Cleat Geeks

College Coaching Carousel Catastrophe Continues

I am going to college, and we, the average person have seen the cost of college absolutely skyrocket over the last 5 years. And wouldn’t you know what state is leading the charge according to www.npr.org? You guessed it, Arizona. In the past 5 years Arizona has seen a dramatic increase in college tuition of 77%. Why should this matter to sports fans? Because I am tired of a disturbing trend in college sports in general. Not only am I tired of it but I am going to speak my mind against it as well.

Arizona State University fired it’s head basketball coach today, Herb Sendek. Am I a big Sendek supporter, no. Am I a big ASU supporter, again no. But I am a proponent of people and businesses managing their finances, and I am tired of Colleges and Universities not doing what they teach in all their business and economic classes. ASU is just the latest example of a University spending money on a coach irresponsibly, and frankly I am angered that no one seems to care.

Last year Sendek was given a 4 year extension with 2 years remaining on his current contract. In my opinion if a person has two years left on his contract there is no need to extend him 4 additional years. Or if there is a need to give him a 4 year extension, the University should not be so quick to then fire the coach they obviously want the following season.

Herb Sendek coaching career

Former ASU Head Men's Basketball Coach Herb Sendek.

Former ASU Head Men’s Basketball Coach Herb Sendek.

Overall record: 413-295.

Seasons: 22.

Arizona State: 159-137.

Seasons: 9.

2014-15: 18-16 (NIT)

2013-14: 21-12 (NCAA Tournament)

2012-13: 22-13 (NIT)

2011-12: 10-21

2010-11: 12-19

2009-10: 22-11 (NIT) Pac-10 Coach of Year

2008-09: 25-10 (NCAA Tournament)

2007-08: 21-13 (NIT)

2006-07: 8-22

North Carolina State: 191-132

Seasons: 10.

2005-06: 22-10 (NCAA Tournament)

2004-05: 21-14 (NCAA Tournament)

2003-04: 21-10 (NCAA Tournament) ACC Coach of the Year

2002-03: 18-13 (NCAA Tournament)

2001-02: 23-11 (NCAA Tournament)

2000-01: 13-16

1999-00: 20-14 (NIT)

1998-99: 19-14 (NIT)

1997-98: 17-15 (NIT)

1996-97: 17-15 (NIT)

Miami (Ohio): 63-26.

Seasons: 3.

1995-96: 21-8 (NIT)

1994-95: 23-7 (NCAA Tournament) MAC Coach of the Year

1993-94: 19-11 (NIT)

Sendek has been with the ASU program for 9 seasons with an overall record of 159-137. In many ways, this season’s team over-achieved. ASU, who lost their top three scorers off the 2014 NCAA Tournament team was picked to finish ninth in the Pac-12 preseason media poll, yet finished fifth. Along the way, the Sun Devils defeated rival Arizona and UCLA (two teams that are both still in the NCAA tournament round of 16), but they also stumbled in big ways. In December, they lost at home to Lehigh. In February, they lost at Utah by 42 points. Plus they stumbled down the stretch giving up a 15 point lead in the final 10 minutes to a 12th seeded USC team knocking them from the Pac-12 tournament.

Ray Anderson, ASU Vice President for University Athletics uttered these words in his press conference today, “We are committed to turning Sun Devil men’s basketball into an elite program and creating an unmatched atmosphere within Wells Fargo Arena.” And I laughed. Someone needs to tell Mr. Anderson that you do not become an “elite program” by making stupid financial decisions. And paying Herb Sendek $2.4 million dollars to no longer be your head men’s basketball coach would qualify as such. No to mention the fact that there will ultimately be more money spent when they eventually hire a new men’s basketball coach.

To me looking at his career stats as listed above, Sendek does not seem to be the problem. The problem is the wasted money of colleges in general for their sports coaches. Ray Anderson, and people in his position at multiple universities need to enroll and complete a business class at the universities they work for. No business class will tell you that it is smart to extend a contract with a business partner by 4 years and then decide to fire them less than a year later with basically the same results in the year you fire them as the year you extend them (especially considering what Sendek lost from last year to this year). Compounded by the fact that once you decided to fire the head coach you then rewarded him with a fat $2.4 million dollar check.

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