Oregon coaching search shows that money won't solve every problem

Ernie Kent was fired almost a month ago, and Oregon still does not have a new head coach.

There are many adjectives to describe this coaching search. It has seemingly lacked a coherent plan. It has not been realistic, and coupled with the situation surrounding the Mike Bellotti buy-out and football's off-field issues, the Athletic Department has not been looking real great lately.

The biggest problem with the coaching search has been the hubris of those involved. First, looking back at the list of possible coaching candidates put together by Matt Daddy after Kent's firing, many of those coaches look like longshots at best. Why would Few, or Alford, or Stevens leave their situations for Oregon (let's not even begin to get into the ridiculous idea that Izzo or Donovan would)? There are two important facts that those leading the coaching search have not realized.

First, this coaching job is a rebuilding job. We may have wanted to ignore this fact for a while, but whoever comes in is going to have a lot of work to do. There is mid-level talent in the program, but it's not gonna be winning any Pac-10 titles anytime soon. Oregon hoops simply does not have a history of success. We were lucky to have the good years under Ernie, but that was not the rule, it was the exception. To build a long-term consistent winner (top half of the Pac-10) will be no easy task. For as much success as Kent had, he finished 4th or better in the Pac-10 only 4 out of his 13 years at Oregon.

Second, whoever comes in will have no clue who their boss will be. We have tried to overlook this fact, but if you're going from a good situation, with talent in your program and adequate money, why move to a rebuilding situation where you won't even know who you'll be dealing with on a day-to-day basis. It is simply too risky. Why move from an already good situation to one that could turn into a nightmare?

For coaches that have already established themselves at a school, have a good recruiting base, a good boss, and talent in their program, there is simply no reason to make a lateral (at best) move. Oregon definitely has potential, and the resources to become a great program, but so do plenty of other schools.

Simply put, Kilkenny and Knight have thought they were the big boys. They thought that they could bring in a big name coach with a boatload of money. Unfortunately, the University of Oregon is not even close to the big boys of college athletics, and a boatload of money alone will not change that. In the incredibly competitive world of college basketball, where most competent programs have a good amount of resources, Oregon can't do much better than matching that.

Moving forward, I'm still confident. There are plenty of very good coaches out there. They just don't have the proven track record of some of the coaches we pursued. But for now, it's time for those in charge to wipe the egg off their face, and move forward. Now the real, and realistic, coaching search begins.

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