What I would’ve said if I were on the live chat today

Plane travel kept me from the Live Chat today, but I promised I would still answer the questions, so I did. You’re getting them 12 hours afterward, but still. Here you. Questions are in italics, and questioners names are there just as they are in the live chat. My apologies for the lateness.

Q: Hypothesis:  The Ohio State University hired Urban Meyer not only because he has a good record as a coach, but also because it thinks that the NCAA might pull its punches on penalties so as not to make Urban’s job too difficult.  What do you fellows think?

Randall Bychkov, B-town

A: Randall, not sure I understand your conspiracy theory here. If you’re suggesting that the NCAA looks at Ohio State as a cash cow and wants to see the Buckeyes do well, then it wouldn’t matter who they would hire, that motivation would still be there. If you’re suggesting that because Meyer has won while not causing problems with NCAA violations the organization might want to help him out, I mean, I guess that’s possible, but unless he has some tight connection with the NCAA brass that I’m not aware of, I’m not sure why he would be deserving of such a gift. They might get let down a little easy for hiring someone who has stayed within NCAA guidelines, as it’s proof that they’re looking to reform, but Meyer also had a lot of players get arrested while he was at Florida. In the end, I’m not sure I see a special reason why they thought Meyer could save them from the NCAA. That he’s clean is important, but I don’t think there was a hotter commodity on the coaching market.

Q: When ‘The Movement’ comes on board, the Hoosiers will be a force to be reckoned with.  Do you think any of them will have an immediate impact like CZ is having for us this year?  Also, where do you think Mo Creek will figure in for our success next season?

indianavelt, Fort Wayne

A: I think all five could have an immediate impact, especially Yogi Ferrell, Hanner Perea and Jeremy Hollowell, but I don’t think any of them will have the same immediate impact as Zeller does right now, not because they aren’t capable but because they won’t be asked to. Before Zeller, the Hoosiers had no low post scoring threat and he was able to step in and fill a gaping hole in the offense. No one in this group will have as immediately large a hole to fill. With Jordan Hulls playing the point as well as he is, Ferrell won’t be handed the keys to the offense right away, though I could see Ferrell and Hulls being very effective in the same backcourt and both playing a lot of minutes. Perea gives them more athleticism than the Hoosiers have at power forward right now with Derek Elston and Christian Watford, so he will definitely play and be effective. However, he still needs to polish his game, and those two will be seniors and it will be hard to keep them on the bench entirely. Hollowell may have a more versatile and effective offensive game than anyone the Hoosiers have coming back at the wing, but Victor Oladipo and Will Sheehey keep advancing as players and adding to their games. They’re great on the defensive end, and they’re going to have a two-year edge in terms of maturity. And of course you mention the Maurice Creek issue. If you presume he comes back healthy, which is no guarantee, he’s obviously a potential force, but there will be so many other players gunning for his minutes. Tom Crean has said repeatedly that he thinks Creek would’ve left for the NBA already — possibly after his sophomore year — if he hadn’t been injured. So it’s obvious Crean believes in him and wants to give him a chance. But consider he will have the following options at shooting guard and small forward — Creek, Jordan Hulls when Ferrell is playing the point, Oladipo, Sheehey, Remy Abell, Austin Etherington, Hollowell, Patterson and Watford when he isn’t playing power forward. That’s a lot of guys to try to get minutes for. The Hoosiers are at 14 scholarship players now and have to lose one and it’s hard to tell which will go, but it will be extremely difficult to decide how to split minutes between the other 13. That may be Crean’s most difficult job on that team is deciding who plays.

Q: Hay yo, fellas!  Nighthawk here- so happy the miserable football season is over and on to basketball.  How about those Indiana Basketball Hoosiers!!!???  This team is a night and day difference from last year.  Hulls has command of the team while Zeller is a force to be reckoned with in the paint.  My question: if we beat Kentucky who is #1, would that automatically shoot us up the rankings to #1?  In my book it would!  I think we have a good shot to beat them.  Hail Hoosiers!!

