The editorial clown car over at the Buffalo News is back at it again. TBN fills its gas tank with pseudo-journalism, opinion, and axe grinding. Then they look for Danny White and try to run him down.
The latest tripe is of course going to involve Justin Moss.
What is so entirely infuriating this time is that Sully makes a lot of solid points. If he stuck to those points this would be a decent read but like some sort of journalistic dime store magician he has to go further.
Just to shake things up, let's lead in with the things I agree with:
- This whole Moss situation is embarrassing
- Someone somewhere should have considered Moss's history before giving him a job that put him in dorm rooms
- There’s usually a reason why young players wind up at junior colleges and UB is taking a lot of them
- Witherspoon ran a class program with no real problems in 14 years
I hate rehashing Witherspoon but he's right. Reggie ran maybe the classiest program in the MAC for 14 years and they were competitive. They were not perfect. We will get to that, but they were good.
Still being nice and two dollars will get you a cup of coffee. It's true in college sports just like it's true everywhere. Show me many other college coaches with 14 years on the same job and no conference titles?
But Reggie has moved on, UB has moved on, and it's time to look at the future.
This whole thing is really embarrassing, though UB has dealt with it by dismissing it's best basketball player. At Toledo he would have missed one half of an exhibition game. And this could have been avoided by finding a campus job that did not involve access to other people's rooms.
Though I can't be too hard on the Athletics staff because I too might have failed to realize that hindsight is always 20/20.
Finally there is the issue of JUCO transfers. Several Bull Run readers have asked for my take on the number of JUCO's. My stock answer is this: In general I do not think a team should be built off JUCO's but there are guys who are ready for a University and situations that call for it.
Oats gets a pass this year in my mind. We have lost a ton of players and need guys to step in now.
Ok, that was *everything* right about the new tripe. Here is everything wrong. If you're a thin skinned world class hack job who is just driving by in their editorial clown car you should stop here.
Now to the bad.
First it starts with some world class clown car driving. Justin Moss is about the "Brand".
Gee, I wonder how the good folks at UB feel about their sports "brand" right now?
For better or worse UB's brand is still better than it was 10 years ago. Justin Moss is gone, and it sucks. UB has a black eye, and it sucks. But the world keeps turning, the school is still taking in big donations, tickets are still selling well, and for every Justin Moss there are a bunch of kids getting their degrees and representing UB with honor and dignity.
Think of it like this. For every hack job at the Buffalo news like Jerry Sullivan there is a real reporter like Mark Gaughan. And while the antics of Sullivan reflect poorly on print journalism it would be wrong to paint Gaughan with the same brush.
For those of you who don't know the "brand" that Sullivan is digging at refers to White's philosophy to get UB's athletic profile to match its already impressive academic profile. "Building America's next big-time college athletic brand".
It's something the provincial columnists at the Buffalo News have been throwing fits about for three or four years. If they had their druthers UB would be Niagara. We would drop football, join the MAAC, and hide in a little shell away from worldly influences.
He goes on a bit and then talks about how UB's chickens are coming home to roost.
This comes not long after Hurley, a hot commodity after taking UB to the Big Dance, bolted for Arizona State and took star guard Shannon Evans with him. Hurley got a five-year contract worth $1.2 million in the first year, more than double the $551,000 that White was offering to keep him here.
Yes, it was fun while it lasted. The UB community is left to deal with the wreckage, and a harsh reminder of what can happen when you wade into the murky waters of major-college sports in this country.
Winning coaches leave. Turner Gill was hired away one year removed from his only MAC Championship. Hurley left right after his. Reed Sunahara took a team to 17-15 and got hired away. If you have your coaches being hired away by the likes of Kansas football, Arizona State hoops, and West Virginia Volleyball you're not yet living the life of "Major College Athletics". Flip that around to Kansas Basketball and ASU football and then maybe you can make that case UB is suffering "big time" problems.
I want to reiterate. Turner Gill was a coach hired mainly on his name. He was not an experienced head coach and was rotting away in a player development office at Green Bay. He came, built up the program, won, and left.
