Monday, January 16, 2012

Please Fix Carolina Basketball!

Which of these is more painful:  The USC basketball team, a thorough root canal or a violent skin rash?   Seriously, what is there to say about men’s hoops at Carolina?  Think of the Men’s major sports in Columbia as three long-term employees in your office.  Football and baseball are shining stars on the payroll.  They are both exciting to watch, are energetic, have bright futures and are valuable cogs on the wheel. 

Then there is the old guy in the office (basketball) who was the “golden boy” earner years ago, but hasn’t produced for a while.  You’ve done everything you can do to help.  You’ve given him a plush new office (the Colonial Life Arena) and all the resources in the world to help improve things, but it just isn’t happening.  He is good for an occasional laugh and a quirky story from time to time but that’s about it.  The situation is getting really uncomfortable and embarrassing and you know something has to be done. 

Eric Hyman has made one head coaching hire in the men’s major sports during his time in Columbia and that is Darrin Horn.  Barring a miracle turnaround (which we all pray for), this season is a lost cause.  Assuming Horn won’t leave on his own, obviously, Hyman will have three choices:  1. Do nothing and pretend nothing is wrong (The “all is well while the ship is sinking” method); 2. Fire Horn and pick another young coach; 3. Fire Horn and put a lot of money into getting a big name. 

I know that Hyman’s first choice will be doing nothing, as this was “his guy.”  Also, I have always said that with football and baseball rolling along, many will take the “who cares” attitude about it.  I think the reason I cannot get comfortable with this “head in the sand” path is because I really love Carolina basketball and have my whole life.
I get it that the “accepted wisdom” most years is that the SEC is good in football, the ACC is good in hoops and both are good in baseball.   I think what is happening in Columbia is even worse than this argument.  We aren’t even competitive in an average league anymore, and that is AFTER we got rid of the very cool Carolina Coliseum for the insane and disastrous Colonial.  Duke may stink in football, but they admit they don’t care about it and don’t waste a bunch of money and resources pretending otherwise. 

I bet ¾ of Gamecock fans would gladly hit the rewind button, go back and bear hug Eddie Fogler and cling to the old Coliseum like a fat girl on a funnel cake.  Heck, I even miss the 3-man weave under the Warchest of Credibility.  At least we knew what we were trying to do on offense.  After all the money we dumped into that stupid new building, don’t turn around and act like basketball is the crazy drunk uncle at the punchbowl we need to just ignore.  Pick a path and fix it!    

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