The last we met former Seton Hall basketball coach Bobby Gonzalez, he was being dismissed from the university for a combination of his team's poor showings both on and off the court, prompting a lawsuit from Gonzalez in a bitter back and forth with the school. But considering the deluge of stories about Gonzo's "prickly" personality -- he was the kind of guy who "berated the team's busdrivers" -- it was hard to feel much sympathy for him.
But now Gonzalez's story has gone from run-of-the-mill tyrannical coach getting axed to something much more absurd: Gonzalez has been charged with shoplifting, after allegedly snatching a $1,395 satchel from a Ralph Lauren Polo shop, according to the Newark Star-Ledger. Yes, that's right: Gonzalez is accused of trying to steal a crazy expensive man-purse.
Gonzalez's lawyer has, of course, claimed that the incident is a "misunderstanding in a series of miscommunications", but the facts certainly seem damning here. Indeed, the satchel was "reportedly damaged in the area where a sensor tag had been attached", making it seem exceedingly unlikely that this was some kind of honest mistake.
But really, given what we knew about Gonzalez, we shouldn't be too surprised to see him self-immolate in ignominy. Consider some of the following details from a particularly damaging New York Times profile that ran shortly before his ouster from Seton Hall:
Gonzalez attributed a recent Senior Night loss partly to the two minutes...[walk-on] John Garcia, played. [...]
Gonzalez nearly had a fistfight with his former assistant Steve Masiello, who is now at Louisville, during a visit to St. Benedict’s Prep in Newark. Their altercation was caught on a security camera. [...]
The former Jasper Kenny Minor called Gonzalez "the craziest person I’ve ever met in my life, by far." Minor added: "If I were to ever become a coach, I learned a lot of things I wouldn’t do." [...]
They said Gonzalez relished any attention he received, especially in the New York newspapers, and had assistants cut out the articles and highlight his name.
Megalomania? Check. Desperation? Check. Can a reality TV show appearance be far behind for Gonzalez?