Sunday, January 16, 2005

Historic compromise in USC head coaching decision

The USC Athletic Director(s) had to make a difficult decision in selecting the next coach. The main trade-off was whether to (1) hire someone that was available NOW or (2) wait until the end of the season and go after both current and former head coaches.

What probably led USC to option #1 is that at most 4 players are returning next year. It may be less if some of them decide to transfer or become ineligible. Hiring a coach now and using him as a recruiter until April when he takes over completely allows the new head coach to go out and recruit both HS and JC players and perhaps bring in some of the available transfers that would be eligible for the 2nd semester of the 2005-06 season. This probably gave Tim Floyd the edge over George Karl, as Tim Floyd is more familiar with the insanity of NCAA recruiting rules, even though George Karl is a bigger name. George Karl would have probably needed a former college head-coach or seasoned veteran assistant as his #2 to help him catch up with NCAA rules, regulations and violations.

If they went with option #2 and a new coach hired in March/April, he would have a hard time filling up the roster, let alone field a competitive team in 2005-06.

The AD probably wants to have a competitive team when the new arena opens up so they can fill up the seats.Getting a coach now essentially salvages the 2005-06 season and saves them from one year of rebuilding.

But it is rather ironic that the last two USC coaches are former UCLA people, while the former USC super-star and SoCal coach Paul Westphal was not even given a chance! With the two high profile SoCal jobs now filled, Westphal may look into getting a "BCS" job, probably in the west/southwest. As always, some jobs will come up this summer. This is all speculation but having the Arizona connection (being a former Phoenix Suns coach), Westphal may find himself at ASU next season, or perhaps at U-of-A in Tuscon if/when Lute Olson decides to retire.

1 comment:

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