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The Buffalo News is losing a punching bag, but they use him to take a few shots before it's gone

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I'm so damn sick of guys at the Buffalo News hiding behind the title of "columnist".

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Over the past few months I've evolved a bit on my view of The Buffalo News. The outlet spent years ignoring UB before some of their bigger names decided to relentlessly crap on them. Now this past season there was some uncomfortable praise from guys like Gleason but with Hurley leaving they are tooling up to start slamming my alma mater again.

Where my view has evolved though is in the "news guys" versus the "opinion guys".

I used to see them all as one nebulous diet evil organization who was usually annoying and sometimes infuriating. I thought Rodney McKissic was an outlier who managed to cover UB well but the TBN was going to make sure that fluke did not repeat itself.

Then this season Mark Gaughan stepped up and did a decent job actually *reporting* news about UB Athletics.

But he's only one, and as we've been told, there's a difference between 'beat reporter' and 'columnist.' While the commentators at TBN filed out of their editorial clown car to slam the University we could get news from Gaughan, liked I used to get news from McKissic.

So to the *reporters* at the Buffalo News, thank you and forgive my habit of putting you in a bucket the TBN's peanut gallery. Keep up the good work.

Now... onto today's tripe from Bucky Gleason who is not hiding behind the columnist label and continues an annoying at best habit of mixing actual facts with heavy strawmen and speculation and not differentiating between the two.

On the night UB packed up their belongings and headed home after playing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time, there was no doubt in my mind that Bobby Hurley was coming back for another season. None.

Well than this proves something we all know. You are not nearly as close to omniscient as you keep telling your readers.

Hurley made it clear that money was not his top priority. He was intent on building the program in Buffalo. He wanted to stay with the players he recruited. He repeatedly said his heart was with UB. He wanted to execute a master plan that called for the Bulls becoming the best team in the Mid-American Conference and returning to the Big Dance.

"Not top priority" does not mean "I don't care at all." What "Not top priority" says to me is that he would not jump for a job like DePaul or Charlotte that would offer the coach a good but not mind-blowing raise.

And please don't pretend you're naive enough to take a statement like "My heart is at UB" as something other than coachspeak. I have memories of Turner Gill saying similar things in 2009. In most situations where a mid major coach moves on to a power conference you can find a "I'm just focused on making X the best team they can be" quote.

While it wasn't about the money, it was about $1,000. Hurley thought he should be the highest-paid coach in the conference. Ohio's Saul Phillips made $550,000 last season. Rather than make a serious statement about wanting to keep Hurley, he was offered $551,000. In other words, UB was doing as little as possible to satisfy him. Hurley and the people in his inner circle viewed that as a slap in the face and thought White intentionally put him in a bad decision.

Hold on a second.

Unless you happen to have your eyes on UB's books you don't know what that 551K is or where it's coming from.

I have it from a very reliable source, one who does not work for the department but is connected, that Hurley was not *insulted* by the offer. He saw it for what it was. White doing everything he could to keep his promise.

Danny White tapped donors and looked for other areas in the department. If he got to 551K I am guessing he took from other programs to get over the finish line and I am sure Bobby Hurley knows it.

My source said that the entire staff was content and up until 2:00am on Thursday the 9th believed they would be in Buffalo for at least another year. By the way, other sources were telling me back in February that Hurley's staff expected to be in Buffalo at *most* one more season.

Bobby Hurley was always looking for the next job (not that there is anything wrong with that).

Hurley didn't hear from White for several days after he returned from Chicago. White didn't ask him about the meeting. He showed no urgency to get an extension signed. There was no communication between the two, and what seemed like a good working relationship turned into a chilly one. Hurley grew more annoyed by the day.

Fun fact: The last Hurley extension (after the 2014 season) was nothing but a memorandum of understanding for *MONTHS*. That's the way these contracts often work. I file FOIL requests to UB for contracts all the time so I see dates. With both Coach Quinn and Coach Hurley there was a huge gap between "agreement" and signing.

So why would there be urgency? Pressuring Hurley to sign a contract which was not going to be quickly signed even under the best of conditions would do what exactly?

The breakdown made Hurley uncomfortable, and he started to think even more that his days in Buffalo could be numbered. He wasn't actively seeking another gig, but suddenly his eyes were open to all possibilities. Still, he wasn't going to leave unless he was presented with a considerable upgrade, which amounted to a job in one of the power conferences.

Mmmm'kay

You do know he was already talking and considering DePaul before this whole "contract situation" came up right? All I see here is speculation. You're not even presenting that you actually spoke to White, his family, or the coaches. In this one instance I'd bet my sources are closer to the situation than yours.

White would have been wise to lock up Hurley for another season before his coach left for the NCAA Tournament.

We are aware that White used the publicity of the tournament to solicit more donations, right? White had a lot more money in the "Keep Hurley" fund after the West Virginia game than he had after Central Michigan. He could not "write checks that his body couldn't cash."

Hurley took his family on vacation when speculation surfaced about Arizona State being interested in him.

Point of order: When Hurley left for vacation the ASU job was tentatively filled. That's why fandom was sure he might be back for next season. Nobody knew that the Sun Devils' candidate would back out leaving Arizona State high, dry, and desperate to act quickly.

The job, likely to pay him more than $1 million per year more than he would have made in Buffalo, was too good to pass up.

But if White ponied up 600K that would have been different? Hurley left for ASU for the exact same reasons that GIll left for Kansas. (1) You have to take a shot in the bigs. (2) Even *IF* you fail you'll make more failing in two years than succeeding in ten at a Mid Major.

Hurley's contract will probably be five years at 1.75 million. That is my scientific wild ass guess. So lets say he goes to ASU and bombs hard. He will have already made 1.75 million and be guaranteed another 5.25.

For that kind of money he and White could be blood brothers and he still would have went.

Looking back, Hurley would have stayed in Buffalo if White showed he was fully committed to keeping him. Hurley likely would have signed an extension with UB for $600,000, plus more money for his assistant coaches.

It took Hurley six months to sign the first contract with UB. You think another five year deal gets signed in three weeks?

He likely would have remained if UB showed it cared about him and fought hard to keep him. It didn't happen. UB let a good coach slip away.

Yea I'll not be taking advice from the outlet that pounded the table when Witherspoon was let go and told us that we would be sorry our young brash AD let a Buffalo brand go.

I don't begrudge Hurley one bit for leaving. If someone up and offered me 3.5 to 4 times my salary to go work for a higher profile company I'd say yes very quickly.

At least they are giving up the sorry ass narrative that TBN was selling last night. You know when they accused Buffalo of leaking that the contract was signed and that pissed off Hurley.

So to catch you up. When news of the Hurley contract came out a lot of media organizations said it was signed. But everyone who talked to UB got the same message. Contract on the table, looks good in principle, nothing is signed.

Here is how it was reported:

TBN (Mark Gaughan): The University at Buffalo has reached a verbal agreement in principle to renegotiate the contract of Bobby Hurley and make him the highest-paid men's basketball coach in the Mid-American Conference, sources have told The News.

Spectrum (Owen O'Brien): UB Athletics wants to make Hurley highest paid MAC coach, contract not finalized

Bull Run (Tim Riordan): Bobby Hurley agrees in principle to contract extension with Buffalo

So like everything that TBN columnists put up just ignore whatever they have to say about UB. More of you are doing it, and this afternoon is a great reason why.