Indiana Basketball – Take a deep breath, count to 10 before demanding Tom Crean’s job after loss to Eastern Washington

by Kent Sterling

No reason to make Tom Crean's job and life more miserable through expressing more irrational anger about losing to Eastern Washington.

No reason to make Tom Crean’s job and life more miserable through expressing more irrational anger about losing to Eastern Washington.

Indiana lost a basketball game last night to a team out of the Big Sky Conference that has played once NCAA Tournament game in its history.

Eastern Washington beat Indiana 88-86 last night at Assembly Hall in large part because of defensive indifference and/or poor fundamentals, and that has Hoosiers fans hot.

There are few things in life we can rage about without serious consequences.  Jobs can be onerous and bosses idiots, but say what’s on your mind about them, and that problem will quickly be corrected as you are asked to vacate the premises.  Health can take a turn for the worse, but anger only makes rehab tougher.  Being pissed off about family is usually the cause of additional troubles, not the solution.

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Sports?  Fans get to yell about sports.  We get to demand immediate satisfaction.  We are the customers, and by God, if we pay for tickets, we can raise holy hell when disappointed!  What in the good hell was Indiana doing switching to a 2-3 zone when Eastern Washington loves shooting threes?!  ARRRRGH!

Take a deep breath.  One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten.  Better?  What we all need to remember is that Tom Crean’s job is to lead players to attend class, earn diplomas, remain compliant with NCAA rules, and win.  This is his job, and whether or not you believe he does it poorly or well, he’s doing all he can to make the Hoosiers as competitive as possible.

Crean, like most coaches, have a family.  If Indiana loses too much, that family will need to move to the place where he will find a job next.  That’s a way of life for a coach.  It’s part of the price of entering that volatile profession.

But there is no reason to make it less pleasant by haranguing Crean, the players, or his boss with demands for immediate satisfaction in the area of wins, titles, or banners.  While Crean chose to become a coach, and his wife chose to marry one, the kids chose nothing.  Granted, life could be a lot worse than living amid the largesse provided by the $3 million Crean earns to lead the basketball program, but hearing the relentless yelping from torch carrying fans demanding a change is miserable regardless of the financial health of the family.

As kids play sports, act in plays, sing in concerts, and otherwise busy themselves, coaches always have one eye and one ear pointed toward their players.  Let your focus drop for a minute, and the phone rings with news of a kids hospitalized with a fractured skull.  Attend a choir concert, and that gameplay won’t install itself.  Allow yourself to relax long enough for a 30-minute conversation about how to deal with a girl or boyfriend, and grades dip.

Yeah, Indiana lost last night to a team that was scheduled specifically to provide a much needed win prior to the Big Ten season, and that makes the loss hurt more than one to a team from one of the Big Five conferences, but anger isn’t going to help Indiana play better Friday against UNC Greensboro, or put athletic director Fred Glass in a frame of mind where he will be more likely to replace Crean – at least not until the season ends.

Think of your life and what it would be like if because you had a bad day at work, Twitter was filled with insane rants about what a dumbass you are.  What would it be like if you needed to move your family from your home if you screwed up today?  That’s what coaches deal with, and what Crean thought about as he tried to sleep last night – if he tried to sleep.

The life of a coach is ridiculous.  No matter how much you win, people always believe there is someone out there who can do it better.  Great isn’t good enough.  What have you done lately?  Big Ten Championship two years ago?  What about beating Eastern Washington, you clod!

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I’m not saying that Indiana losing to Eastern Washington is excusable, or that kids being suspended, hospitalized, or arrested should result in something other than a pink slip at the end of the season.

What I’m saying is that it’s possible to be demanding and humane at the same time.  Crean is a good guy who will be the coach at Indiana until the end of the season at least.

Relax.  Glass will handle things in one direction or the other when the time is right.  Until then, support the players and coaches.  This season is a book with between 32-40 chapters.  Last night, one of the chapters was written.  That’s all.

If Indiana Basketball doesn’t bring you joy, do something else with your time until it does.

12 thoughts on “Indiana Basketball – Take a deep breath, count to 10 before demanding Tom Crean’s job after loss to Eastern Washington

  1. Rex Dwyer

    It is his lack of understanding of what it takes to win basketball games at the level that Indiana should play that is so frustrating and that results in some people calling for his job. Me for one. He failed wholly in his use of Zeller when he played at IU. The result is either he cannot or chooses not to recruit tall enough players to compete at that level. Unless the AD or other administrative officials recognizes that either on their own or through calls for his resignation, no change will occur and IU will continue to be mediocre at best.

  2. Matterhorn

    So you are giving Crean a “pass” cause his kids go to class. How do you know that??? Do you attend class with them. How does a team with a collective GPA over 3.0 not remember to block a guy out on a basic rebound? How does a team with probably 1/2 the players smoking weed earn a collective 3.0. That is such an excuse it’s pathetic. It’s ok IU loses cause at least their players go to class, come on Kent. There is no excuse for last night and let me tell you something else, you ain’t seen the worse yet. $8 million dollars to Crean and IU has to recruit players just to fill it’s freaking roster. It’s a total disaster down there and this is just the beginning. Montrezl Harrell is gonna go for 30 against IU you watch. Seven years and this is the product we’ve been given, how about a refund Fred.

  3. Matterhorn

    Glass will not handle things Kent. He will commission a committee to pick the next coach for IU cause he’s got no balls!!!!!

    1. Rick

      Are we going to really have Glass pick the next Basketball and Football Coach. They are all unqualified and looking to save their high paying jobs!!!!!

      1. Rick

        Look at the IU trustees and you will find the problem, until we kick these losers off the board and put some people like Mark Cuban on the board, IU will stink!!!!

    2. kentsterling Post author

      Not true at all. He did the work for the football hire himself, and will do the same with basketball. He didn’t take the AD gig to build a career as an administrator.

  4. Matterhorn

    Crean’s buyout is $12million dollars Kent, I’m not gonna feel sorry for him if he has to go live in the Caribbean, my God.

  5. Pauly Balst

    “….demands for immediate satisfaction in the area….”

    Immediate? Buy a calendar, the guy has been at IU for something like 7 years, and each successive year has been worse than the prior the last 3.

    I honestly don’t recall, but did a Bob Knight IU team ever lose such a game in 29 years? I don’t remember it.

    Hats off to a Eastern Washington, that’s a win that very few have pulled off in the history of Assembly Hall.

  6. dfoster

    You know Kent, I followed everyone of your questions with the same answer….Yes, but I’m getting paid 3 Mil per year to do this job. So I’d take a little twitter abuse and move my family from town to town as long as that 3 Mil follows me. Like the guy but he’s not getting it done. Doesn’t help that UK, Duke and Louisville are consistently in the top 10 year in and out. Not feeling to bad for Tom Crean right now!

  7. steve

    Same old story and your giving him a pass once again. I am all done giving him passes at this point and help is not on the way next year. The writing is on the wall for crean and his staff. This will be his last year at IU.

  8. gary wilson

    I agree……. Tom Crean did not lose that game. We Indiana fans have high expectations for our team! I think we need to upgrade our pre conference schedule. My only question about Tom Crean is his ability to coach during the game! If he would quit walking up and down the bench and see what is happening, he might make better decisions. Does he listen to his assistant coaches? There are some good basketball minds on the bench.


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