at 4:03 pm

Oh, and if you want to go on the "biggest fish the pond" scale, or is a Woj Co-worker secretly on Tate's payroll? 

https://twitter.com/YahooNoise/status/842840003717881856 

 

MasterOfTheObvious wrote on March 17, 2017 at 4:03 pm

The funniest thing about everything surrounding Illini Basketball is how the lemmings all feel like the Univeristy of Illinois is an ELITE program, or even a program in the Top 30 in terms of respect.

Not even close.

There are 15 teams that have won MULTIPLE NCAA TITLES. Illnois is not one.  In the Big Ten, Indiana and Michigan State have done this in the B1G.  Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin have all won titles too.

Illinois has been to 5 Final Fours, but only 2 in the last 28 years. Wisconsin has been in two in the last 4 years. Michigan State has been to 4 since 2000. The new class of recruits were 1 year old when Dee Brown took the Orange and Blue to St Louis before losing in the title game.

No one in Chicago gives a damn about Illinois Basketball.  

The United Center is less than 40% filled for games now.  

In 2015 Illinois could not even sell out the Peoria Civic Center.

There is no mystique about Champaign any more.  No more high school kids grow up dreaming of HS titles in the Assembly Hall.  Their Dads and Uncles did, but that was way back in "the day".

There is no High School Pipeline from Chicago to Champaign.  It's all about the AAU coaches now and Illinois does not want to get caught cheating again, but maybe that will change with an Attorney as the AD.

Just paying a new coach a king's ransom is not going to make a winner.  

Who at Illinois has been a part of winning in football or basketball?  

Josh Whitman played football at Illinois, and was a part of 3 losing teams out of 4 who went 16-29 with him on the field.  His mentor was Ron Turner, who has a 52-91 career coaching record.  He is a big guy, tall, muscular, good speaker, smart, but he has never been a WINNER at any level in terms of WINS and LOSSES.  His Washington U teams won a few national titles in D3, but Wash U outspends other D1 programs 5:1 and more or less buy titles with their overwhelming resources. Illinois is never going to have that advantage. Ever.

In just over a year, Whitman has paid buyouts to Bill Cubit and his football staff, John Groce and his men's basketball staff, and Matt Bollant and his women's basketball staff.  He has also been at the helm as Kevin Hambly, the last Illinois head coach to take his team to an NCAA Final, left the school to coach at Stanford. The jury is out on his successor, and the two hoops positions are open, waiting to be filled.

Whitman's first hire, Lovie Smith went 3-9 at Illinois last year, being paid $4,000,000 to put that record up on the board.  All time, Smith is 92-99 as a head coach. His first recruiting class was ranked #55 in the nation by ESPN http://insider.espn.com/collegesports/football/recruiting/classrankings/_/class2017&date=null

Not exactly making big strides.

#WeWillWin 

???

I'd hope so.  $180 million for the "new" State Farm Center, $140 million for the new add-ons to Memorial Stadium on top of the $120 million done in the mid 2000s, over $24,000,000 in buyouts of coaching contracts and lawsuit settlements since 2004 and Ron Turner, and what has come to show for it?  Do the math, that's over $464,000,000 in cash going out, and there is ONE major bowl game and ONE Final Four over the last 13 years.

#WeWillWin

???

 

 

 

 

jk3363 wrote on March 17, 2017 at 4:03 pm

So the point of this rant is that Illinois is bad and will always be bad. We should let the stadiums be reclaimed by nature and give up. The best choice is to never try because we are a starcrossed town. Instead of having such a waste of energy, we should focus on the other activities in Champaign, pearl clutching about college kids drinking, casual racism and praying Kraft never leaves. 

You must be fun a parties. 

 

 

jk3363 wrote on March 17, 2017 at 4:03 pm

Also wait, did you also accuse of Illinois not having the resources to build a competitive program, yet lambast the price tag of the renovations? In the same Post? 

Moonpie wrote on March 17, 2017 at 5:03 pm

I agree, for the most part, with masteroftheobvious. Illini athletics would be in proper perspective if not for the juvenile antics of Jockstrap Ancient Tate and his Lazy Gazoo cheerleader posse. It's a coaches graveyard. A conference backwater. Time to demand better from the athletic department and the third-rate columnists who cover the programs.

