Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Esherick gets canned

I'm almost stunned at the news of Georgetown head coach Craig Esherick's dismissal. I figured that Georgetown's administration didn't care about the basketball program anymore, after school president Jack DeGioia and AD Joe Lang gave Esherick a vote of confidence two weeks ago. I forgot the "law" of votes of confidence: anytime the coach or GM gets one from management, he or she is likely going to be fired unless they win a championship.

Esherick seems like a decent guy, so I'm almost sorry to see him go. He was one of the Georgetown "lifers:" someone who takes a job at the school after graduating and never leaves. Unfortunately, the program has been in decline for years, since Allen Iverson left after the 1996 season, and Esherick wasn't able to make much of a difference. It's interesting how John Thompson's departure in 1999 looks now. Maybe he didn't leave because he was tired of the game, but because he saw the way college basketball was headed (more recruits spurning college for the NBA, diluted talent pool, academic scandals, etc.) and decided that coaching wasn't worth the trouble. I wonder if he doubted his own abilities to reverse the decline of the program and left while he still had some creative energy left. Esherick tried to continue the Thompson way and clearly didn't enjoy the success his predecessor did. I'm just a little surprised he got fired this year. I thought the school would give him one more year to improve. Maybe that's just what I would have done were I the president.

I'm glad to see that DeGioia still sees the need for a successful Division I basketball program. Aside from the financial advantages, a winning basketball team draws needed academic attention to the school as well. And I'll be able to wear my Georgetown hat with pride again.

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