Bobby Nighthawk, Bloomington

A: Nighthawk, Not sure it works that way, and there’s still a lot of basketball to be played between now and Dec. 10. For one thing, Kentucky plays North Carolina, and that UNLV game not withstanding, North Carolina has a ton of talent. If Kentucky were still No. 1 at the time and Indiana were to knock the Wildcats off, I wouldn’t see IU going straight to No. 1 because polls generally don’t work that way, Of course, the beauty of college basketball is that the polls are pretty much just for fun anyway and don’t really determine how things shake out in the end. One way or the other, IU is playing extremely well, and Assembly Hall will be jacked for that game.

Q: Happy December, boys. Things I took from the game: Down the stretch Verdell was on the bench and unable to dribble into a turnover; at crunch time Crean let the players play without substituting so much and killing momentum; despite his propensity to take and miss way too many shots, Watford was a rebounding monster when we needed it; the talents of VJIII and Watford have been surpassed by newer players and they need more bench time. Reactions?

Eddie, Smithville

A: Sometimes yes, sometimes no. I’m still evaluating this idea that this team would be better off without Watford and Jones. Jones had his problems handling the ball in that game and didn’t play particularly well. At least he’s realizing it to some degree and he’s not trying to take over the game and force shots all the time. As for Watford, he’s obviously had some really bad performances, and between the Butler game and the first half against North Carolina State, he put together some atrocious play. That being said, just when you’re ready to bury him, he proves himself to still be useful. He’s a 6-8 forward who can get on a hot streak shooting the ball. He goes through spurts when he can rebound and he can drive it a little bit. Again, he’s had some really bad games. There have been times when Derek Elston has been a much better option at the power forward, and he could stand to see his minutes cut a little. But I’m not sure you want him out of your top seven yet.

Q: Hey guys. Question, does one person still need to leave for all of the recruits to come in next year? If so, after seeing how things are working out, who do you think that will be?

Also, I know that the movement is filled with recruits that are extremely talented (probably more so than the players on the team now), but with the recent success, how do you see these players coming in a contributing next year?

Thanks

Yes, Bloomington

A: Hey Yes, see above answer to indianavelt. At the moment, they are still one over the scholarship limit. I’m not sure what all options will be on the table, but one of the 14 has to be off the roster once the season starts. There’s a lot of time between now and then, and a number of things could shake out there, but a decision will have to be made. I don’t think Crean even considers making it until season’s end. But yeah, it’s not going to be as easy as once presumed for these guys to come in and start. Jordan Hulls is playing like a captain right now, and he might be willing to move to shooting guard for Yogi Ferrell to play the point, but that will just make it harder for Hollowell and Patterson to get on the floor. Sheehey and Oladipo are obviously playing like starters and they won’t cede their minutes easily, Perea has much more upside than Elston or Watford, but he still has his raw moments, and those two will be seniors next year. Jurkin is not raw at the level of Tijan Jobe, but he’s about as skinny as you can imagine, and I don’t know how much time he’ll get behind Zeller. I do think all five will contribute something next year, especially Ferrell, Perea and Hollowell, but I’m not sure how much because minutes won’t be easy to come by.
Q: Even though Zeller is being outrageously productive and efficient, especially for a freshman, are you worried at all about how long it takes the team to feed him the ball? The first six games of the season, and excluding the first 3 minutes last night, it seems IU’s other players forget that he is down there in the post.

They always talk about needing to feed him more, but never seem to early on. Thoughts on how to fix this?

Thank you!

BTownBorn, Bloomington

 

A: I’d say it’s partly on the other players and partly on Zeller himself, but I do think fans have to recognize that just because he’s Cody Zeller doesn’t mean he’s magically open on the low block on every single possession. He faces double teams and when the ball stops on the perimeter and a guard tries to make a post feed, someone’s always defending Zeller on the low block trying to deny and someone else sees that they’re trying to make the pass inside and cheats Zeller’s way. Plus the man on the ball has his hands outstretched trying to deflect a pass. By definition, it’s harder to get the ball inside than it is to move it around the perimeter. It’s not as easy to get the ball to Zeller as fans think it is, and if you try a post feed when it isn’t there, you can just as easily have it stolen as anything else.

