A Lot More Than A Basketball Game Being Played This Week
These days, the disgust is palpable, and while my initial inclination was to chalk this up as more of the usual hot air, there are signs that this is different. It feels like people are finally, truly at their wits' end, and that perhaps Herb Sendek is one of those people. Per State Fans Nation:
Herb Sendek has been sending feelers throughout various contacts inside of college basketball for the last couple of weeks regarding different potential jobs. One specific job that has been specifically mentioned is Oregon.
Frankly, I'm surprised Sendek has tolerated the fans as long as he has, but he's never been in a position to find a job as good as his gig in Raleigh. Nor is he in such a position now--it's just that circumstances have forced his hand.
I have been dodging this issue for a while. This blog has been a much-needed oasis. A place where I discuss the events on the court and lets those off of the court take care of themselves. Hopefully I'm not the only person who feels this way. It often seems like everyone is eager to argue about coaching. Me, I'd much rather escape those topics.
For one thing, talk--especially on the internets and especially in this case--has always been a pointless exercise. Regardless of how much the fans complain, regardless of the legitimacy of the arguments against Sendek, nothing changes. Besides, how many times can the same tired points be reiterated? Yes, Herb Sendek has had a mediocre career. We know. There's hardly a need to go over his record against Duke and Carolina. Or his record in close games. Making those points every time the basketball team hits a rough patch does not change the reality of the situation. At least, it didn't before. This time around, the unrest may finally have the ball rolling.
In addition, I've always held a moderate opinion regarding the coaching situation. A cautious supporter, I guess. "Settling for mediocracy!!1", if you prefer.
So that others can understand that perspective, I need to clarify: I grew up in the Les Robinson era. When Herb Sendek was hired, I was in the seventh grade (yikes...was it that long ago?), and that's more or less when I started actively following Wolfpack athletics. The end of Robinson's tenure was terrible (not that you need a reminder). I remember how excited people were to make the NIT. How excited I was.
I don't want to say that those years formed the complete basis for my expectations, but that painful era certainly shaped them. Sometimes I wondered if NC State would ever get back to the NCAAs. It's been five trips to the tournament in a row now, and getting to the NCAAs is still a bit of a novelty for me. This doesn't mean I'm less demanding than anyone else. More patient, probably.
I am at a point, though, where I'm ready to see the basketball program kick itself out of neutral, even if that comes at a cost in the short term (like losing Chris Wright, for instance). The new coach would have a difficult job, and we still may not get to where we want to be, but we won't know until we try. Let's start fresh.