Or, simply call moonpie a cowpie and wiseguy a cowpie in disguise. That's what a third-grader would do. Some of you folks ought to wake up from the horsepucky Tate has been doling out for decades.

jk3363 wrote on March 17, 2017 at 9:03 pm

All right real talk for a moment.

 

I've said some nasty things to you and you know what, I'm sorry. I think you aren't using any alts and I think that somewhere, you are an Illinois sports fan. You wouldn't be here otherwise. My frustration comes from the fact that there are many people, including major influencers in Champaign that would agree with Master's post, like you just did. That Illinois sports have been a colossal failure and frankly the world would be better without it. There are many, and I count you as one for the moment, that see positive things for the program not actually matter, predict the worst outcomes of all results, and dance on the ashes when they are right.

 

I have no idea how you can call yourself and Illini fan and agree with Master's post.

 

So I'd like to take a second to strip away all about your past with Tate (who honestly, is an average sports writer at best. Maybe the last place I check for Illinois news), all the nonsense alt account talk, and everything else. I'd like to take a second to talk pure sport. Because I have just one question.

 

How do you make Illinois successful? Moonpie, you are God-AD now with full control of the helm. What do you do? Do you have an idea for making Illinois sports competitive again? Would you rather bump us down to the MAC, C-USA or lower? Or would you just shutter the whole thing for everyone's sake? Take it any direction you want, go nuts. I am so curious about your answer, that I'm willing to make an offer.

 

I've been critical of you in the past and now, but if you give a genuine answer to the last question, I will stop posting here. I've come on here to try and counter the always negative opinions people have on here, but I'm getting tired of having to put up with the NG's comment section tools ( I've never seen a comment section that blocks google chromes redlining, I didn't even know that could be done. So Wiseguy if you are reading this, that leads to most of my grammar mistakes, not the fact I have the brain power of a slug). I just want this one answer from one Illinois fan to another and I'll be good. You'll be free to rag on your old boss all you want.

 

I'd like to share an anecdote though. When Illinois Basketball was making a run for the national title, which Master's post cited as just another example of Illinois coming up short, I remember one thing about it.

 

How happy everyone was.

 

There was a glow in Champaign like no other. From top to bottom, the town was excited, people were nicer, it was unlike anything I've ever seen or have seen since. I would give anything for that feeling to return to Champaign. In a world where it gets harder and harder to even get out of bed, just replicating that bit of joy would be incredible and in my opinion worth every penny. You might disagree, but this is why I am an Illini fan. I hope Lovie, the next basketball coach, or anyone involved in Illinois athletics can pull it off. They might not, But I certainly won't be hoping for them to fail. Even if they do, I'll still be here hoping we can find that special coach or that special player that can bring the happiness back to Champaign.

 

I eagerly await your response.  

Brownshoe wrote on March 17, 2017 at 7:03 pm

I said it earlier and I'll say it again.

If we cant get Monty Williams, hire Jamall Walker as Head BB Coach.

He can recruit, that is really all that's important.

We've all heard him speak and he's not dumb.

He has plenty of coaching experience, so he knows the game. 

If he's not dumb, and has plenty of BB experience, he fulfills the coaching requirements to be a head BBC.

It's recruiting that really counts, and he can do that.

If we don't hire him as Head BBC, there is a huge chance that we will do worse.

Hire him now, Josh.

Need I say, "Tom Izzo, Chris Collins, Fred Hoeberg"?

 

