Thursday, March 23, 2006

An open letter to Mike Alden

Dear Mike Alden,

I remember when you first slithered into town. Hopes were so high then. You were going to raise the budget! You were going to raise the athletic standards! You were going to bring in coaches that could take the basketball and football teams to the next level!

Ah, how the mighty have fallen.

You've accomplished goal No. 1—the athletic budget is immense. You've partially accomplished goal No. 2—raising athletic standards. The gymnastics, baseball, swimming, track and field and wrestling teams are all doing extremely well. Commendable. But you've failed miserably in the two sports where it most matters.

But today's topic has nothing to do with Gary Pinkel. No, today we're going to swallow the bitter pill that is the Missouri basketball program.

We'll start with the hiring of Quin Snyder. You formed a panel to search for Norm Stewart's replacement, then ignored the majority's support of Bill Self, who had proven himself as a head coach at other schools, to hire wunderkind Quin Snyder, who had never been a head coach. We all know where Bill Self is now.

But, oh, that Quin. He had a golden tongue; he said all the right things. He was young, he was slick, he was passionate. He was a lawyer! Kids loved him! He learned from Coach K! He brought in great recruiting classes. He brought us national attention. He even guided us to the Elite 8. And he had great hair. Don't forget the great hair. Then, it all came crashing down. He was a cheater. A flagrant cheater. He lost control of his team. And you know what—he wasn't even that good as a coach or recruiter. His recruits continually failed to pan out. His teams looked confused on the floor, especially when confronted with a zone defense. He couldn't adjust in games. Worst of all, his teams didn't play hard. Say what you will about Norm Stewarts failures as a coach, but his players ALWAYS played hard.

You could have fired Snyder then—there certainly were grounds for dismissal—but, instead, you hung on to him for two more years, inclluding a lame-duck season that ended in disaster.

When you did decide—20 months too late—that it was time for Snyder to go—you bungled it horribly. You weren't even enough of a man to fire Quin yourself. Nope, you sent your flunky, Gary Link, to do it, then threw him under the bus. The ensuing investigations dragged our already sullied name (so tarnished by your golden boy) through the mud again.

Then you sat on your hands. You ignored the wishes of the search committee, you refused to interview Bob Huggins and Rick Majerus. You let ISU snatch hot up-and-comer Greg McDermott. Kansas State grabbed Huggins. And then you
dissolved the search committee, shunning favorite son Jon Sundvold in the process. (Here's a hint, Mike: Jon wants your job. Most of us want him to have your job. Be afraid. Your time is over.)

So here we are, two months after Snyder left, and there's still no sign of progress in finding the new coach. Still no sign of righting the ship. Still no sign that you have any idea what the hell you're doing.

You should get gonorrhea and die. And I hope you do.



Mike Alden said...

I hope you do too.

Tiger Fan said...

Okay, that was funny. Who did that? Show yourself, so that I may applaud.

Tiger Fan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
mike alden said...

I'm Mike Alden! Who would want to pretend to be me at a time like this?

Actually, the writer of the letter can tell you who I am.