• Twitter
  • Facebook
News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Basketball state of mind

Adavis_1 I don't have Reggie Hayes' basketball knowledge, but his assessment of Indiana University head coach Mike Davis -- that he will be gone and should be gone after this season -- strikes me as the right one. My judgment is only that of a fan, who doesn't know the intricacies of what a coach should and shouldn't do and can go just on one thing: the observable record. A coach is paid to win, and Davis' teams haven't been doing that. One thing Reggie noted about the team's recent record rings especially true and echoes what I've felt while watching the games this season:

Assemble a team, not a collection of talent. No one denies Davis can recruit. But he hasn't proved he can build a team that blends stars, co-stars and role players. Last season, too much depended on the rise and fall of Bracey Wright. This season, it's Marco Killingsworth. Too often, the Hoosiers seem to have a Plan A and, if that doesn't work, they try Plan A.

I sort of disagree with Reggie on the overall implications, as you might expect when an editorial writer is reacting to a sports columnist. Reggie thinks "Indiana University basketball is too important and vital to this state's state of mind to settle for so-so. The Hoosiers, once the elite of the elite, belong in the Top 10."  I think the situation is a warning sign, as if we need one, that the tail is wagging the dog and we should be asking ourselves how we ever got to the place where a college basketball team is vital to the state's state of mind. This year's team should have made it obvious that the point is to assemble a group -- call it a team or a collection of talent or whatever -- strictly for the purpose of winning basketball games. We brought in three players, including Killingsworth, from the same out-of-state team, to be here for one year only. What in the world does that have to do with a state's higher-education mission?

But, as I said, I'm a fan. Maybe my perspecitve is out of kilter because the Bears let me down, as they so often have, and this year I got sucked into believing the Colts could remember how to play football once the playoffs started. And I've been a Hoosiers fan for a long time. If the Bears' 1985 season was my greatest fan experience, IU's 1975 and 1976 run ranks a close second.

On the other hand, maybe Davis' woes are bringing me back to my senses. Following a sports team is harmless fun and can go a long way toward softening the sharp edges of our real lives. But maintaining a decent education system is, forgive me Reggie, a vital part of real life. There's a certain college in Texas that has burst into the national spotlight in the last few years. Because of its education mission, something important about the way it's changed how it prepares its students for real life? No, because Bobby Knight went there.

Posted in: Hoosier lore, Sports


Mon, 02/13/2006 - 7:04am

Just my two cents. Davis seems really good at getting his teams up for big games. He seems pretty bad at getting his teams up for ordinary games.

Tim Rush
Tue, 02/14/2006 - 12:31pm

Mike Davis has no business being head coach at IU. They should have let him go when he whined about his contract and threatened to go to the NBA. He was in the right place at the right time. And he doesn't even have the guts to go on his radio show and defend himself? Check please.

Jack Jones
Thu, 02/16/2006 - 3:29pm

I guess if you want the insight of what the people at IU are saying, check out the Indiana University Message board: http://collegeboardz.com

Hein Verbruggen
Fri, 06/29/2007 - 12:54am

It is an entertainment business, not a Corinthian sport.

Never take it seriously--they don't.