I do think the Hoosiers can get better at getting it to Zeller, and that just comes with time. As they said in the beginning of the season, they’re not used to having a post player who has to get the ball in the paint and who they can play through. They’re getting used to it and I think they’re progressing game to game. They do recognize that he’s there, and I don’t see too many occasions where they miss extremely obvious and sustained opportunities to get him the ball. There are times when he flashes and they miss him, but I rarely think they’re flat out ignoring him on the low block.

And as good as Zeller has been — and don’t get me wrong, he’s been phenomenal — there’s still more he can do to make himself available. The 18 pounds he put on this summer allowed him to at least be even size wise with most of the big men he’s dealing with, but he’s rarely at an advantage, and he doesn’t always win every single one on one battle and he’s always battling to seal off his man. He’s so versatile and he does a phenomenal job of moving around in space to make up for some of his shortcomings there and that’s allowed him to get open and score even when he’s facing bigger players. He did a great job on Wednesday of getting the ball 8-15 feet from the basket and making plays. When he has to, he can actually slash pretty well.

I guess my point is this. The Hoosiers will keep looking for ways to get Zeller the ball, he will keep improving on ways of getting open and both have been steady already. He’s scoring. They’re winning. But he’s not going to touch the ball on every possession because he’s not going to be open on every possession, which is fine because other people canscore the ball too.

Q: Do you have a listing of football recruits coming in this week? any feedback on the recruits who visited last week.
also, do we know coach Wilson’s stance on transfers from D1 schools. I believe you can take transfers in addition to signing HS/JC players and therefore bring in more than the 27 coach as mentioned. Noticed several players from powers like Fla and Okl have announced plans to move on…this could be a way to get some good ones for a few years and build depth.

logan, Indianapolis

A: Logan,

Don’t have a listing of football recruits who were in on visits. Will be honest, football recruiting for IU has some needle in a haystack elements to it and the interest isn’t quite worth the effort it takes to truly stay on top of it. Basketball we can do, especially because there are so many recruits within driving distance and we can watch them at several different times during the year. Football, not so much. That’s a big part of the reason you usually only see a lot from us when there’s a commitment. The recruiting sites (Rivals, Scout, 24/7) have a nationwide network that allows them to stay more on top of it.

I’m sure if Wilson’s down for JUCO transfers, he’s down for Division I transfers too. I don’t think he’s taking seniors for one year, but I’m sure he’s looking at those guys. Although apparently Austin Hayword is going back to Oklahoma.

Q: Last night Watford seemed lost!  Is there anything going on with him?  Great game, and effort last night.

andy, columbus,in

A: Watford often looks lost. That’s kind of his default setting, but that doesn’t mean he actually is. He’s not playing all that well and his intensity needs to be picked up and sustained, but he was obviously much better in the last 10 minutes than he had been, probably since the Evansville game. He obviously lost some time in practice before the year with the Achilles injury and he might still be recovering, but he’s healthy enough to play at least.

Q: Dude is here! Last weekend got to see my grandson Garrett, the cutest and smartest kid on the planet. He may even be cuter than I was as a kid. May is key word here. Oh it was nice to see my son and daughter-in-law too. Glad the whole bunch will be moving closer to OSD soon. That will be nice. Now on to the questions.

First I have to admit with about 7 minutes left last night there were lots of expletives being spewed in the OSD house. No Mrs. Dude did not burn her finger again cooking. I was pretty upset at that point when we were down 7. Then like an early morning drive when it is foggy everything just cleared up. This team is not the same as last year’s in talent or attitude. They are tough and will not be denied. Besides bringing in CZ most of all of the rest have improved skill wise and mentally. How much ice do you have to have in your veins to hit a 3 with the score tied like CW did last night and then for JH to follow with a 3 when we were up just by 1. Impressive!

