Rick Greenspan, you’re on the clock

  • 03/30/2008 9:26 am in

rgreen.jpgAs the “blue ribbon” search committee moves to get a coach in place before Saturday’s Final Four in San Antonio, IU fans are gathered at this very blog, other blogs, message boards and water coolers at work commenting about the direction of the program.

There are contrasting opinions on who the choice should be, but there is one consensus: Athletic Director Rick Greenspan better get this right. Nevermind the “search committee.” If this search ends in a decision unfavorable to the Hoosier faithful (see the latest rumors of Lon Kruger and Mike Montgomery), Greenspan, not the committee, will be shouldering the blame. And rightfully so.

Many fans are annoyed and some are downright furious that Greenspan is still employed after the Kelvin Sampson debacle, but he was likely given a pass because of the influence former IU President Adam Herbert had on that decision. There will be no bailing out Greenspan this time around. Not even a 10-person committee will be able to save him. This time, it’s on him to get it right. As it should be.

The fact that IU can’t rely on Greenspan to hire a coach by himself should speak volumes about the confidence those in high places have in him as a decision maker. His approval rating can’t be much higher than George W. Bush. This is the last chance for Greenspan to rectify the void in the leadership role IU basketball has been lacking for quite some time. If he knocks it out of the park, he’ll likely be spared. If not, well, you know where that path will take him.

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  • tberry

    I think many of the IU faithful have had about all of this Basketball drama they can take.

    IU needs to hire a new coach that will win and will stay around. If we are back on the coaching search carousel then I believe many of the fans will rightly give up in IU Basketball and we will go into the Dark Ages where no one will give a damn, at best and be so angry and disappointed that they will write IU off at worse.

    I think you can read my disappointment and anger over the way the Basketball Program has been handled. I hope the IU Administration gets it right this time. If not, a negative connotation will follow the program for years to come and every time it is mentioned it will make people angry.

  • JerryCT

    I feel like all the reports have elements of truth. I imagine a process where the committee has gone through intermediaries until an oral deal in principle is done. So for example BMK is asked to talk to father DIck on the golf course following this script:

    1. Oral discussion to agree on mutual interest.
    2. Question posed ” what will you need to come to IU “?
    3. Question is answered in personal, legal, professional levels
    4. IU decides if can meet the requirements
    5. Negotiation if the demands are complicated
    6. Oral common agreement
    7. Official process with WSU/coach then takes place and in writing
    8. Official acceptance on both sides
    9. Orchestration of the announcement

    Until the first 6 steps through intermediaries are taken then there is no need to talk face to face and embarass everyone through the media ie Rodriquez going to Alabama.

    Imagining this process scenario then all reports can be near true and to make the Thursday deadline we have already targeted our coach and are in discussions. In fact there cannot be a long list, we must have started by Saturday night and my guess is we will need to be at step 7 by end of day Tuesday to meet Thursday expectation.

    The AD does need to be face to face and perhaps it is undesireable until the last few steps.

    Rest easy its not Mike Montgomery or this process would not have taken this long.

  • jgongora86

    I know that if kruger or Montgomery are picked I will be disapointed. Don't get me wrong I'll still root for my hoosiers, but I will have the mentality that my program has gone down from elite status. I hope I don't become one of those fans that gets excited that we reach the elite eight and never show up for another 20 years. That would make me cry ( and I'm a New yorker, we don't cry).

  • easy

    Greenspan is doing most of the legwork on all of this. The committee is there to pass the blame around if it gets messed up. I don't think Greenspan should have been fired before, as he basically was ordered to hire Sampson (I know this). Also, his other hires have been successful. And he put us back in the black. And we have new facilities for multiple sports. So Sampson screwed him over, but that's not really who Greenspan wanted. Now, if he screws this up, he will likely be the sacrificial lamb since so many people want to jump to conclusions and blame it all on him.

  • JerryCT

    IF your profession/career is AD, THEN you donot “pee off” other schools' ADs by talking directly w their coaches w/o informing them.

    IFsome ADs had been informed THEN the press would know it soon too.

    While Greenspan may be prioritizing the list, shaping the boundaries of the contract possibilities my own guess is that the “legwork” in the field is being done by others such that official IU AD is not boxed in and enslaved by rumors. This is why he is in his office and not on the road.

    To meet the Thursday deadline we have our coach in mind already.

