The High Road is Closer Than You Think…

ALREADY UPDATING

Here is Dopirak–who is killing it with this story, by the way–with an interview of Marist AD Tim Murray.

Also, one more DNR perspective.

After reading Dopirak’s interview, I’m even more staunch with my question to Murray: is it worth it to be “that guy” and “that school?”

Plus, Murray says: “It was just at that point to me it was out of character for Matt,”

And that leads to my final (for now) question: if Murray believed it was out of character for Brady, why would Murray be compelled to put it in the contract?

I also need to clarify a poorly-written sentence from Friday. I said that it was clear that Brady had contacted those recruits, and that is obviously a wretchedly incorrect statement. What is clear: recruits bound for Marist ended up at JMU. My apologies for the misconception, it was never meant to be read that way.

Earlier below the stars…

***

It wasn’t exactly newsworthy that the best word I could come up with on Friday to describe this whole Marist vs. Brady dustup was “convoluted.” The more the whole deal turned over in my brain, the more unease I felt.

Finally, I’ve figured out why: we’ve all seen this before.

Four years ago Bill Coen took over at Northeastern for Ron Everhart. When Everhart departed he took everything–I mean everything. You name it, it moved with Everhart. If the basketball office had contained a kitchen sink, there would’ve been nothing left but a few screws on the floor. Everhart would’ve found that irony funny.

This includes Coen and his staff running out to buy new basketballs. That’s right, basketballs. Coen didn’t pull a Norman Dale and take the basketballs away. He had none because they were in the trunk of Everhart’s car. When folks talk about Coen building from scratch, in this case it is specifically true.

But Everhart also took with him Shawn James, a wiry game-changer who led the nation as a sophomore in blocked shots. James was the returning CAA defensive player of the year and interestingly was also D-POY as a freshman in the America East (NUs previous conference). The only thing about that was that James was not going to return. He was going to Duquesne.

(Many of you remember James. For the youngsters picture Larry Sanders, only with a better offensive repertoire.)

Because I hate recruiting, I have no line into recruits that were at least contacted by Everhart on behalf of Northeastern that eventually made their way to Duquesne, Everhart’s new job.

Sound familiar?

So how did Coen and Northeastern react? The let James out of his scholarship to move with Everhart to Duquesne. They scheduled guarantee games at Syracuse, at Pittsburgh, at UConn, at Louisville, and at Boston College. You know, basketballs (and computers and practice gear) are not cheap.

What did Coen and Northeastern NOT do? Whine, complain, ask for a handout, grind axes or file a lawsuit for a ridiculous reason like “we have to protect our program.”

They moved forward. Took the high road.

Now, longtime readers also know we’re huge believers in karma at CAA: LAMM. I think we’re seeing it play out.

Northeastern has taken a rocky path but they are going to be predicted near the top of the CAA standings this year, coming off a season in which the Huskies went to the postseason and won a game. The program is clearly in forward motion.

As for Marist, last season’s 4-14, 10-23 season is but two years removed from a near-palindromic 14-4, 25-9 season. However that is not the karma. That’s coming. If you are an up and coming coach, would you go to the school who is willing to go to court for a few dollars? Doesn’t give me the warm and fuzzies for my contract negotiation.

So my question is one of “why?” and “why not?” Why bother, and why not move on.

Or, a question of: the day after you get that settlement check from JMU, what are you going to do next? What changes, outside of the perception others now have of your program?

I’m betting Northeastern believes the high road is worth it.

Was the low road worth it?

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~ by mglitos on July 27, 2009.

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