The 2010 College World Series will mark the last time the event will be held at Johnny Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha. For 61 years the ballpark was the site of college baseball’s biggest stage. The NCAA Tournament, for years dubbed the “Road to Omaha”, will need a new name next season.
The Bulls seem determined to make a truly bizarre coaching choice. The latest man to rise to the top of the pile is Vinny Del Negro. His biggest asset in the search is that he isn’t Doug Collins. You probably remember Del Negro from his days as a somewhat average player who bounced around five NBA teams and a couple in Europe for good measure. He had a good college career at NC State under Jim Valvano, and he comes from a basketball family – his dad played for Adolph Rupp at Kentucky. There’s just one problem with an otherwise solid coaching resume – he’s never coached at any level before. Hmmm. He was a broadcaster for a while after he retired before joining the front office of the Suns, peaking at assistant general manager. I’m sure he’s a good guy, and he obviously gave one heck of an interview, but it seems odd that a team with so much on the line (a solid roster, the number one pick, etc.) would give the keys to a guy who has never driven. It’s also a relatively unique-to-basketball thing. The NBA seems much more likely to give a job to an unproven guy than any other league. In the NHL you have to cut your teeth in the minors or as an assistant (unless you are Wayne Gretzky, and Del Negro is no Gretzky). You have to put in your time in baseball, too. The NFL wouldn’t hire someone who isn’t an established assistant or a college coach. This would be like the Raiders firing Lane Kiffin and hiring Scott Pioli to take his place. Doesn’t make much sense, but I wish the Bulls well. At least I will be able to find something else to be fascinated by once they make this hiring official.
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