Okay first question is based on last night can this team win over 20 and make NCAA? One story from NC last night when talking about the loss said they had just lost to a team (IU) that would be in NCAA this year. Interesting huh?

CZ and JH both had great games but didn’t you think that VO rebounding down the stretch really helped as much? His last two games his first halves have been bad but in the second half against both Butler and last night the kid has come on strong. If not for NCST offensive rebounding against us we would have dominated the whole game last night. We need to work on that.

Nice to see Pritch come in and get some good minutes. Is he finally healthy? One sports guy commented on how after being a big part of the team for 3 years he has adjusted well to being a role player. I would agree very much. Seems like a quality kid and he should do well in life.

IU was on the sports news quite a bit this morning and last night after the game. Does the national media ever contact you guys about the team? If so has that picked up this year?

Well OSD is just deliriously happy this morning and basking in the glow of victory. I thought we could win but NCST was much better and the crowd there was more intimidating that I thought they would be which made victory even better.

Well that is all for this week. Thanks again Dudes for your hard work and hope Dustin gets home safe and sound. Dude got house all decorated including outside this week. Dude and Mrs. by themselves this weekend, so should be nice relaxing time. Hope you guys have great weekend too!

The Dude is gone……………..

Old Sports Dude, Crown Point

A: Good to hear from you as always, Dude.

I’d say with the right breaks, this team does have a chance. They have still only played one game against a power six conference opponent and you don’t want to make too many big declarations too early, But right now I definitely see them going 12-1 in conference (remember that N.C. Central game in February) because I think if they can beat N.C. State they shouldn’t have too much of a problem with Notre Dame. Stetson, Howard, UMBC and NC Central shouldn’t provide much of a problem at all. So if they’re .500 or close to it in conference, they’re looking at 20 wins. They have Iowa twice, Minnesota twice, Nebraska once and Penn State twice. I think they can win all or most of those now that Mbakwe is out for the year for the Gophers. Iowa has had their number in recent years, but still. Northwestern and Illinois are certainly beatable. I don’t think they beat Ohio State in either one of those games and I doubt they beat Wisconsin on the road. The home and home series against Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue might eventually determine their fate, but if they win most of the games against the teams picked to finish lower, they probably won’t need to get much out of those to at least get in. That’s obviously a lot of speculation from what we’ve seen so far, but it’s certainly conceivable.

Oladipo’s late game rebounding really helped and will continue to. His motor is exceptional as is his athleticism. And Pritchard has been more useful lately, especially against Butler.

The national media doesn’t contact us much because they don’t have to. They can watch the games on their own, and if they need anything, they can just read up on stuff online.

But thanks as always Dude, hope all is well.

Q: After the Purdue game, Kravitz wrote that Kevin Wilson was either completely changing the culture of the program and needed our patience or he is a petty tyrant who is in over his head. After year one, which answer sounds more right to you?

I am concerned that Wilson apparently feels the need to start from scratch. Lynch’s teams were never good, but also rarely so uncompetitive. The difference between IU and most of the Big Ten always seemed to be that IU never had players with superlative talent. It isn’t a coincidence that IU made the Insight Bowl when it had James Hardy, Kellen Lewis, Tracy Porter and Greg Middleton, who were all-Big Ten caliber players. So it didn’t seem like IU needed wholesale changes as much as it needed some infusion of talent at key positions. Am I off-base here?

Kelvin Sampson, Houston, TX

Q: Kelvin,

Great question, and I think that was a great line by Kravitz. Especially with practice closed, there’s so much going on behind the scenes at this program, and it’s so much harder to tell what’s actually happening.  There are enough players who were widely regarded as hard-workers and generally good kids who have left the program to make me wonder if it’s the latter. Plus there was the Gunner Kiel decommitment, which I still don’t know the exact reasons for.