    If he is smart , and I assume he is, he will hire a coach “to build for the long run” such that expectations for his own career are lengthened. This would mean to me that older coaches are undesireable like Lute Olson or Monty

  • easy

    You're right, what I meant by that is he is the one doing the homework on the coaches. And he is the one finding different avenues to contact coaches without it being official. I didn't mean he was flying out to Tony's house to see if he's interested. How many more hours until we supposedly know? I need that news to break today or I'm going to be stressed…

  • I still don't believe Greenspan should be around to make this decision. If he sat silent while others made the decision last time he is not without blame. Your also forgetting that he should have been responsible for monitoring Sampson to make sure he was abiding by the rules. How hard is it to follow up with recruits to see if they were contacted? Many calls were made and the athletic department either didn't know or knew and did nothing.

  • ChicagoHoosier

    The Chicago Trib is reporting that Steve Alford is among the coaches being interviewed by IU.

    Here is the link: http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/

    I pray that this doesnt happen, there are way too many good coaches out there to be looking at Steve Alford.

  • easy

    It doesn't say we're interviewing him. It's playing off of fan board speculation because a plane went to New Mexico.

  • deedubbadoo

    I could not agree more.

  • MikeinNC

    I think you are 100% correct.

  • sirkev

    Don't discount Kruger or Montgomery. While not the attractive candidates, there are some definate positives. Both have had their taste of the NBA and I don't think will ever go back. Both have run clean programs. Both can recruit, hell Kruger got a Top 100 kid from IL this season. Plus, how sweet would it be everytime Kruger beat Illinois? If Bennett falls through, I think either coach could bring a 10 year period of stability to the program, with the opportunity to win Big 10 titles and compete for the NCAA's.

  • hoosier2601

    The problem with this whole thing is that you can't please everyone… When Sampson was hired, there were people who were pumped, while others saw his flaws and were unimpressed (rightfully so). And that's the thing. It seems like no matter who is hired, there are always gonna be skeptics, at least until the new coach proves he can win on a consistant basis, and do and say all the right things.

  • sirkev

    I wouldn't get to worked up. It seems more like a courtesy interview in order to check that box and keep that portion of the fan base happy. If in fact they are looking for '87 players to coach the team why not Keith Smart? He's been an NBA assistant for several years. Based on this blue ribbon committee it seems as he has as much a chance as anyone.

  • southsidehitmen

    Very good point.

    Whoever is hired, not everyone is going to be happy.

    It'll be up to the coach to do everything possible to win over the fan base, win, and win clean.

  • zvex1

    There is one major element of this entire situation/process that seems extremely unnecessary: the deadline. By setting a deadline to find a basketball coach, the administration at Indiana is backing itself into a corner in which it must perform under unnecessary pressure.

    Browsing through even one blog site, a person will come across multiple candidates worthy of consideration for the head coach position. That in and of itself showcases that there are so many possibilities, that this search isn't a clear cut, black and white decision. So why put a deadline on uncertainty?

    There isn't one candidate that is a true “lock”, but rather many names – each that have the potential of success in Bloomington. Given this reality, why wouldn't Indiana want to take its time and be meticulous in its search? Shouldn't the university explore all options?

    There is no question that expediting the process and finding a coach as quick as possible will help in the stabilization of the program. But by declaring a deadline (before the Final Four no less), Indiana is not only eliminating potential candidates, it is applying undue pressure on itself to find a perfect fit, setting up a situation of magnified failure. It is universally agreed upon that Indiana needs to “hit a home run” with this hire, so why jeopardize the process with self-inflicted haste?

    If Indiana is the destination job that it thinks it is, it would behoove the school to move at its own pace to find the right coach, timetable be damned.

  • Atwater

    I can't remember the details of how that info came about, but I don't think that IU ever intended for the deadline to become public knowledge. Wasn't that info given by a “source”? I could be wrong on that.

  • 123iu123

    indiana needs to open up it's wallet, and get a big name coach in here. I believe Pearl, or rick P or thad or Tom Izzo, all 4 guy go after indiana boys, and we need a coach who can bring iu back to the promise land. I like bennett, but to young, Montg no way. If Iu doesn't get some one big, i'm going some where else like Purdue, at least it a Indiana school.

    we should had fired Greenspan

  • Atwater

    You would become a Purdue fan if IU doesn't hire a big name? Now that is a devoted IU fan…..Why haven't we mentioned Rob Turner's name yet? I'm sure we are all thinking it.