annabellissimo wrote on March 17, 2017 at 8:03 pm

Like some others, I also think "moonpie" "wiseguy1130" and "MasteroftheObvious" are one and the same. There is just a level of vitriol and bitterness in each of their posts that is so similar to each other's writings that makes that conclusion seem probable. Whether they are the same person or not, their posts make one wonder why they have such hatred and misery for everything University of Illinois and Champaign-Urbana, but beyond that, why they have such compulsion to make everyone else here think the same way. Over and over and over again, they drive home their point of view of how awful the whole place is, declaring that as fact and that anyone who thinks otherwise is stupid/wrong/lying/foolish or their invariable target for hatred: Loren Tate. Why do they bother? Why is it such an obsession with them that they express their bile and that they do all they can to make sure everybody else is covered with it. What is their goal with this repetitive nasty misery? Do they imagine they will get Loren Tate fired? That they will destroy the University of Illinois and Champaign-Urbana? That others will bow down in gratitude that those nasty posts finally cast the scales off the eyes of the ill-informed and ignorant causing them to finally see the light?! Why does spewing their bitter, sour negativity matter so much to them? I also wonder why the News-Gazette doesn't ban them; they are a plague on the sports sites, but especially in their relentless vendetta against Loren Tate. He may retire someday and then what will fill the void in these bitter lives? Please- the three of you and any of your other screen personae - please just stop. Leave us alone, but more importantly, leave the University of Illinois athletes out of your bitter diatribes.

MasterOfTheObvious wrote on March 17, 2017 at 10:03 pm

I did not mention Tate, nor a single current student-athlete. It's boring to pick on Tate, and there is no reason to pick on a kid, ever.  I never have.

 I did mention a former student-athlete, who is currently the AD and who makes over 600K a year, so he is fair game.  Josh Whitman may be a smart guy, but he, at this point, is no different than Mike Thomas in that inside of his first 13 months on the job, he has fired all three major sport coaches (and the #4 sport coach left to take another job so retention is not Whitman's strong suit), and his one hire to date (Football) went 3-9.

These are facts, and they are undisputed.

Moreover, over half a billion dollars in facilities and coaching buyouts and the fact remains that Illinois has only one major bowl game in football and one Final Four in the last 13 years.

These are facts, and they are undisputed.

These are not alternate facts, personal attacks, or agendas as you allege.  These are the real mccoys, things that are real.

The truth hurts, and in the DIA realm of reality it's expensive and without ROI.

jk3363 wrote on March 17, 2017 at 11:03 pm

Everything you said is technically correct, but as I read elsewhere "Nuance is for nerds." Call me a nerd then I guess.

Let's start from the top and an area you remain correct on. The last couple decades of Illinois sports have been awful. Guenther decided to phone it in towards the end of his career and Mike Thomas was just awful in most every aspect. Whitman has been in place for 13 months. Also true. 

So let's look at what Whitman inherited. Starting with Football. 

We just came off a scandal where the coach was abusing players, the interim coach who also had a poor season was extended with a contract that basically was “Well, your going to get fired once the new AD gets settled.” Not only that, the previous staff employed a recruiting system that consisted to trying to find under recruited guys and building them up to star players. This can work in the MAC and in lower conferences, much much harder to do in the big ten.

At a time when no one would dare touch Illinois with a ten foot pole, and our potential hires ranged from assistants to DII coaches, we somehow land an NFL coach who brought a poor Bears team to the super bowl. However, even if we hired the ghost of Zuppke, turning around the program in just one season is a tall order. It is foolish to consider the Lovie smith era dead on arrival because of one bad season. You can start judging progress next year and in truth, the year after that, when his system and player are fully implemented. This is not unreasonable.

Basketball. The women's program has underperformed as had the men's team. Both inherited. I think a lot of capital was spent luring Lovie to Champaign, so Whitman decided to see to make the year a “prove it” situation. Neither team met the mark and both coaches were let go. Seems fair to me.

Volleyball is a different story. The coach was offered by a premier volley ball program that had lost a five time NCAA champion to retirement. It's similar to the Kruger situation, an offer that can't be refused from the coaches perspective. I don't see why this is Whitman's fault and a replacement that seems capable was quickly hired. Can't really call it a mistake at this point. Just business. People will come and go as history says.

Finally to address the dollar amount, you are throwing around, how much of that is for necessary repairs and improvements for safety reasons? Parts of the horseshoe targeted in the next batch of renovations are over a century old. You are correct in that we haven't gotten a national title, but have we prevented an Illinois version of the Hillsborough disaster? Return on investment doesn’t necessarily mean titles. It means keeping the roof of the assembly hall from leaking and otherwise keeping the facilities from crumbling. (not to mention little if any tax payer dollars are used to cover these costs).