That being said, there are a lot of guys on the team who have bought in who I don’t think would’ve done it just to do it, and sometimes that makes me think it’s the former. I think if Wilson would’ve done something to egregiously abuse his authority, players like Kofi Hughes, Justin Pagan Andrew McDonald, Jeff Thomas and some others would’ve resisted. They’re not malcontents at all, but they do appear to me to have discerning natures. Especially Hughes. They don’t appear to be guys who fall in line just to fall in line, and the staff had to prove it was worth following — or at least that they weren’t tyrannical — for those guys to buy in.

I had a sinking feeling throughout September and October that I was going to hear about Wilson doing something like Bud Kilmer would’ve done. (Kilmer was the football coach in the late 90s MTV movie Varsity Blues. If you don’t know of him, insert your favorite overbearing tyrant fictional coach here.) Like denying guys water or forcing them to shoot up with cortisone and play with broken legs or something else abusive. His approach to injuries made me think that might be the cause. But I haven’t heard any of that or anything in terms of on field behavior that’s left me appalled. I have heard that veterans felt marginalized and like their previous years of service deserved more respect than they were given. But the ones who are playing say that the coaches are tough, but fair, and all they’re really asking for is hard work. I can see how a veteran would be hurt by the fact that two or three years of hard work carried no value and a freshman could take his job with one good week, but I can also see the value in making every player earn his spot every week.

Plus, Wilson at least seems to recognize that he didn’t successfully connect with his players early in the year. He said he has to earn their trust, and that tells me he is at least concerned about what his players think of him. He knows he’s tough and that he can be taken the wrong way, but it’s important to him that he perceived as fair and that the veterans at least see where he’s coming from.

I think the culture change storyline sometimes goes overboard. It’s not like Lynch’s guys were spending all August at the swimming pool either. They weren’t completely coddled, and they absolutely respected the heck out of him. But I don’t think he used the capital he had quite enough to drive them, and if he had, he might have put them in bowl games in his last two seasons. The more you talk to players this season, the more you realize that the decision not to practice in full pads once the season started probably backfired.

Lynch was also helped in large part by Terry Hoeppner recruited-talent and there were obviously areas where the 2008 and 2009 classes were lacking, The fact that there were no Tracy Porters or Jammie Kirlews or Greg Middletons on the 2010 squad or the 2011 team is in part because he didn’t successfully recruit enough, at least on defense. In part for that reason, this team was going to have a bad year regardless of who was coaching. Ben Chappell made up for a lot of shortcomings. So did James Brewer. The defense has been awful for four years in a row now, but the Hoosiers were able to win and stay close in losses because Chappell allowed them to score with anybody. This year’s team took until about week nine to settle on a quarterback and therefore an offensive direction. By that point their bowl eligibility was shot and they were playing teams that had them on talent.

All of that, I guess is to say that I’m pretty much in Kravitz’s boat.  Additional discipline is probably necessary, and that requires some culture change and that can be pretty painful. I don’t think he’s a tyrant, but I haven’t ruled it out. So I’m not taking either side yet.

23 comments

  1. I just don’t see the Jordy/Yogi coexistence thing as a problem. If Yogi is phenomenal and has to be on the floor at point than we end with a shooting guard with excellent on the ball and passing skills. Now, there’s a problem. Crean’s always preferred a guard crazy lineup.
    It just goes to show how long it’s been since we’ve had a ton of talent.

  2. I have a very difficult time envisioning Hulls watching from the bench. Gladiators don’t watch guys named Yogi. Remy could have backed up Hulls for breather minutes. Remy can play point. I don’t like it…I don’t like it. I don’t like Jordy being Yogi’s little Boo Boo. Hulls should transfer after this season and lead Butler in 2013 to a another deep run.

  3. Regarding Wilson, my cousin is a freshman this year at IU and has made friends with several football players. They tell her that Wilson is so irate with the team that they hate playing for him. She also said that’s why Gunner decommitted, that word of that got to him. Obviously, Gunner will be great anywhere, but when she told me that, it made me look at Wilson in a new light.

    Has anyone else in Bloomington heard this from students? Obviously this hits home with Kravitz’s “tyrant” line.

