Thursday, March 18, 2010



What a day in local basketball. At a time when all focus was on what would happen with Fred Hill Jr. and Norm Roberts, who would have figured Seton Hall would fire Bobby Gonzalez? Just shows what goes on behind closed doors. It also shows what happens when an employer really wants to make a change and get rid of someone.

As I mentioned with the Binghamton situation, what a player does off campus might be linked to the their college Coach and program but is it right? Did Mitchell ever commit a robbery prior to this accusation? If not how could the SHU administration hold Bobby Gonzalez responsible for such actions? It would be the same if a player on summer break punches a person while on spring break at the Jersey Shore. Would the Coach be accountable?

Now on the other hand the on court behavior of players are a direct reflection of the coaches and the type of program a university has. So Bobby has to take a hit for Popes actions during the Texas Tech game unfortunately. That has to be something looked at regardless of win/loss records. Unfortunately some universities could care less which is why The University of Kentucky's big guy is allowed to take cheap shots and often play dirty without being reprimanded. Despite all of this I still feel Bobby Gonzalez did not deserve anything other than a reprimand for the events in question. Maybe I am just a bit more tolerant than others.

I will not say much more on this except it is easy to kick a person when they are down. I will not do that. In fact it is really sickening watching people jump on the kick Bobby Gonzalez in the butt band wagon because it is now very popular. Bobby made mistakes but so did many others who are still holding jobs and looked at as hero's on campuses across the country. One thing for sure, despite not getting to the NCAA, Bobby continued a winning tradition at Seton Hall and the caliber of players he recruited who could play were not different than many of the players recruited all over the country. Pope was not a criminal when he was recruited. Neither was Robinson, or Lawrence. Who on Seton Hall was such a bad apple that no one wanted them? NO ONE! I honestly feel Jealous Coaches put out alot of negative stuff about Bobby in fear of him becoming successful. It even started when he first got the SHU job when they floated names of potential Assistant Coaches as a way to discredit him.

I personally have always liked Bobby and that will continue. Yes I will say when I think things are wrong, However, I really saw much more good than bad! No need to say what I feel were short comings again. I will use that space to say I feel he will survive and do well in his next position. I also think there is no way that Seton Hall will not have to pay him based on his contract. They can try to use "Cause" if they wish. But only time I have seen cause work is with the ex coach at Iowa State who was caught drinking alcohol and partying with under grads while he was on a road trip. And even than I think he still received some compensation.

So good luck Bobby. I know this is a hard time for you but hopefully you have learned from your experience so that you will do well at your next COACHING job!


Odd that the NY Times piece came out when it did and now Bobby Gonzalez is fired. Was this in the works and was it planted by very connected people? I also am disappointed that coaches who are legends are now coming out and dogging this guy. If they did not comment in the past, why comment now?

Saw ex Indiana Coach Kevin Sampson on TV coaching in the NBA. All I can say is wow! The NBA, the place where even.................................

St. Johns Loses

I really know people will kill me for this. I want Norm Roberts to keep his job. He is right on the edge of turning St. Johns into a top notch program. What makes it even better is he is doing it the hard way and doing it with class.

Anyone can see that St. Johns is better than they were a year ago. Ditto Rutgers and Seton Hall although that did not help Bobby Gonzalez. How good these programs can be at a time where some college basketball programs nationally have all you can spend bank accounts available is up to debate. Will all 3 have a win at any cost mentality? Are the fans really realistic? I honestly feel all 3 will soon be programs playing in sold out arenas again.

The NCAA Starts

I love President Obama's picks and I agree with Kansas as the National Champion. Great guard play with big guys who know their role equals success. I also love the fact our President really understands college basketball. I wonder if his Brother in Law gave him some insight?

Interesting that there are so many ex college players on the Presidential staff. I heard a long time ago that people who play college sports make good leaders and employees. But in the case of this Presidential Staff, they could win a local adult tournament and even do a great job in the Pelham Fritz Adult league in Harlem NY that is 35 and older with many ex NBA, college, and tri state street legends participating including Gus Williams, Mike Bantum, Ed Pinkney, Kyrie Irving's Dad, and many more.

Well let the games start. Off to buy some snacks to eat as I watch! Enjoy the games.


Sean Ramsden said...

LFBall, I admire your loyalty to people - it's a great quality. And yes, you are tolerant, and that isn't a bad thing, either.

There are a lot of people piling on Gonzo now, but a lot of that is because it is only in the past few weeks that a lot of folks really got to know him for what he is. What might look like kicking a man when he's down is easily confused for a deep urge to protect the reputation of one's alma mater. Alums will always be tied to their school, and are bound to rise to her defense when a threat is posed.