  • easy

    That's a pathetic way of looking at it. Go to Purdue then.

    And I don't think they really have a “deadline.” They would LIKE to have a coach named by then but they didn't come out publicly and announce that a coach will be named Thursday. THAT would be backing themselves into a corner. They would like to have a coach by then for the publicity. That doesn't mean they aren't being thorough in their search.

    Anyone else wondering why all of a sudden our targets after Bennett have turned into Kruger, Monty, and Brownell?

  • casey137

    This is unrelated to the article topic and definitely should be considered a rumor, but my uncle who has some ties to PU (I'm one of the few tasteful college basketball fans in the family) informed me that someone told him that McCallum has expressed some interest in joining the PU coaching staff. Has anyone else heard this?

  • easy

    Haven't heard that, but it would certainly be disappointing. His son is a nice player at Bloomington North. I wouldn't be surprised, since PU just had the spot open up and McCallum doesn't know whether he'll be kept on at IU (just that he will be paid). It'd be a smart move on Purdue's part to pick him up.

  • sierracoach

    I take the surfacing of names like Monty and Kruger to mean that the search isn't panning out the way the Committee (and especially some of the big $$$ donors) had expected or hoped. It makes me even more suspicious that overtures were indeed made to big-name guys like Pitino, Izzo, Matta, and Pearl and the overtures were rejected out of hand. And the longer things go now, the less likely it seems that to me Bennett will accept. It would be interesting, to say the least, if Bennett took the LSU gig instead of IU's. Of course, they can match any $$$ offer IU could make, and they don't have sanctions hanging over their heads, so maybe that would appeal to Bennett just as much as his wife's being from the area. I have nothing against Brownell, who may be a fine guy and for all I know could turn out to be a good major-school head coach, but there's no way anyone can spin a Brownell hire as anything other than a fallback move by IU due to being turned down by some other candidates. Add that to the impending NCAA decision, and a Brownell hire would make me wonder if a certain person's days at IU are indeed numbered.

  • JerryCT

    Some loose thoughts at halftime:

    IU made a similar “deadline” blunder w KS firing. I believe the deadline since they screwed it up the same way before.

    Gordon needs to stay another year to get the real money. Augustyn, Rose,Chalmers, Curry, COllison, Lee, Mayo, Bayless ……..playing the same role in the pros suck the $ away from a guy who had a protracted slump and a flawed game.

    Maybe Mc Callum was a “deep throat” ratting out KS ?

    I love the offensive motion of Davidson even though it is not going to be enough

    Bennett will be the new coach and it WILL be a home run

  • Kelin Blab

    Great Great Great News about our coaching search people…..this is encouraging that the blue ribbon/chip/5 star committee is doing a great job….

    I am so so pumped……. Read and Enjoy!

    http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/news/story?id=332

  • JerryCT

    Ha ! you are funny . I do actually feel better now that I know they did not consult w Thomas. His reccommendation for coach shows he has no judgement whatsoever

  • Ryan_Btown

    http://www.spokesmanreview.com/blogs/sportslink/

    This isn't promising…dont' know if this guy is full of shit or not but doesn't look good.

  • hoosiergal

    Just read on Cougfan.com that Bennett will be scheduling a press conference on Monday or Tuesday for an “end of year report”

  • Ryan_Btown

    NOOOOOOO….He'd be such a great fit…you're killin me Bennett. Now we're really going to get shafted.

  • Ryan_Btown

    http://indiana.scout.com/2/741960.html

    Scout is carrying it too

  • msdiu81

    A plane registered to the Purdue Trustees is scheduled to leave B'ton tonight, but the flight has been delayed. Maybe they were there talking to McCallum. May be a coincidence.

  • jgongora86

    report on hoosiernation that Bennett is not going to accept the job. Well this sucks. They bewtter start breaking the bank to get a good coach. I don't want hear this Montgomery crap either. Man I'm pissed.

  • Ryan_Btown

    I expect to get a lot of crap for this, but because I don't really think that Pitino, Pearl, Calipari, Matta, Izzo, and other big shots would leave their current jobs, I think if we can't get Bennett or Miller, I'd almost rather have Dakich. Who's left? Scott Drew? Eh… Skiles? No thank you… Montgomery is too old, and some of the other guys I just don't know about.

