Joe’s in a pickle…
The OU women’s basketball program reminds me of days gone by. Back in the day, OU fans were torn by a similar predicament with John Blake. We knew that he was not the answer, but we also knew that getting rid of him could be ugly.
OU fans had a real dilemma at the end of the 1998 season. The Sooners had won three (3) and four (4) games respectively in the previous two seasons and were looking at another four-win season in ‘98. There we were rooting for our beloved Sooners to beat Texas Tech in the season finale, while realizing that losing this meaningless game would mean a four-win season that would make it easier for OU officials to do what had to be done.
As the OU football gods would have it, Sooner fans got the best of both worlds…we beat Texas Tech and the next day, Blake was still fired. Those were tough times. Same goes today for OU fans and Sherry Coale. OU fans owe Sherry a lot for bringing the women’s basketball program back from the dead some twenty-five years ago. We also owe her for winning a ton of games over the years.
We also know that Sherry’s best days are behind her. Players that use to gloss over Sherry’s coaching skills, have stopped showing up in Norman.
Just like with John Blake back in the day, OU fans find themselves torn. We want to win, but we realize that the enemy of great is good. We understand that as long as the women’s program is just good enough, Sherry will continue to hum along on the road to mediocrity.
Sherry’s Lady Sooners beat 24th ranked West Virginia yesterday to make my point. Get swept by Texas and OSU on a yearly basis and then beat a bunch of Lady Mountaineers (that sounds scary, huh) to put off the inevitable.
I don’t know about you, but every time the cost of an OU football ticket goes up, I think of the red tape being absorbed by Sherry’s program. From her $700,000 yearly salary, to the charter flights to Morgantown and Ames, to the empty seats at the LNC. Yes, I know that softball doesn’t turn a profit either, but at least we are getting some bang for our football buck with Patti Gasso.
Okay, here’s the deal…firing a men’s coach is one thing, firing Sherry will be something else. Making matters worse is Joe’s dilemma of how to arrange for Sherry to bow out gracefully.
Some have suggested that she be kicked upstairs to an Assistant A.D. position. Here’s the problem with that idea. This would mean that Patti Gasso, the latest, greatest OU rock star would be working for Sherry.
Call me crazy, but for some reason…I just don’t think that this arrangement would work.
Regardless, I believe Joe Castiglione is the best Athletic Director in America. He also gets paid to be the best A.D. in America. He tends to think outside the box, so hopefully he is developing a plan as we speak…
We can only hope…