Wednesday, April 2, 2008

College Happenings At The Final Four

Lots going on this week. And if you ever have an opportunity to attend a final four please do so. Not just for the games, but for the networking and information that is shared. Let me give you a run down on what really happens at a final four.


Many young HS coaches and even HS JV coaches attend to participate in workshops and hang around hotel lobby's to network and find out about open college assistant positions. It is one of the best ways to break into college coaching because coaches and AD's from all over the country attend the final four. It's like the annual convention for college basketball.

Now while those younger, and sometimes older, HS coaching types are trying to obtain basketball operations and lower D1 3rd assistant, D2, and even D3 positions, there are the guys already in D1 trying to move up to a better position. All the local assistants from the MAAC, NEC, CAA, will be on hand trying to find out what's available on the A10, BE, ACC, SEC, and even Big 10 level. Those coaches will be bumping High D1 Head Coaches in restaurants, hotel lobby's, the airport, and right on the street.

Now there are the high D1 Assistant Coaches. They will be seeking head jobs at lower D1 schools in the MAAC, CAA, and NEC conferences. Many of the better ones will also be seeking to change from staff assistant, and Director of Basketball Operation positions to On The Road or recruiting positions at high D1 schools. A select few will be considered for A10 and even high D1 head coaching positions.

Than there are the head coaches in attendance. Many use this time to interview potential staff members in hotel lobby's or at dinner. But for others it is an opportunity to be approached about changing jobs for better compensation and opportunities. That allows them options and at the least salary increases where they are based on a better offer elsewhere.

As you can see the final 4 is quite a basketball career day or weekend. Yes there are great activities. Yes some folks talk about potential recruits. Yes there are some parties. And yes there are 2 games on Saturday and one on Monday. But honestly, many people leave on Sunday after the semi final games. In the past a great practice for many Assistant Coaches and others who recieved final four tickets, was to sell them through ticket brokers. This by the way included a few AAU types who are able to secure tickets from a few sources based on having strong teams with very talented players on a regular basis.

Unfortunately very few in the actual basketball community really care about the games if they are not participating or have former players participating. They are there for the festivities, networking, and fun. And as you can understand from what I have outlined. It is a great event to make deals. And I must also let you know that the sneaker companies are huge at this event as are the corporate sponsors. This is where you grab a sneaker guy and tell him about your 6 ft 10 freshmen who averaged 23 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 blocked shots as a 8th grader playing varsity on your team in a tough conference. Most likely after checking, your shipment of sneakers and gear from the sneaker company will be on the way. Remember the best teams in HS have nice gear that they did not have to pay for. It is just alot of fun, with great networking opportunities!

Interesting Story

Speaking of jobs. Here is a story I heard and I cannot confirm if it is true, but it is very interesting. Let me start by saying that a person has little chance of getting hired as a college coach on the D1 level by submitting a resume to an address on an ad. It almost never happens. But some Federal and school regulations say positions must be advertised. So positions are regularly advertised and people apply hoping for an interview. This brings me to what I heard. Norm Roberts was finished at Queens College and decided to write Bill Self a letter when he was appointed Head Coach at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa Oklahoma. Not sure if he had met Self, but Self loved what he read. Invited Roberts down for an interview and the rest is history! IT RARELY HAPPENS that way. Coaches hire based on recommendations from folks they worked for (that coaching tree/family thing), via relationships, friendships developed as younger coaches, and the necessity to get players from a particular area through AAU type programs

Playez Spring Fling Phase II

Looking forward to this great event. I hope they allow me in the door at Rutgers University lol. Alarms might just go off after I enter the building. Lots of great teams and an opportunity to see many of the great young players from around the country. By the way, you can almost just sit and listen to obtain great information. But you better know who you are listening to.


John said...

This sounds exactly like what happens at professional conventions - not only for academics but business professionals.

The "I'll go it alone" approach is really a form of hubris - it makes a lot of sense to build relationships with the community of interest. There's a fascinating tension between being your self and being part of a community.

Regarding Tom Crean - I'm sorry for Marquette. It seems that with a few long-standing exceptions, the BE is a looking a bit more and more like a "stepping stone" league.

I would be interested in your thoughts - at the appropriate time - regarding whether the BE can continue to survive as a huge single league with only half of the teams involved with football.

darrenmaloney said...

You forgot to mention that 75% of the coaches sell their tickets to scalpers. Most have gotten to know the scalpers over the years. Also big revenue source for coaches at Big East Tournament. Athletic Directors look the other way (watch out BG!!!!) and nobody in the media has had the nuts to write something that would hurt their relationship with their sources (assistant coaches).

At Final Four the sneaker companies usually take the tickets and get rid of them for the head coaches. This way God forbid a head coach gets caught. The assistants are usually on their own.

Hookers, strip clubs, steakhouses,etc for the coaches.... btwn selling two to Big East and lets say two to Final Four you are looking at $4 - 10k. Ask sandwich boy, he has done this for the boys on the banks for the last ten years.

LFBall said...

Sandwich Boy lolololol. I should not be laughing but you are hilarious. I am sure you are not 100% serious about what you say about individuals. But he must have pissed you off royally!

I agree with 100% of what you say regarding the scalping situation. Its almost in certain coaches compensation package lol. They know they will make x amount during the final four.

You say scalpers, I say ticket brokers. But we really are saying the same thing.

Darren. I do not know who you are but If I met you I could almost gaurantee we know each other based on your comments. In fact, if you had a blog I would read it b4 i even ate breakfast.

Thanks for keeping this blog alive and interesting.

LFBall said...


Thank you for all the great questions and thank you also for reading my mess lol.

In regards to the BE staying alive desspite the lack of bigtime football at a number of member schools? I say yes the BE will survive because it is not just a basketball conference. It is a basketball super conference with great leadership despite the current commisioner losing his mind regarding how he handled Fred Hill and Bobby Gonsalez.

The BE games in basketball are war!! And as you saw from last season, anything can happen on a Saturday night in BE country.

Honestly, as good as the football teams are, its the bassketball that p[rovides the most press coverage and the sport the BE is most known for.

So yes, the BE is here to stay and will only get stronger as the bottom teams improve. And the number of teams will work because of the new format playing each team at least once a year.