OPINION — Popularity Will Save Tim Floyd’s Job at UTEP
Says here some coaches would get fired for what UTEP Basketball Coach Tim Floyd did Thursday. But first the background, and then the reason there’ll be no firing.
Floyd shoved and shouted at one of his players, Earvin Morris, as Floyd was getting kicked out of Thursday’s eventual 17-point loss at Louisiana Tech. Floyd was putting on a real-life San Diego Chicken-type rant – he was really ticked off, alright. And Morris was stepping in between his coach and the refs during this proverbial butting of chests. Usually it’s assistant coaches, not first-year players, who try to save the coach from going too far.
Back to getting fired:
When legendary Indiana Coach Bob Knight had his administration’s nerves frayed over a bunch of stuff, one reason for his “get-outta-here” was his putting a choke-hold on a player during a timeout. It wasn’t really a choke, but it was a reason to get rid of the iconic coach who had temper tantrums on the floor and was bigger than the university president, board of regents … everybody in Hoosier Land.
Academic people with big titles don’t like that from their mere basketball coach. It was among the reasons to give Knight the ax. Recently, Rutgers Basketball Coach Mike Rice was fired after videos showed him throwing basketballs at players during practice; and did other stuff, too. A regular Yosemite Sam was he. And he got the ax. By the way, he wasn’t winning championships, thus wasn’t in real high graces.
Now we bring in UTEP’s Floyd. Bottom line here, Floyd is still a popular man in El Paso, unlike Knight and the Indiana administrators or Rice and the boosters. So nobody is calling for Floyd’s head. Hey, he’s a mega-popular coach here. Bottom line two, he shouldn’t have shoved a player, or anyone else, but he was in a tither, all ticked off and in the same rant as decades of coaches/managers before him.
And if this needs to be said about the player trying to restrain his having-a-fit coach, let an assistant coach break up the rant, already.