    Now, with that said, I know nothing about Anthony Grant or some of the other guys mentioned but if Bennett's really not interested, and Miller seems like a long shot due to his happiness at Xavier and potential buyout costs, I don't know what the hell we're gonna do.

  • tberry

    I just can't imagine that we really have a Thursday deadline. We want the right choice, not a choice driven by a time table.

  • BrianK

    10 Years of Stability. They'll be almost 70 in 10 years. Not to mention they've gotten this far without winning a championship. I'd rather have Pitino if it came down to getting Kruger or Monty. because then theres at least a slim glimpse of a final four appearance in the next 10 years

  • msdiu81

    A plane registered to the IU Foundation left Bloomington at 2:35 this afternoon for Minneapolis. Scheduled to leave Minn at 7:05 EDT. Did we go meet someone there for talks? Or is this something else? The plane that left for Albuquerque is registered to someone in Del., although it could be a charter. I think we just need to relax and let them do their job. We can beat this horse long after it's dead. The article about Bennett says he chose not to explore the opportunity and we were just judging his interest. I imagine we are gauging several coaches interest at this point, or at least I hope we are.

  • BTOWN40

    I have little faith now, if it's true Bennett turned down the job. Maybe we have fallen farther out of the elite than we want to realize…that bonehead from FOX should be fired for getting my hopes up. Cmon alumni pony up some money and get Miller bought out, buy Pitino a new horse get him to come in.
    What is our next choice guys?

  • Ryan_Btown

    Minneapolis/St. Paul…could we be going to talk to the Gophers? Ha, Tubby Smith…wouldn't that be something. This plane thing cracks me up. I never thought to track planes. Interesting.

  • jgongora86

    Guys if were not getting anybody why not take a chane with Anthony Grant? If everyone is rejecting us left and right, nobody could blame us for getting someone with some potential ( I personally think great). Why do we have to settle for somthing we don't really want? At worst case scenario, if it does not work out we could get somone in three years to get a new up and comer or a stud.

  • Ryan_Btown

    Yeah you know…in my post above I didn't even really know who the guy was…I was just reading up…Coached for Donovan…I wouldn't reject that. However for some reason I'm getting the feeling that since Miller and Bennett are out of the picture, we might hire someone totally off the radar, kind of like the Sampson deal. I just don't know what will happen now.

  • BrianK

    God this is depressing. I'm pulling for Grant. Hopefully at the least it'll be Grant, Brownell or something. How can you not talk one of these coaches into it. This is why I say we need to get Jurich or someone like that for AD. If Jurich can get Pitino to U of L and the other coaches he has gotten in his program's then how the hell can our guys not sell heat to an eskimo.

  • BrianK

    Hutchens just reported Bennett saying no also

  • BrianK

    Hutchens just reported Bennett saying no also

  • BrianK

    Rumor around U of K is Billy Clyde isn't happy, I know he still doesn't have a contract. Lol. Sorry for trip Post

  • BrianK

    Rumor around U of K is Billy Clyde isn't happy, I know he still doesn't have a contract. Lol. Sorry for trip Post

  • MikeinNC

    I think you are 100% correct.

  • sirkev

    Don't discount Kruger or Montgomery. While not the attractive candidates, there are some definate positives. Both have had their taste of the NBA and I don't think will ever go back. Both have run clean programs. Both can recruit, hell Kruger got a Top 100 kid from IL this season. Plus, how sweet would it be everytime Kruger beat Illinois? If Bennett falls through, I think either coach could bring a 10 year period of stability to the program, with the opportunity to win Big 10 titles and compete for the NCAA's.

  • hoosier2601

    The problem with this whole thing is that you can't please everyone… When Sampson was hired, there were people who were pumped, while others saw his flaws and were unimpressed (rightfully so). And that's the thing. It seems like no matter who is hired, there are always gonna be skeptics, at least until the new coach proves he can win on a consistant basis, and do and say all the right things.

  • sirkev

    I wouldn't get to worked up. It seems more like a courtesy interview in order to check that box and keep that portion of the fan base happy. If in fact they are looking for '87 players to coach the team why not Keith Smart? He's been an NBA assistant for several years. Based on this blue ribbon committee it seems as he has as much a chance as anyone.

  • southsidehitmen

    Very good point.

    Whoever is hired, not everyone is going to be happy.

    It'll be up to the coach to do everything possible to win over the fan base, win, and win clean.