John Chaney is turning into a crazy old man. Not the kind that wanders up and down the street pushing a grocery cart and howling at invisible six-foot rabbits – well, maybe a power forward or two -but he is approaching Woody Hayes territory with his complete inability to curb his violent emotions.
Last week, Chaney, Hall of Fame coach of the Temple Owls, sent a “goon” into a game against St. Joe’s to combatively protest illegal screens that he felt were being ignored by officials. The seldom-used “goon,” Nehemiah Ingram, fouled-out hard in four minutes and injured two St. Joe players. One player, senior John Bryant, left the court with a broken arm that ended his college career. Temple appropriately lost the game.
After the game, Chaney took some time to reflect on his actions and suspended himself for his team’s next game. I found this act a bit disingenuous. Let’s say I rob a liquor store. As long as I house arrest myself and only watch “The View” for hours on end, that should be punishment enough, right?
Temple University didn’t find Chaney’s self-imposed punishment appropriate either and barred him from coaching the rest of the regular season – a whopping three games. Chaney then countered by banning himself from the A-10 conference tournament and offering to pay for Bryant’s medical bills. Prompting me to say: don’t pity the martyr, he loves his job.
John Chaney has long been known as a man with hard-line principles. He was active in the Prop 48 debate and always pushes to give down-on-their-luck kids another chance to achieve. He cannot be allowed to continue talking out of both sides of his mouth. He cannot on one hand champion the terms of fair-play and righteousness and turn around and tell one of his kids to get out there and hurt someone. It destroys his credibility, and it makes him a danger. Doesn’t it, Bill Cosby?
Sure, coaches will sometimes instruct a player to commit a hard foul, but this went too far. Chaney was whining the week before the game that St. Joe’s was never called for moving screens. He had lost six straight to them. He blew a gasket during the game and sent out the “goon.” I mean what’s next, is he going to go into an opposing coach’s press conference and try to attack him while screaming “I’m gonna kill you?” Oh, wait he already did that, didn’t he? Or maybe he’ll go off on a political tirade, screaming about the president at a press function. College basketball coaches are known for their unique insight into geo-political affairs. Oops, he did that one too.
John Chaney is definitely sliding down the slope of reason. If he loses his job over this (and he should), maybe the NCAA can help him out with a brand new grocery cart to push around while howling for hard fouls from his six-foot rabbit buddy.