Monday, March 20, 2006

Jeter to Iowa State?

This is getting old. Iowa State has now asked to talk to UWM men's basketball coach Rob Jeter. Last year we go to the sweet 16 and Tennessee hires Pearl before the guys are out of the shower. This year we get to the round of 32 and Jeter is meeting with Iowa State before anyone on campus can give the players a pat on the back.

I don't think Rob will go to Iowa State and I can't blame him for talking to them, but there is something about this that is very unfortunate. It was essentially the same seven guys that carried Bruce Pearl to riches at Tennessee who might well have done the same for Jeter.

Yet having accomplished things that I would not have thought imaginable two years ago, these guys had the rug pulled out of them last year and may be about to have it done again this year. When the coach leaves like that, there is immediately a lame duck air around the team's accomplishment. Last year's time had to cancel their celebratory reception on campus and, when it did happen, it was bittersweet.

Of course, none of these 9 guys are going to see a dime. There's not an NBA player among them.

Jeter leaving the program may disrupt its progress more than Pearl's departure because last year we had 7 of the first 9 returning. This year we have 7 of the first 9 graduating. We have some serious recruiting to do and this makes it virtually impossible.

If UWM wants to get to the next level, it's going to take serious cash. I wonder if the university and its alums are ready to make that commitment. The 900k buyout in Jeter's contract would make a nice start on a new package.

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