In the changind landscape of college athletics, Seton Hall is in a somewhat precarious position, working to remain relevant in a world that increasingly favors football schools. Our competitiveness and repuation in the Big East is the most valuable non-academic commodity we have, and it's of utmost importance to protect it. So when a coach creates a mountain of ill will among his colleagues in the league, at the university, among the officials on and off the court, the players themselves and the coommunity at large, it is a major problem. Major!

Seton Hall is, above all, a university, not a front for a basketball program. And while I do not object to taking chances on troubled transfers, I think it is incumbent upon the coach who takes them in to "raise" them right: discipline them, mentor them, love them.

Some will never respond to anyone, but many will. You know the backgrounds of many of the kids who play big-time ball. Your son has a good dad, but they don't all have that benefit. You can't just take in all these kids and let them run loose, with no accountability. They want discipline and the coach has to be the one who gives it.

I think Herb Pope is a better kid than the way he's acted on the court. He's a very thoughtful guy in his quotes, so you know he's a thinker. I like to think that Stix Mitchell is, at his essense, a goood kid, too. It might be too late for Stix, but it isn't too late for Keon Lawrence, a kid who exudes energy and friendliness, but is perhaps a bit immature.

I want a coach who knows how to coach basketball, but who also knows how to make these kids into men, men who have the ability to succeed after they leave Seton Hall and stop playing basketball. They have not had that kind of coach at Seton Hall since they've gotten there. They deserve it, and we, as alumni and supporters of the program and the players, deserve it too.

SPK145 said...



LFBall said...


Thanks for a well put response to my thoughts. You make great points without attacking anyone. I too think the SHU players are not bad kids. I also hope there is more to the Stix Mitchell situation than him just showing up and randomly attempting to rob someone in South Orange. As someone said, it would be very dumb to rob someone right down the street, especially when you are visible and very tall. But we will see how this plays out.


What the heck is WWGMD? I am sure it means something good or very funny!

SPK145 said...

WWGMD = What Would Gene Marshall Do

LFBall said...

LOLOL. I should have known. What would Gene Marshall do? He would hire Jerry Walker as Head Coach, Athletic Director, and President of Seton Hall University. Doing that would save SHU lots of money even though we all know you feel he is worth at least 4 million a year lol.

Fordham_57 said...

I applaud Sean for a very erudite and I believe accurate statement. I agree with everything he said. On a basketball level, I think Gonzo improved our basketball team. A couple of wins and we would have been in the NCAA's and he would have been retained, and that would have quieted the natives.

BUT, the fact remains, he was a train wreck that was destined to occur. He infuriated so many people: refs, HS coaches, the media, other college coaches, assistants, etc. ect ect. He was the worst person to become the face of Seton Hall University. It is probably fortuitous that Bobby did not win those extra couple of games as we can now look forward to getting a better ambassador for the university.

However, you are right in admonishing all those who are now piling on Gonzo. The race is over as they say, stop running.

I will say though that the NY Times articles still are mind boggling to me. They remain a major factor in initiating the fall of our coach. So many questions remain unanswered. Why were they written? We can see the obvious agenda. But,whose agenda was being exercised? How could such horrendous and child-like "prose" (and I use the word loosely) be passed off in the New York times disquised as jounalism? How about the venom spouted by the Manhattan AD after all these years. Why? Revenge? Bobby left his program for a better job. Byrne comes off looking very petty.

I have to admit that I was one of those who campaigned for Bobby to come to Seton Hall. I tried even to the end to defend Bobby because I am a control freak, and try to keep the Pirate internet board balanced and out of the control of rabble rousers. But the truth is, the rable rousers were right and the SHU program is much better off without him.

I also think it is only a matter of time before we see the demise of our AD. He could have helped Bobby by counseling him, controling him, mentoring him; or at least, he could have tried. Instead he chose to be adversarial and a stumbling block. He could have helped Bobby and kept him in line; he could have choosen to be an ally, not an enemy. However, Quinlan is such an ineffectual administrator, and frought with so many of his own issues.

I know this rant is probably as tangential as the NY times articles, but I feel like getting some things off my chest, and I figure whose going to read this comment anyway, burried as it is at the end of an old LFB column.

Bottom line: SHU IS a great coaching position; and he Rock has positioned it in a very strategic place. I'm happy Gonzo is gone, and I hope they pick the right coach to lead the program into the future.