After spending a wretched week in Maui, I returned this afternoon to a clear, crisp Indiana afternoon. It felt good to be home.
We have a breakdown of what we learned at the Maui Invitational in tomorrow’s paper, and I’ll post that here for you guys to comment on after it hits newsstands in the morning.
One thing Doug did not include in his post below on Bill Lynch was a statement I got from the current IU athletic administration.
It was: “Bill Lynch is our football coach,” according to spokesman J.D. Campbell.
That was it. Nothing more, the current regime decided, needed to be said. They stand by their man.
Enjoy your Friday night. I’m going to spend my celebrating Hugh Kellenberger’s birthday.
Incoming IU athletic director Fred Glass said Friday that Bill Lynch will remain Indiana’s football coach.
Glass wasn’t initially planning to talk about Lynch and his football program until starting the athletic director job on Jan. 2. But in consultation with university President Michael McRobbie, he changed his plan because competing schools have been trying to exploit in recruiting the uncertainty created by a change in athletic directors and a losing football season.
“I just think it’s very important to be very clear that Bill Lynch is and will be the football coach at Indiana University,” Glass said.
Glass said that with IU having entered into a four-year agreement with Lynch that promised a chance to build IU’s football program, the university isn’t going to cut that opportunity short after just one year.
“I think contracts need to mean something at Indiana University,” he said.
Glass and Lynch met Tuesday. The incoming AD said he told Lynch that his expectations are for IU to win Big Ten championships, and while that isn’t likely to happen next year, he “certainly expects progress toward that goal.”
“He shares my expectations,” Glass said. “I have the very highest expectations. . . .My expectation is that we’ll do what we need to do to win Big Ten championships, and I’ll do my best to give him the resources to do so.”
Glass said he’s received a lot of e-mail from fans – some of it belligerent and some very thoughtful – about Lynch and IU’s 3-9 football season, and many of those who want Lynch fired are also people who didn’t want him hired last year. The question now, he said, isn’t whether Lynch should be given a four-year contract. The question is whether after a “terrible” season, IU should make a change just one year into that contract.
“I think the answer is clearly no,” Glass said.
IU released a few comments today from Tom Crean on Sunday’s 4 p.m. game against Cornell at Assembly Hall. Here’s what Crean had to say about playing Cornell, an Ivy League school that had a 22-6 record last season, including a 77-53 loss to Stanford in the first round of the NCAA Tournament:
On the fans:
“I think it is going to be critical at home that we have a loud and supportive crowd.Â I know the response we received in Maui helped us immensely and the enthusiasm that has been shown to us in Assembly Hall this year has been outstanding.”
On playing Cornell:
“We are in a stretch of games where we are playing six of eight away from home in aÂ 19-day span.Â This schedule, with the exception of the TCU game,Â was something we inherited and I am sure was put together with a veteran team in mind.Â That being said, we will look at each challenge and try to get better for it.Â Cornell is an NCAA Tournament team that has a veteran group that has grown together.Â They are a very efficient team who understands where each otherÂ is supposed to be.”
On the tie to the Wittman family:
“Without question, I think it is a special game for Ryan and his family.Â Randy has been great to our staff and I am sure Ryan will have plenty of support in the stands.Â Iâ€™m sure Cornell is going to come in here like every other team has and believes they want to come in here and come away with a win.Â We have to be at our best, both physically and mentally, to prevent that.”
Will you be taking advantage of the break from school to work more with your players?
â€œWe have to have a fresh team and the travel certainly can take its toll.Â We have to judge this as a time to be ready for each game. However, we do have to take into consideration the amount of time we will be on the road and schedule accordingly.”
5. Intern Jared, who works as hard as any of the athletes we cover and does it all for the glory of eating press box hot dogs.
4. The times when you guys discuss Bill Lynch and the Indiana football team without resorting to name calling, instead opting for rational conversation rooted in fact and not just emotion.
3.Â The fact that no one has called any of us “Hoss” since February.
2.Â Our family and friends and co-workers and all that.
1. Your passion for IU sports, and the sophisticated way you share it here. For that, I say: Mahalo, Hoss.
Indiana holds off a late surge by the Silverswords â€” one made possible by missed free throws â€” and will leave Maui in a few hours with a 3-2 record and the satisfaction of getting a win on the final day.
That the win came against a Division II team that dressed only eight players, most of whom are new to the program, won’t wipe the smiles from Indiana’s players.
They, too, are mostly new. And because Chaminade has been built with transfers, the Hoosiers actually had less Division I experience than the Swords.
Hoosiers coach Tom Crean was unabashedly pleased with the win.
“I think we got better everyday,” he said. “And thatâ€™s the objective you have to be able to measure by. Theyâ€™re learning so many different things. The greatest thing theyâ€™ve learned is how to bounce back in a hurry.”
FINAL: INDIANA 2, ST. LOUIS 0
Hoosiers take care of business with a dominating effort in this second-round tournament game, and will host Michigan in the third round Saturday night at 7 p.m. HOOSIERS 2, BILLIKENS 0
10:00, SECOND HALF: Indiana firmly in control of this game right now, and have narrowly missed a couple chances to extend the lead. St. Louis is showing signs of desperation, trying to hit a home run to get back in this one. HOOSIERS 2, BILLIKENS 0
24:42, SECOND HALF: Indiana gets that insurance goal off a corner kick. Andy Adlard played a ball to the far post where a flying Kevin Alston hit a header into the back of the net. Alston preserved the two-goal lead just over 30 seconds later when he blocked a Billiken shot in front of goal. HOOSIERS 2, BILLIKENS 0
26:56, SECOND HALF: The chippiness we saw at the end of the first half has continued, with St. Louis trying to make up for being outplayed with attitude. The Billikens are starting to build a little more of an attack as of late, but are risking an IU counter attack. Kevin Noschang nearly had a breakaway on such a play in the 61st minute. HOOSIERS 1, BILLIKENS 0
45:00, SECOND HALF: We have 45 minutes left to play here. IU outshot St. Louis, 9-3 in that first half, but would do well to put this one out of reach rather than sweat out a nail-biter. One other NCAA upset to report, ninth-seeded Loyola U. falls to North Carolina-Greensboro, 2-1. And of local interest, Notre Dame leads Northwestern, 1-0, at halftime. HOOSIERS 1, BILLIKENS 0
HALFTIME: The half ends a little chippy with a couple of yellow cards handed out, and Indiana is not happy with the officiating that is right now penalizing the more aggressive team. John Mellencamp, Ofori Sarkodie and coach Mike Freitag all shared their concerns with the referee on the way to the locker room. Another solid, dominating half for Indiana, who could use another goal for insurance. HOOSIERS 1, BILLIKENS 0