A few weeks back, during the football coaching search, I pondered whether Bob Kravitz is intellectually dishonest, or just as dumb as he looks. I am leaning toward the latter.
I will throw a link up, but don't feel obligated to click on it. Such activity only encourages him. Today, Kravitz wrote a smarmy column about IU's coaching search. Again, I don't want to honor this guy's work by pretending that he has anything interesting to say (at least not interesting in the sense of, "wow, what a thoughtful, well-reasoned column, Kravitz!"). I simply want to take issue with two paragraphs of the column:
I would also give a call to Louisville's Rick Pitino, to Michigan State's Tom Izzo, to Memphis' John Calipari and to Texas' Rick Barnes. It's unlikely Pitino, Izzo and Barnes would leave, and with deeper study, Calipari's slickness might not be a fit in Bloomington, but you must go for it. (And while we're working the phones, why not try Ohio State's Thad Matta, just for giggles. What's the worst he can say? No?)
Kravitz was all over Sampson from day one. And ultimately, Kravitz was vindicated on that point (insert your blind pig/stopped clock metaphor here). Sampson's program ended up in much the same predicament it was in at Oklahoma. And while I realize that John Calipari wasn't personally implicated in the Marcus Camby improper pay allegations, I have a hard time reconciling his candidacy with Kravitz's statement that "If he has so much as one impermissible phone call, or if he has any other skeletons in his closet, tell him buh-bye."
But more troubling is this from Kravitz:
Drop a call on Paul Hewitt of Georgia Tech, who once took the Yellow Jackets to the Final Four. The sad reality is, IU is unlikely to hire another man of color -- why, I don't know -- but Hewitt would be an extraordinary candidate.
Wha? IU's last two basketball coaches, Mike Davis (African-American) and Sampson (Native American) were "men of color." IU's women's basketball coach, Felicia Leggette-Jack, is African-American. IU's immediate past president, Adam Herbert, is African-American. There are two possibilities here: 1) someone in a position of authority has told Kravitz that the basketball coaching search will be limited to whites only or 2) Kravitz is talking out of his ass. I'm voting for the latter.
And by the way, Paul Hewitt is in his eighth season at Georgia Tech. In 2004, the year that GT advanced to the championship game, GT was 9-7 in the ACC. That is the only time Hewitt has been above .500 in the conference. Absent a remarkable turnaround, Georgia Tech (11-15/4-8) will end up with an overall losing record for the second time in the four years since the NCAA title game appearance. It appears to be that outside of that one tournament run, Hewitt's performance at GT has been utterly unremarkable. I must be a racist, although if I were a racist, I might not tell you that as far as ACC coaches go, Boston College's Al Skinner, who hasn't been to the Final Four but has had some sustained success outside of one tournament run, would be a much better candidate for IU.
In any event, Kravitz either made a ridiculous, slanderous allegation against IU, or he is sitting on the story of the century. He owes his readers some clarification.