Posted on: January 4, 2009 12:05 pm

If Kirk Ferentz leaves for the Browns...

which I hope he won't do, the Iowa football program will have to find a new head coach.  But who?

Ken O'Keefe or Norm Parker- the obvious choice.  These guys have served the Hawkeyes well and are probably the easiest to hire.

Mike Stoops - Obviously his brother Bob won't leave Oklahoma, but Mike would be a good choice.  He played here, so he would be willing to come.  He's from the Midwest so he could recruit here,  He has, over the past three years, taken Arizona to an 18-18 record in an always-competitive Pac-10 conference, often recruiting against his in-state rivals from Arizona State.  He wouldnt have that problem here.  ISU rarely takes many decent recruits away from Iowa.  He just signed a contract extension to keep him at Arizona until 2013, but I'm sure the Iowa athletic department has enough money to get him to leave (witness Kirk's salary of over $2 million per annum).

Tommy Tuberville - My dark horse candidate.  It might be tough to sell him on a Midwest school, but Iowa is a big enough school with name recognition.  He's available, wildly succesful (in 14 years in the SEC, only three losing seasons, took his teams to six bowl wins in nine bids), and has never had less than five wins in a season.  Worth a shot.

Greg Schiano - I'm sure he would at least give Iowa a shot.  Iowa can probably get better recruits than can Rutgers, and he's taken some teams to good bowls over the past few years.

Hayden Fry - Ha ha, but at least try to bring him back.

Category: General
Tags: Coaching
Posted on: January 2, 2009 10:18 pm

Kill the student section!

A trend I've noticed recently is the extremely personal attacks on athletes by student sections, especially at basketball games.

I'm not talking about "the ref needs glasses," "AIR BALL!!," yelling during a free throw, etc.  No, I mean PERSONAL attacks on players.

A year or two ago, SI did a story on this at the college level.  Some highlights:

Greg Paulus got dunked on by a Virginia Tech player in a game at Duke in which Paulus's head ended up right in the VT's players crotch.  When the Blue Devils went to Blacksburg, the Va. Tech student section serenaded Paulus with chants of "Teabag Paulus!"

After a Duke player opened a cut above Tyler Hansbrough's eye with a particularly hard hit, the UNC fans at Chapel Hill held up papers with the Duke player's face, with the words "WANTED FOR..." above his head.  Included among the charges were "general douchebaggery."

When UCLA and Kevin Love went to Eugene to play Oregon, Oregon fans got ahold of Love's cell phone number and sent multiple death threats (to him and his family) to his phone.  Love, who was from Oregon and much vilified for not staying home, was unnerved enough to have the cellphone switched off.

Eric Gordon, after having rescinded a verbal commitment to go to Illinois, instead went to Indiana and recieved many insults going into Assembly Hall in Champaign (although the Orange Krush refrained from the death threats, thankfully).

But I've also seen this disturbing trend in high school.  Behold:

I'm the manager of my high school boy's basketball team.  One week we went to play one of our conference rivals.  Our schools are seperated by 45 minutes of interstate, and we always have close games.  It's developed into a bit of a rivalry.  After years of futility, they finally had something to cheer about this year, having the week before gone into the gym of the 3rd-ranked team in the state and won.  Anyway, our bench was right in front of their student section.  (Our gym eliminates this problem by putting the student sections for both schools on the other side of the gym.)  These students were disgraceful.  First, we had an injured player on the bench who jumped up once or twice to protest a bad call.  Not uncommon.  He didn't disrupt the game.  However, one of the students from the school went to a security guard and asked if our player could be kicked out of the gym.  Second, they referred to this player, several others on the bench, and our head coach, all of whom are African-American, as "ni****s."  (I may add that about 25 percent of this school's students are black.)  Third, they told our female manager, also on the bench, that they would rape her.  Telling me this after the game, her voice was breaking up and she was barely coherent, not the norm for her.

We won anyway by six points.

The next week, we hosted our cross-town rivals.  It's a grudge match, and it was for the conference lead.  They repeatedly referred to one of our starters, who played the whole game, as a "weasel."  They chanted this whenever he had the ball.  (I would add here that they did this in their game the week before, also a rivalry for them.  It was loud enough that we heard it on the game tape we were watching.  The camera was situated on the other side of the huge and loud gym, and we still heard it.)

We lost, unfortunately, by 12.


I see these as part of a trend, something wrong with fanhood in sport in general.  There's nothing wrong with potshots at the other team, the "you can't do that" after a travel.  But this is just wrong,  Sports games used to be a place where you would go to meet with our friends, to have fun, to watch the game and support your team.  They were never intended for this.  Really, why?

Category: General
Tags: Fans
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