Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Darling, you've got to let me know

Should he stay or should he go? If he stays there will be trouble. And if he goes it will be double. You've got to let me know, should he stay or should he go?

My apologies to The Clash. So, what is the deal over at the U? Unsurprisingly, last night the Gopher men's basketball team gets drilled in a meaningless NIT game against the Cincinnati Bearcats. The morning edition of the Star Tribune arrives on my front porch with a jumbo front page headline that men's basketball coach Dan Monson has been relieved of his duties, but it appears this morning that athletic director Joel Maturi didn't follow through on actually capping the coach. This morning the Star Tribune website reports that Monson has not resigned or been fired and plans to return. And no one knows whether Monson is a dead man walking or if the Strib has a "Dewey Defeats Truman" moment on its hands. Meanwhile, Sid Hartman probably has to hit the speed dial to Lubbock, Texas several teams to keep his "close personal friend" Bob Knight apprised about the bungee coach.

How embarrassing for everyone involved. Monson twists in the wind, Maturi looks ineffectual and the Star Tribune has to backtrack. Credibility is hardly a growth industry these days, but even by the increasingly bizarre standards that govern sport, this is an especially egregious sequence. If the U wants to get rid of Monson, that's fine -- while he has run a much cleaner program than Clem Haskins, Jim Dutcher and Bill Musselman ever did, the Gophers have been left behind by the other Big 10 schools under Monson's watch. But if you intend to fire a guy, at least fire him. If they are in a firing mood over on campus, perhaps someone should fire Maturi as well.

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