 

Finally returning to return on investment, you have to decide if you want to invest in penny stocks or retirement and the case applies for athletics. Whitman has been in office just for over a year in a volitile year. It seems strange to already call it a bust. Dave Brandon at Michigan, who offered Michigan football tickets for a couple of cokes, lasted four years. That's ample time to judge whether to buy in or opt out. Just like any other rational investment. Most importantly, Whitman isn't responsible for the mistakes of the past. But rather, what Illinois needs right now is a guy who says “Hey, wait, let's actually give a [d-word] (I'm one swear word away from getting banned from the comments section. Sorry.)

 

I'll also add, you don't hold water on your insistence you avoid personal attacks when just a few weeks ago, you were hoping that Tate would die soon. That's just too far.  

Wiseguy1130 wrote on March 17, 2017 at 10:03 pm

Moonpie--I wasn't suggesting that you can't or don't use alliteration. I could be wrong, although I hardly ever am, but I don't think you use the technique a lot.

That last sentence should give the loons, as you aptly called them, more to chirp about!

I honestly don't recall ever bashing the Illini.  Maybe an occasional quip or two about missing free throws. Unfortunately, some of our fine followers seem to have lost their sense of humor if they ever had one. And apparently their Teddy Bears.

 

 

jk3363 wrote on March 17, 2017 at 11:03 pm

"I could be wrong, although I hardly ever am"

 This single phrase explains a lot. 

Wiseguy1130 wrote on March 18, 2017 at 12:03 am

It certainly does.  If you view it without a tainted perspective.

That is a line from a well-known comedy. And even if you didn't know that, I thought it would be understood as "tongue in cheek"!

Try to get yourself a sense of humor.  Even a cheap one at the dollar store would be better than not having one at all.

 

 

jk3363 wrote on March 18, 2017 at 1:03 am

Considering your tactic after every time someone challenges you is to go after their grammar, then their intelligence, or in my case, their sexuality, no, I couldn't see that it was tounge in cheek. 

Sorry, It's hard to read someone who spends most of their time projecting themselves above others. 

Wiseguy1130 wrote on March 18, 2017 at 7:03 am

JK, I certainly apologize if you believe I did that, but would appreciate it if you would make a final comment on what I said that leads you to believe I "went after your sexuality".

I neither care, nor want to be  judgmental if that is someone's preference. Most definitely not for me, but none of my business how someone else lives their life.

I will say, that practically since day 1 of my commenting here, others have continually slammed me, questioned my credentials, and constantly referred to me as someone else.

Yeah, you're right, I probably got more harsh than I should have. 

I apologize to anyone else I've offended.Sometimes my smart-aleck gets the best of me. And to some degree, I felt a need to prove I am a former sports editor and columnist with my phraseology.

However, I am one of the only contributors who has complimented others when I've seen something noteworthy. I thought the name Wiseguy would be a clue as to the tone of my writing. Apparently not.

But let the record show that I am not Moonpie--though I seem to be the only person who respects his right to comment as he chooses and actually often agree with him.

Regardless, I think you see the evidence that Moonpie, me and perhaps a couple others drive a lot of the commentary.  I happen to think it makes the site more interesting.  Just my opinion.

 

 

 

jk3363 wrote on March 18, 2017 at 2:03 pm

Fair enough. 

For what it's worth, the comment was in here. 

"KInda suspected you 3363, but was giving you the benefit of the doubt. To each their own with no judgement--but that's not my thing so don't call me honey!"

http://www.news-gazette.com/sports/illini-sports/football/2017-02-01/get...

 

Wiseguy1130 wrote on March 18, 2017 at 5:03 pm

JK you are right and my retort was inappropriate. I did respond sarcastically to your post.

Things have gotten pretty ugly on the site, particularly lately. I hope you can somewhat understand that I have been challenged or insulted on virtually everything I've written since I first plugged in here.

I am weary of saying I am not Moonpie, and I mean no insult to him in defending that position. I also felt like I had to prove that I am a former sports editor and columnist.  Hence the persistent attempts at uniquely stylistic and clever commentary.

My style has always been a bit edgy.  May have said this before, but my college's winless football team members my junior year would agree.

Not trying to defend my reaction--I was wrong to say that.