“Gopher’s basketball season over. No NCAA. No NIT.” (Headline, Star Tribune, March 16, 2015.)
This came as no surprise to readers of our columns that exposed the destructive race card played by the UM. March 27, 2014: “Was it Tubby Smith’s fault? Gophers miss NCAA Basketball Tournament.” April 3, 2013: “Thank you Tubby for an excellent run! Tubby Smith: a man of principle and integrity.” April 10, 2013: “Congratulations, Tubby! Texas Tech hires Tubby Smith while U of M keeps looking.”
As Sid Hartman has pointed out, “removing Smith will turn out to be a bad move.” Norwood Teague, the UM athletic director, together with some UM alumni, destroyed the future of Gopher basketball by playing the politics of Minnesota race cards, leading to two non-successful seasons for Coach Richard Patino, Smith’s successor. Even given a powder puff pre-conference schedule (going 12-3), Coach Patino was unable to prepare and raise the competitive fires in his players for our Big 10 games, going 6-12 in conference play. Clearly Coach Patino hasn’t the experience nor vision of a winning Big Time Coach.
That’s also the case with the UM’s wannabe big time basketball program. In our April 2013 columns, I laid out the major, fatal mistakes of the racists crawling out from under the rocks and dark caves where they kept their hearts. I will always be appreciative of the support and light shown by fellow Spokesman-Recorder columnist, Charles Hallman, as he offered analysis supported by facts.
If schools from so-called lesser programs can find their way to the NCAA tournament, there is no reason why high-powered programs like the UM cannot find the talent and wherewithal to join the programs that do, as Coach Richard Patino’s father Louisville team does. The UM is surrounded by colleges and universities that annually play in NCAA or NIT tournaments.
Tubby Smith (who won an NCAA tournament) was the last to take the UM to these tournaments. His “reward” included being lied to about the construction of a new practice facility (hurting recruitment), and being prevented from hiring one of the best recruiters in college basketball, Jimmy Williams (UM self-sabotage of recruitment).
And even though Tubby was given a three-year extension, Norwood Teague and some UM alumni turned on Tubby. They were also content to have Black athletes make money for the UM but not reward a coach achieving success and revenue for the UM (the athletic department runs a $12.5 million dollar surplus).
Those that supported the treachery initiated by Norwood Teague and UM alumni are paying the price for the program’s continued racism. Sid Hartman and I were correct in our March and April columns of 2013. It was a mistake then and now for the UM to let this program continue to decline into mediocrity and failure.
Say it ain’t so, Norwood. This predominately White institution in a predominately White state, is eager to preserve and encourage as predominant White privilege, as promoting equal opportunity is discouraged.
Who is there for a Black coach to trust, whether male or female, as trust is needed to develop a winning program? The choice is not to win White, but to win welcoming the best athletes, regardless of color, so that local top basketball players like Tyus Jones of Duke, former all state at Apple Valley, will want to play at the UM, and be involved in the success of their state’s university.
One way to do so: join a league comprised of teams from Montana and Wyoming. This would help Richard Patino gain experience that will allow him to someday, maybe a decade from now, emulate his father, who is head coach at the University of Louisville.