I'm curious about this story -- the timing, the reaction and the non-reaction. I've done a lot of reading on it and have a few random thoughts.
1. Is this a credible story? There are no sources for the story. But, it comes from a reputable place and a reputable writer. There are some saying that the source has a personal bias against the coach because the coach ridiculed those who rate high school athletes -- something the source does. But, I don't buy that. I don't buy that, in mid-season, a known beat reporter would go out on a limb to create an explosive story out of hole cloth. The writer has too much credibility and too much at stake to make this up. He is established. Owns and controls his own job. He's not someone trying to make an "entry" splash or hold on to a fading reputation. I tend to believe there is something to this story.
2. What's most telling? The non-reaction of the AD. I've searched and searched. Not a word to counter the story. Not the slightest vote of confidence. From a man who was proclaiming a "huge win", you'd think there'd at least be something that expresses some sort of confidence in the coach. There has been nothing. And, I think that's telling.
3. Why no reaction? Could this be the rat throwing the captain overboard and trying to save his place on the ship? One can look at this as a manipulaiton by an AD under seige -- trying to get out front of the story and separate his future from that of the coach.
Only a fool would fail to grasp the peril the AD is in as Howland fails. There is a strong movement afoot to remove the AD as well as the coach. In fact, many want the AD removed BEFORE he can pick the next basketball coach.
So, throw the coach off the boat, and run as far away from him as you can. If rats ran the ship, I think that's what they'd do.
It's not hard to believe that the AD is out for himself and trying to cloak himself as a voice of change -- rather than be the subject the voices want to change.
3. Why Now?
To me, this is the most intriuging part of the story. Why in "pre-season" after we've won a few games, one of which was "huge"?
I asked this question, yesterday, and got several answers. Many think the story has come to the fore because the three wealthy and influential alum's have lost their patience with CBH.
But, again, why now? It's not like we've had frustration free seasons since the final four runs.
What is it that makes this an immediate problem, rather than "let the season play out issue?
My totally unsubstantiated, I don't know any important people, but here's what I think reason: The players/their families/ or some combination of both are making noise that the kids are not happy, that the recruiting promises have not been kept, that there is not much learning going on, that the favoritism sucks, and that playing for this coach is not fun.
We have some players who came only because they had to do a year in college. If that year is not meeting their professional needs, they might just up and leave. And, on a team where there are only 8 scholarship players, losing 1 or 2, now, might end the season. What could be more embarrasing to a program that has been a sieve, leaking talent for years, than to implode with further walk outs?
If that's the case, there is a reason for this mid-season story. It tells the players/parents that they are being heard, that what they are saying is important AND it sends them and the coach a message. To the players: don't quit, help may be on the way. To the coach: get it right, now. Or, get out.
Yes, these are random, unsubstantiated thoughts. Total speculation. Just an attempt to make sense out of a story the timing for which makes no sense. Do you have a better take? I'd love to hear it.