Looks Can Be Deceiving: Are Some Schools Getting Bang For Their Buck?
ESPN's out-of-touch announcers were incredulous last season during a Virginia Tech game while discussing rumblings that Seth Greenberg was in jeopardy of losing his coaching position with the Hokies. Greenberg, after securing a grand total of one NCAA Tournament triumph in 22 seasons as a Division I mentor, was indeed dismissed following the campaign.
Going Green(berg), ESPN hired him as an analyst, adding a colleague to the cable network's collection of coaching apologists. For the record: His favorite school probably is Illinois, which lost to him (54-52) in the 2007 playoffs although Greenberg had a losing career record in close contests decided by fewer than six points.
It's infinitely easier to look the other way, but the glare of the TV spotlight should reveal warts and all. Greenberg should be complementing commentators providing their audience candor; not chronic claptrap.
Guard Marquie Cooke was Greenberg's first recruit at Virginia Tech, a catch the school trumpeted as its best in-state signee in 20 years. "He's everything we're looking for in a point guard," Greenberg said prior to Cooke's lame freshman season with the Hokies in 2004-05.
If that misguided insight is the best Greenberg can offer, then he won't be what astute observers are looking for in an analyst and they'll abandon him like his assistant coaches at VT the previous couple of years. Viewers aren't the only ones not getting bang for their buck. Some March Sadness schools aren't generating their money's worth, either.
Here is another one among 22. Wasting money like the federal government, an estimated $100 million was spent by universities the last three years for a grand total of one NCAA playoff victory by the following alphabetical list of 22 well-paid coaches: Dana Altman, Tommy Amaker, Tony Bennett, Johnny Dawkins, Larry Eustachy, Travis Ford, Anthony Grant, Brian Gregory, Frank Haith, Trent Johnson, Lon Kruger, Steve Lavin, Gregg Marshall, Cuonzo Martin, Fran McCaffery, Tim Miles, Kevin O'Neill, Josh Pastner, Oliver Purnell, Herb Sendek, Tubby Smith and Jay Wright.
Meanwhile, it seems as if these coaches have received 100 million on-air plaudits in that span. Giving plenty of show-prep time for next season, can Greenberg help ESPN's experts figure out which coach in this group notched the lone come-from-behind win (against a Northeast Conference member)? Hint: He defeated Greenberg in their lone matchup when they competed in the same league.