are a hard group to please. They always want their team to win, win
spectacularly, and win convincingly. When their team doesn't win, they
get upset and want changes. But fans need to be careful what they wish
Most ECU fans are delighted to watch what is happening 90 miles to the
west. A vocal group of NC State fans wanted Wolfpack basketball coach
Herb Sendek out of their program despite the fact he rebuilt a
downtrodden program back to top-25 status. Sendek led the 'Pack to five
straight NCAA Tournament appearances and won at least 20 games in four
different seasons (he was the 2004 ACC Coach of the Year). But I talked
to several NC State fans who thought Herb was either boring, snobby, or
both. They said his offense was horrible, he couldn't recruit top
players, and couldn't beat UNC or Duke. Those fans got what they wished
for. Sendek finally wore down after years of sniping, and left for a
new job where he might be more appreciated.
It's true Herb Sendek struggled against Duke and North Carolina, but
who didn't? Sendek's program was on a continuous upslope, and he ran a
clean program that graduated players and made them accountable. Isn't
it horrible being a fan of a constant winner that graduates players
(the reason for going to college)?
Now State fans can't find a coach. They thought Rick Barnes would come
running back to the ACC, but he has too good of a thing at Texas. They
thought John Calipari would take the money and run to Raleigh, but he
saw a no-win situation going up against ol' Roy and Coach K and decided
to stay in Memphis where he has a nice program set up to be in the top
10 year in and year out. Now it's on to option number three, and State
fans are starting to get worried. Their top two choices to take the
'Pack to the next level have left them hanging. Be careful what you
ECU fans should know the feeling. Many clamored for Steve Logan to be
fired after the all-time winningest football coach in ECU history
suffered through a 4-8 season in 2001 (he had one losing season from
1994 to 2000). Logan was unceremoniously fired, and the football
program is just starting to get back to where it was when Steve was
kicked to the curb.
What's done is done and you can't go back and change the past, but fans
could certainly evaluate the present better based on past experiences.
There is an old saying, don't cut off your nose to spite your face.
Many fans suffer through temporary insanity and want changes made just
because they are not happy. But staying the course with a plan is
usually the best way.
Sometimes change is for the best, but most times patience has its
rewards. Only time will tell if Ricky Stokes will work out as ECU's
basketball coach. Joe Dooley doesn't look so bad now seven years after
he was fired (he is the only basketball coach in ECU history with a
winning record). Skip Holtz looks like the right man to lead ECU
football back to prominence, and the jury is still out on Billy Godwin
as head coach of the baseball team.
Now State fans are getting nervous because one wish came true (good
luck Herb), while a nightmare may just be starting. Be careful what you
wish for, it just may come true.