Want A Mid-Major Job? Try Massive NCAA Violations

↵It appears the new mid-major template is this: hire a coach who resigned in disgrace after massive NCAA violations came down on his program and ride that guy to the NCAA tournament. Watch previously disgraced coach morph into a feel-good redemption story, further proving that you could strangle a Care Bear and, as long as you win, someone will film a Hallmark ↵movie about your life. ↵

↵

↵The poster child for this is Morgan State's Todd Bozeman, the former Cal coach who spent ten years in the wilderness after he admitted to paying a player $30,000 and was ordered to stay away from a Cal student who accused him of ↵sexually harassing her. Four years and two NCAA tourney bids later, however, Mike Wilbon is writing about how his buddy Bozeman deserves ↵a shot at a major job and the New York Times is declaring him an ↵"embodiment ↵of fighting through adversity." It's pretty annoying to see ↵Wilbon describe Bozeman as a "stud recruiter" without even ↵acknowledging the idea that thirty grand could make anyone a decent ↵recruiter, but there it is. Win games and all is forgiven. ↵

↵

↵Now UTEP and Houston are looking to jump on board the sketch bandwagon. UTEP's insane hire of Tim Floyd, a coach still under investigation as we speak, was crazy enough to make a Gregg Doyel column advocating the immediate firing of Floyd and his AD look positively reserved. Now the disease is spreading: If these reports are to be believed, Houston forced out Tom Penders, a coach who got them to their first tournament in forever, in favor of one James Dickey. ↵

↵

↵Dickey was an assistant at Texas Tech starting in 1990 and ascended to the head job in 1992. In 1997, Texas Tech was hit with massive NCAA penalties including nine lost scholarship and four years of probation; Dickey, unlike Bozeman, was never personally implicated and managed to escape with his job and without a show-cause order. The violations included vast numbers of ineligible players in multiple sports and saw a football assistant hit with a show-cause order. The university was tagged with the dreaded "lack of institutional control" charge. Before that Dickey was part of an NCAA ↵investigation into illegal ↵outside competition when he was an assistant at Kentucky. ↵

↵

↵While it's plausible that Dickey was not the motive force behind the ↵NCAA violations at Tech, it strains credulity to believe he wasn't aware ↵of and tacitly permitting them. Ask Michigan fans about Steve Fisher, ↵who left the school in disgrace once the Ed Martin scandal broke, was ↵not personally implicated, and became the paleolithic version of Bozeman ↵by landing at San Diego State and leading them to two NCAA tourneys. (If you're counting, that's one more than Michigan's managed since he's been at SDSU.) Fisher wasn't directly implicated, but one of his players was ↵driving ↵around an Explorer registered to an aunt in Detroit. If he didn't ↵know, he didn't want to. ↵

↵

↵Second chances and all that, I guess, but it seems like some schools ↵are looking at sketchy pasts as a positive these days.  How long ↵until Kelvin Sampson makes his triumphant return in the Missouri Valley ↵Conference? ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.