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Opening Arguments

Here we go again

Today's "tail wagging the dog" news:

Indiana University Athletic Director Fred Glass didn’t hire men’s basketball coach Tom Crean. But he’s sure bent on keeping Crean in Bloomington for a long time.

Last week, Glass announced that Crean’s contract is being extended two years—through 2020. An extension always amounts to a pay raise.

The contract hasn’t been released publicly because it hasn’t yet been finalized. This much we know: Crean’s salary increased about $600,000 annually to $3.16 million.

[. . .]

The biggest reason to retain Crean probably has as much to do with coaxing more money out of donors as piling up victories on the court.

As good a coach as Crean is, he might be even better at alumni and public relations. He’s a front man like IU has never had before. He has the appeal of Bob Knight without the baggage. He’s even doing Subway sandwich shop commercials, and that might be just the beginning of the big-time endorsements for the affable Crean. Some would argue that type of exposure sure couldn’t hurt IU.

The story is under the headline "Crean has become the man IU can't afford to lose." Let's see, didn't the university feel that way about somebody else once? Oh, yeah, I remember it was that Bobby Knight guy. That worked out really well, didn't it? But, but, but, I sense some might be sputtering, Crean is Bob Knight "without the baggage."

Knight didn't start out with baggage, either. The problem was that university officials kept ignoring the baggage when it did start to pile up. Think they've learned a valuable lesson from that and can avoid repeating history?

Oh, silly question. Forget I even mentioned it.

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