    Would love to hear others discuss this. It has me worried for IU football’s future (although that’s easy to do).

  4. Agree, last thing we need is a tyrant. Because, after all, we’ve had such great success with “nice” guys.

  5. Maybe Hulls from the bench will watch Kevin play. Ya think?

    IUfiL, I am quite sure you could here similar comments about the HC of every D1 program in the country. What I am hearing of the “he said she said” comments in South Bend is most likey the same being reported by hearsay in Austin and Eugene. It comes with the territory but magnified 2x-3x times for a new coach. I’ll rephrase the Reggie Jackson quote Chet used recently, Coach Wilson is the straw stirring the FB drink in Bloomington. I take that along with the hearsay as a very good sign for IU’s FB future.

  6. IU fan in Lousiville,

    I have not heard the word hate or tyrant out of players mouths. They have said he isn’t easy to play for and he demands a lot out of them.

    Lot of it depends on the players your cousin has made friends with.

  7. Dustin,

    Big IU fan in Dothan Alabama, born and raised in Northern Indiana for 25 years. Love your stuff. Though I cringe when you talk about Coach Wilson, and abuse. It seems like when IU Football is talked about, you insert possible abuse from Wilson.

    Wilson may be an ass, but if that is what it takes to clean the football program up, then so be it. I agree, abuse shouldnt be tolorated, and I 100% condemn it. Though i think if you keep on mentioning it, it will slowly but surely spread like a fire.

    Bottom line is this: This is what we wanted. We wanted someone to come in, and clean this up. Will he suceed? Verdict is still out. Though I think he is really trying. Personally I rather have a coach like Wilson pushing me, then a father figure like Lynch. Eitherway I think IU football will improve under Wilson. I just think he needs the time, and this year was a case of “getting along with the new guy” Wilson and staff that is.

  8. I totally agree with you all, and I want IU clean with quality student athletes who care and play the right way. It was just interesting to hear this at the “grass roots leve”, a view I don’t often get as a 36 year old fan.

    I hope it was just freshman not liking their new coach, but what she said about Gunner is what bothered me more. And again, just one kid’s comments.

  9. No way I am pleased with the loss of the young QB Kiel. But if he is already intimidated by hearing about a tough minded, demanding coach then he is in for real life transformations when he arrives at his first FB session in D1. I also now do not bemoan his loss since seeing Roberson on the field. In HS I thought Dusty was pretty good but TR is 2-3 levels above his play at IU. This QB could become a top flite QB even surpassing ARE. He will certainly get the coaching to achieve.

  10. IU fan, be careful…if you discuss such things on here there are some who will eat you up and spit you out. Mike P, we need to have a lunch date…maybe Dustin will join. Let’s do it after the IU/OSU game because he will have to treat!!!

  11. I understand Vince Lombardi was a teddy bear. So is Belichek. The Steelers usually employ fuzzy wuzzies. Nick Saban is a love bug (by the way, check out how many players have left Alabama the past three years). Mike Ditka does my nails. Washington State hire Mike Leach because of his lovely interpersonal skills.

    You want a fatherly guy? Paterno is available. No, wait…

    As John Galt said above, we’ve done so well with nice guys. It’s football. I’ve played for decent guys and I’ve played for real jerks. It comes down to what they know.

  12. I’m really intrigued by the thought that if Wilson had overstepped boundaries, you’d have seen more of the ‘leader’ types on the team either step up or check out. It’s interesting that you put the spotlight on Kofi Hughes in that regard. I’ve watched a few of his post-game interviews this season and he truly comes off as being a different sort of cat than the rest of his teammates. I don’t want to go as far as to say “smarter,” but he seems to have no issue in cutting through the BS. Kofi may very well be the canary in the coalmine to monitor as far as Wilson’s control over this team is concerned.

