Wednesday, February 15, 2006

UK/IU Fans Flaunt Racist Attitude at CJ Writer

The piece I've linked above is by Courier-Journal columnist Jerry Brewer. Jerry is a graduate of Western Kentucky's award winning journalism school, a veteran columnist who has worked in Pennsylvania and in Orlando before coming to the staff of the CJ.

He's an excellent writer. I've enjoyed reading his work since he was on the staff of the College Heights Herald at WKU when we were both students.

This college basketball season Brewer has defended Mike Davis at IU and Tubby Smith at UK. The two have been attacked by their respective fan bases for the poor performances of their teams this season. Davis has been a disappointment three years in, which Brewer admits. But Smith has been a great and successful coach every year he's been at it until this season.

Brewer writes in this column that IU/UK fans are accusing of being racially biased because of his defense of the two coaches. (I guess that makes me racially biased for defending Smith. Does that mean I'm reverse racist?) I enjoy Brewer's response and will let it speak for itself. But now I'll defend the UK fan base (I don't know IUs as well.)

UK fans are not racist. At least not all of them. I would guess the majority of UK fans aren't racist. What you have is a vocal minority who is smearing the face of the whole. And that's unfortunate. But much like Christians who are made to look stupid by idiots like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, if you sit by and do nothing about it, then you're part of the problem.

UK has a long tradition, but unfortunately, that doesn't pay the bills for some UK fans. It's not "what have you done for me lately?" in Lexington, it's "what have you done for me today?" As Chris Rock would say, "It's here today, gone today."

Here's a review though for any possible racist UK fan who's reading this blog. Tubby Smith is a good coach. No, Tubby Smith is a great coach. He's got a national title, he's got final fours, he's got elite eights, and he's won 78% of his games. Reality is, sometimes your up, sometimes your down.

I leave you with the wisdom of an 80s sitcom. "You take the good, you take the bad, you take the rest and there you have...the facts of life. The facts of life."


Piccu said...

You know I believe that Tubby is a great coach and I think that when the time comes UK will have a tough time finding someone as good or better to replace him.

I also think that maybe it is time for him to go because I can't stand listening to people tell me how much he sucks. I am tired of seeing him trashed every year, even when he has a good season.

I would agree that a majority of the UK fans are not racist. For most of us, we just hate to lose. For some, they would have disliked whoever took over for Pitino because it is always easy to take over AFTER the man who takes over for THE MAN.

But of those who dislike Tubby I believe that many do so because of race. I hear it from people I know who are down on the Cats. If race isn't the main reason, it is a factor in their reasoning for being down on UK. It is scary, I agree, but it is real.

Piccu said...

As for the Mike Davis/IU situation, it's very different. IU did not want Mike Davis as the permanent coach. Mike Davis was an interim coach, but no one wanted to say it out loud. Then Davis goes and does the unthinkable and he makes it to the final game of the NCAAs. You can't fire a coach after they take their team to the final game. IU is stuck with a guy they didn't want in the first place.

Now Davis has gone 2 or 3 seasons and has been mediocre at best, at least by past IU seasons, and the school now has a reason to fire him other than we just didn't want you to coach our team in the first place.

I do not think that race plays as big a part in this as the Tubby situation because as Sivart pointed out, Tubby has done so much more in his time at UK than Davis has. I would have no problems with the firing of Mike Davis.

The fans never really embraced him like I feel most UK fans haven't embraced Tubby, but at least Davis has had multiple disappointing seasons. That is what makes the fire Tubby sentiment so puzzling. He has won and accomplished so much over a number of years and Davis hasn't, yet they are both in the same situation at least in the fans eyes.

I think the adminstration supports Tubby while IU doesn't and never has supported Mike Davis.

I realize now that I should have just made this a post, but it's too late now.

Piccu said...

I am listening to Mike Davis on the Dan Patrick show and he sounds like a beaten and defeated man. He does not sound like he believes he will be at IU next year. In fact every time he was asked if he thinks he will be here next year, he never gives an answer, he just says that he is the coach this year and that is what he is focusing on. It sounds to me and Dan and Keith that he thinks he will be gone.

He also brought up a pretty good point. He asked Dan and Keith how many years have they heard that he was going to be fired, sounding as though he was finally buying into it himself. Dan said he did hear it, but that he, Mike Davis, didn't have to believe the rumors. Davis said that wasn't the issue. The issue was that these players he was recruiting kept hearing it and they didn't want to commit to a school if there was a chance that the coach that recruited them would not be the coach that would be there when they arrived on campus. Good point.

Travis said...

Davis has talent now though. So he can't blame recruiting woes. He's just not a great coach. Period. I think IU would be a good place for someone like WVU's John Beiline. A place where system takes priority over talent and show.
You always think of IU as classic basketball. Knight's teams, even when under talented, were fundamental and disciplined. Davis's teams haven't had that quality, but mostly he just hasn't won.
Following an icon is hard, but if you win, then you can succeed. That's why MOST people will stand behind Tubby. Most won't stand behind Davis.
But look how something like this can just ruin a coach. Look at Doherty that coached at UNC. That killed him. I don't know where he's at now.

Piccu said...

I agree, Davis is not a great coach, but in time he could become one. IU was the wrong job for him. I do not believe this situation is as bad as the Doherty situation.

I think Davis will land at a nice school and not have to practically beg for a D-II job like Doherty had to.

I think Doherty got a raw deal, if his players didn't throw him under the bus and play like they proved they could last year, then Doherty would still be there. I recall some of those same UNC players trying to pull that stuff with Ol' Roy when he first got there, but the university was not going down that same road with a future hall of famer.

Doherty also made a big mistake in practically telling Dean to go f himself. I think that was the main reason it was so hard for him to land a new job. He is now coaching Florida Atlantic.