Indiana Basketball fans are probably as tired of being painted as dopes as they are of the way their favorite team fails to compete.
Twitter can be an echo chamber of idiocy, reducing people and groups to their lowest common denominator. Stereotypes are embraced and proffered as absolute truths. This has happened to IU alums and fans for as long as social media has existed. We are the cavemen of college basketball – people too stupid to understand the way the game is played today and unwilling to embrace a new era of roster construction.
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Some of the harangues against IU fans have a basis in truth. Others are patently false, but because those particular drums are so relentlessly beaten, those doing the thumping believe they are legitimate.
Here are six of those fake news fabrications that deserve correction:
“IU fans need to understand it’s not 1987 anymore.” No one wants it to be 1987. To be honest, I’m not sure what the assertion that IU fans want to turn back the clock is all about. All Indiana fans want is a team that executes and competes as a unit like the game matters to them. It’s also important that the program does not cheat and graduates players. Not sure why those concepts equate to Indiana Basketball from 33 years ago, but it does to critics.
“IU is not North Carolina, Duke, or Kentucky – not even close!” Oddly, North Carolina isn’t North Carolina anymore either. They are currently in the cellar of the ACC. Indiana was never North Carolina, Duke or Kentucky, and no one at Indiana wants them to be those schools or programs. Indiana needs to be Indiana, and the desire to be something other than IU has been its biggest problem – as a basketball program and university. Indiana fans are not frustrated that the basketball program doesn’t compare to blue bloods. It never really did – we just beat them.
“Indiana is paying for firing Tom Crean!” This is a preposterous notion. Crean’s ability to recruit nationally at a high level had eroded, and IU’s brand value among recruits in its home state had deteriorated to zero under Crean. The arrogance and indomitability that allowed Crean to achieve success early in his run at IU became his greatest enemy as people grew tired of his presence. That was true for players, administrators and fans. A better argument can be made that IU is currently paying a high price for keeping Crean too long.
“Indiana Basketball is irrelevant!” That Indiana hasn’t won a national championship since 1987 means it hasn’t been successful. Success is not a prerequisite for relevance. Granted, there isn’t a traditional undergraduate on the Indiana campus that remembers IU’s last trip to the Final Four. Again, the memory of success does not equate to relevance. There are hundreds of thousands of Indiana grads whose most present tether to their alma mater is through basketball. CBS and ESPN don’t choose Indiana for national games because no one cares about them.
“If you fire Archie Miller, no coach would touch the Indiana job” This is insanity. If Indiana offered every coach working in college basketball the head coach position at $5M per year over seven years with five years guaranteed, 99% would sign the deal with a giant smiles on their faces. Whether or not fans are deranged and the administration is thought to be stacking the deck against basketball, giant stacks of cash yell loudly. The only people who would turn down the job are those who already earn more.
“Bob Knight isn’t walking through that door!” Only the few fans who are married to the past would welcome back the Knight who coached from 1994-2000. At that point, Knight had lost interest in doing what was necessary to win. IU didn’t recruit at a high level anymore, and Knight’s behavior had become erratic. What IU fans would have wanted was what happened at Purdue – an orderly and well-orchestrated passing of the torch from a legendary coach to the next leader who would evolve the culture forward. That’s not what happened, and Indiana fans have been paying for it since.
Hope that clears things up.
well your education and mastery of english serves you well when writing these notes
however, for us country boys who grew up in evansville where basketball was alive and well and played at a
high level don’t subscribe to your writings.
The fact is that the 2 or 3 best high school players in Indiana every year may not even be in the top 300 in the nation. We want a winner put on the floor and a coach who looks strong and manly and stands tall
in the huddle. Archie isn’t that guy. One similarity between arc and crean is their standing along the side line
attempting to orchestrate a winner. Arch is completely overwhelmed in his position.
Just my opinion …….
IU isn’t paying $5 million per year to anyone other than a top tier HOF type coach ….. Archie isn’t making that right now. Especially with his buyout coming out of the IU pockets.
Yes, I believe that firing Archie after only 3 years limits the number of takers for sure. Not to mention it raises the buyout even higher to any coach willing to take the job (should it even open up) if the agent is worth anything at all. Firing Archie after 3 years should definitely raise questions to any future coaches about how much time they would receive to succeed at IU. A coach can’t even get a full 4 year recruiting cycle in place plus one year to coach them all (5 years) before being judged? If I’m considering an IU coaching vacancy, uprooting my family, and opening up my (and my family’s) life to the well known scrutiny surrounding the IU Basketball Coaching job, I better be getting a long contract, huge buyout, large per year sum, and huge perks to go with that.
Yes I believe Archie deserves 2 more years at least. Others have called for John Beilein when he’s a available. Really? His first three year winning % is worse than Archies and he’s 67 hrs old. Keep Archie and see what happens after this class graduates and the new class comes in.