  13. Ben, yours is a thoughtful post. When I competed in sports, I did not care if the coach was a “hard pusher” or a “fatherly” leader. I only cared if he could really help me to get everything out of my physical and mental talents and do the same for the team! There is not one shred of evidence for using the word “abuse” in discussing Coach Wilson. It is totally unprofessional and damaging for HT writers to “hint” at it in any way without producing some facts for the rest of us to review and to judge. Save it until you “know” something. “Abuse” is a crime, “pushing hard” is a personality trait.

  14. BP,
    Good point. Although asking the parents of scholarship players who didn’t think they would be paying for college to come up with tuition, room, board and books instead of transferring doesn’t always go over well.
    Ben and Chet,
    I definitely see your point and I really don’t want to come off like I think demanding football coaches are bad, because I don’t. Players need coaches that will get the most out of them, and nice guys aren’t always capable of that especially in a violent, taxing sport like football. There is a thin line between demanding and abusive. I’m pretty sure that Wilson is on the correct side of that line, but as a reporter I’m generally skeptical of anything I’m not allowed to see and some of the defections raised some red flags in my mind. But like I said, I think if there was something truly egregious going on, some of the guys who have bought in would not have.

  15. BP,
    Read the whole post. I’m not hinting at it. I basically said I had my personal suspicions when there were defections but the evidence I have doesn’t lead me to believe that there’s anything bad going on. What I’m essentially saying is I’m growing less suspicious. I’m not going to declare that everything’s perfectly fine over there and everyone who left was just a weak-minded wuss, because I don’t know that. I’m leaning away from the tyrant side of the argument. Let’s put it that way.

  16. J Pat,

    We can meet for lunch anytime after the 9th. Email DD, he can give you my contact info.

    IU fan,

    I understand where you are coming from. I’m sure your cousin is passing on information that she got from whoever. My information comes directly from players, ones that I know them and their family and know their personality and their work effort on and off the field.

    I will not divulge our conversation here, but I will tell you his take on the direction of the program is positive.

  17. I’m sure that compared to BL, anyone that raises his voice at players get’s “irate.” Not paying too much attention to hearsay, anyway. New boss in town. Play his way or leave.

  18. Dustin, you are still “hinting” at the charge of “abuse” when you say “and some of the defections raised some red flags in my mind.” Please give us the specifics. If you can’t then just say “I have no clue why these guys left the program” and be done with it until you do have some evidence. But when you say “I basically said I had my personal suspicions when there were defections but the evidence I have doesn’t lead me to believe that there’s anything bad going on,” you keep fanning the flame of pure speculation based on no facts. Just say “the evidence I have doesn’t lead me to believe that there’s anything bad going on.” Remember that telling a kid that he does not have the ability or the work ethic to earn playing time is simply what coaches must do to be honest with their players. Do some investigation of other first year coaches after a firing. IU had 19 scholarship players leave the program, but 5 were for medical reasons and 1 was a disciplinary reason, leaving 13 transfers that might be due to the Coach. I was reading an article about the 11 that transferred from Florida this year with their coaching change. That is from a traditionally strong football school where players really want to go to play. So 13 from a really struggling program seems about normal. Can you get some information on other examples?

  19. BP,
    The key words there are “in my mind.” I’m saying my curiosity level went up. What I’m telling you is, I didn’t just say to myself “it’s culture change, there’s a new guy, these kids just don’t like getting yelled at,” and left it at that. I’m just making the point that it made me ask some questions. I wondered if something was going on. Do I feel like I’m at the bottom of it yet? No. But the more I talk to people the more I think you guys are right and that’s all it is. I don’t KNOW that yet, but it’s shifting in that direction. In a way I expressed my initial suspicions to give more credibility to that argument. I’m saying I thought I would find something but haven’t. That, I think gives more of an indication that there is nothing there than if I had given you reasons why I didn’t look. I think the people who are on the fence about Wilson — for instance, the person who actually asked the question — would read that response and be more likely to believe he’s doing things the right way than they would have before because they see that someone else who doesn’t have a vested interest in his success and someone who isn’t rooting for him or against him had the same suspicions they did, looked around and found nothing.

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