Just. Like. Bobby. Hurley.
Hell, Niagara had their coach hired away two years ago. Are they "big time."
The difference is that Gill left before White, before NYBI, and before the TBN really cared enough about UB to sling feces in its direction semi-monthly.
How do the most successful college coaches win big nowadays? By turning their heads and taking chances on sketchy characters. Ask the late Joe Paterno, or Jim Boeheim, or Jim Tressel. The list is long and troubling.
How about Jim Beichner? Is he on that list?
The former UB wrestling coach let his best player stay on the team despite a failed drug test. But that's something your cohort, Bucky Gleason, omitted in the piece he wrote.
Why oh why would Buck omit that?
Of course the answer is because the point of Bucky's piece was to trash UB. So mentioning that tidbit would of course make that more difficult. Just like this morning's edition it was an agenda begging for an article.
Up to this point there is nothing in the article I felt needed me to write a response to. I would have read it, chuckled off line with the other Bull Run editors and at best threw up a fan shot.
But then Sully decides to go full moron.
There’s usually a reason why young players wind up at junior colleges. They tend to have issues, academic or personal or otherwise. But they can help you to the promised land if you take the risk.
Kids end up as JUCO's for the same reason others go to community college. They need some remedial learning, they are still too raw on the court for Division One, they missed paperwork, or life in general kicked them there.
JUSTIN MOSS WAS PLAYING JUCO BALL BECAUSE HE HAD A MEDICAL CONDITION
Let me say that again because the depths of muck Sullivan went to in his quest to get a "Gotcha!" on UB is telling.
JUSTIN MOSS WAS PLAYING JUCO BALL BECAUSE HE HAD A LIFE-THREATENING MEDICAL CONDITION
Background for people who don't know:
Moss went to Toledo on full scholarship after high school but the medic there discovered he had a heart irregularity which they considered dangerous. He had a heart surgery but the staff at Toledo still said no.
So Moss, who loves hoops, went to a school that would play him and fought his way back to division one.
Sullivan, you human piece of trash. You just slandered all JUCO athletes and you just *INTENTIONALLY* misled your readers about why Justin Moss was playing at a Junior College.
And you did it all just so you could trash UB. You're pathetic. Moss was two classes away from graduating at UB and in good academic standing. He was accepted at a State University in Ohio but had to leave BECAUSE HE HAD A MEDICAL CONDITION.
Now back to Witherspoon:
So Witherspoon never made the NCAAs. But he came close. He won 20 games two years in a row before the 14-win season that got him fired. He left Hurley with a roster that was favored to win the MAC in 2013-14 and finally won it this past March, with the holdovers playing key roles in the final.
Ironic that you went here. Do you know what one of the first challenges Bobby Hurley faced?
Dealing with a Witherspoon kid, Cameron Downing, failing to remain academically eligible. That is how we ended up with Josh Freelove. It even happened to Reggie.
Hurley called the Witherspoon years a failure. But there was no scandal during that time, save for one player who tried to cheat on a test and was suspended. The Moss situation is an utter embarrassment to White, to the coaches and to the entire university.
So other than a cheating scandal there was no scandal... Gotcha..
What is the agenda.... Here it is!
It’s the silent types at UB who might think otherwise, the older alums who thought the whole "New York" movement was an insulting idea, the academics who have been skeptical about the move to Division I since Bill Greiner was leading the charge a quarter century ago.
What in the hell does "New York" have to do with this again? Nothing, except that it's a dog-whistle for "bad things are happening in Amhsert." If this were not so obscenely stupid it would be funny.
Every organization has scandals from time to time. Political parties, churches, schools, businesses and even news papers. It happens because one bad apple really can spoil a bunch. Witherspoon got his job at Buffalo because of a coaching scandal that happened before Danny White was old enough to drink.
Please dear reader at this point don't think I am saying Witherspoon did not do a better job vetting the incoming kids, he did. What I am saying is that Jerry Sullivan is a piece of human garbage who mislead his readers about why Justin Moss was a JUCO because he has an agenda.