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paintmered
10-05-2005, 09:58 AM
From SportingNews:


As there was for Duke in that 1992 Kentucky game or for Kansas in the final seconds against Bucknell last March, there still is hope for the Cincinnati Bearcats. Turning that possibility into triumph, though, demands almost perfect execution.

There is one step Cincinnati must take to extricate itself from the mess created when Bob Huggins was removed as head coach not long after he led the Bearcats to their 14th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

Well, technically, two:

First, hire Mike Bobinski as athletic director.

Second, stand aside as the former Xavier A.D. leads the campaign to lure Skip Prosser back to the city as Huggins' replacement.

For the Bearcats, this would be like hitting back-to-back grand slams.

There are a few other coaches who might be able to ensure Cincinnati becomes a competitive entity in the Big East. Murray State's Mick Cronin is an exceptional young coach and recruiter, and he is a Cincinnati native and UC graduate who holds a better grasp on the city and program than anyone save for Huggins, his former boss. Oliver Purnell did solid work in the neighborhood -- at Dayton -- and is recruiting effectively in the process of rebuilding Clemson.

However, Prosser offers the Cincinnati administration the ideal confluence: a confirmed Cincyphile with achievement at the highest levels of NCAA basketball and an established reputation as a champion of players' academic pursuits.

Since taking over Wake Forest in 2001, Prosser has led the Demon Deacons to four consecutive NCAA Tournaments, and three of those teams were seeded fourth or better. Josh Howard and Chris Paul were first-team All-Americans. That's the kind of stuff Cincinnati fans grew accustomed to during the Huggins years.

It is not clear Prosser would be interested; he does not comment on these matters. He has a great job at Wake, is well-compensated and loves the university. But he lived 15 years in Cincinnati and has a strong affection for the city. He makes frequent, quiet trips back to visit favorite places and friends.

Even without his connection to Prosser -- they worked together three years at Xavier -- Bobinski would be a terrific choice to replace Bob Goin, who is retiring. The list of extraordinary college A.D.s can be tallied without the use of anyone's toes, and Bobinski makes the cut. He is bright, likable, tough and visionary. He saw the potential in Thad Matta, who had coached just one year at Butler before Xavier grabbed him.

Bobinski stepped away from athletics in April 2004 to head Xavier's fund-raising operation, but he is ready to return in the right circumstances. Taking over a Big East program -- and having an opportunity to make a decisive imprint by hiring the basketball coach -- qualifies.

It might be tough for Cincinnati fans to accept that a couple of former Xavier guys represent their best chance for basketball viability. (It might be even tougher on the Musketeers' fans.) But remember the rhetoric presented by UC president Nancy Zimpher, who left little doubt while squeezing out Huggins that she values image over athletic achievement. Whether she wants it or not, this way she could have both.

Senior writer Mike DeCourcy covers college basketball for Sporting News. E-mail him at decourcy@sportingnews.com.

Jaycint
10-05-2005, 11:23 AM
While I am probably the biggest UC blowhard (read: X hater) on this board I have to grudgingly admit that this would be a great plan if it all came together.

RedFanAlways1966
10-05-2005, 11:57 AM
A good article. I do not see why Prosser would do this... except some sort of undying love for the Cincinnati area (not at all a knock on UC!).

* He is the coach of a solid ACC program, which is usually a pretty good thing in the NCAA b-ball world. Other conferences might have better years, but the ACC is a b-ball power year-in and year-out.
* He does not seem to work for a university president at Wake who might be "difficult" to work with in the future.
* Taking the UC job may be considered a slap in the face to his former employer, Xavier. It would be like Jim Tressel taking an NFL job and then taking over at Michigan four years later. Ouch! The other side of the coin that Jaycint mentions in his post.
* I feel for the guy who takes over for any coach that is/was considered a legend at the university. Did Earl Bruce ever get a fair shake at tOSU? The line of men who succeeded Bear Bryant at Alabama? Matt Daugherty at UNC after Dean Smith left? Always a tough task.

WMR
10-05-2005, 12:08 PM
* I feel for the guy who takes over for any coach that is/was considered a legend at the university. Did Earl Bruce ever get a fair shake at tOSU? The line of men who succeeded Bear Bryant at Alabama? Matt Daugherty at UNC after Dean Smith left? Always a tough task.

Just win, baby.

http://www.jsonline.com/sports/ncaa98/image/tub330.jpg




(although we're starting to get a little restless! It's been too long!)

15fan
10-05-2005, 12:11 PM
With the exception of the horribly disappointing post-season this past spring, I've been really happy with the way Skip has run the program at Wake. I'm also very happy with the direction he has things set for the next couple of years.

(If only he'd beaten out Thad Matta for Oden & Conley...grrrrrrrr...)

Most other Wake fans have a similar take.

Two years ago when Skip was being courted by Pittsburgh (where he grew up), Wake gave him something like a 10 year deal. As with any deal, I'm sure there are ways to buy it out, but my guess is that it won't be cheap.

If you want more of the Wake take, here (http://mb9.scout.com/fwakeforestfrm1) is where a lot of folks hang.

Boss-Hog
10-05-2005, 12:20 PM
Matt Daugherty at UNC after Dean Smith left?

Bill Guthridge was a legend? ;)

Chip R
10-05-2005, 12:29 PM
A good article. I do not see why Prosser would do this... except some sort of undying love for the Cincinnati area (not at all a knock on UC!).

* He is the coach of a solid ACC program, which is usually a pretty good thing in the NCAA b-ball world. Other conferences might have better years, but the ACC is a b-ball power year-in and year-out.
* He does not seem to work for a university president at Wake who might be "difficult" to work with in the future.
* Taking the UC job may be considered a slap in the face to his former employer, Xavier. It would be like Jim Tressel taking an NFL job and then taking over at Michigan four years later. Ouch! The other side of the coin that Jaycint mentions in his post.
* I feel for the guy who takes over for any coach that is/was considered a legend at the university. Did Earl Bruce ever get a fair shake at tOSU? The line of men who succeeded Bear Bryant at Alabama? Matt Daugherty at UNC after Dean Smith left? Always a tough task.

That's true. Wake has a solid program there but he's always going to be butting heads against Duke and Carolina. If he feels he's up to that challenge he probably won't think twice about leaving Wake. But the Big East is a pretty impressive basketball conference.

As long as his players are graduating at a decent rate and stay out of trouble, Zimpher won't have a problem with him. And, who knows, she may be going on to bigger, better things now that she has reined in the basketball program.

It may be but the Xavier job isn't open and if Skip wants to "come home" bad enough, I doubt people at X would have much of a problem with it. I'm not sure if the OSU-Michigan comparison really holds a lot of water. XU-UC is not quite as heated of a rivalry as OSU-Michigan.

It is a tough task to take over for a legend. But somebody's got to and Kennedy has the unenviable task of being Huggins' immediate successor. If Skip thinks he's a good enough coach he shouldn't have any misgivings about taking that job.

paintmered
10-05-2005, 03:14 PM
Skip's wife still lives in Cincinnati.

Joseph
10-05-2005, 03:32 PM
I'm shocked this wasn't written by an Enquirer reporter.

paintmered
10-05-2005, 03:35 PM
Two years ago when Skip was being courted by Pittsburgh (where he grew up), Wake gave him something like a 10 year deal. As with any deal, I'm sure there are ways to buy it out, but my guess is that it won't be cheap.

And that's the reason why he won't be the next head coach of UC. There's no way UC could afford to buy out his contract then pay him comparably to his present salary.