Thursday, December 20, 2007

Jay Bilas needs an ethics class

Everyone says dumb things from time to time. It’s an inevitability of life. However, most people aren’t as transparent as Jay Bilas when doing so. Before I get into his illogicalities, let me first remind you that Bilas played and coached at Duke with Tommy Amaker. Everyone knows that but I figured I’d reiterate it because only a Duke graduate could provide us with the following comments regarding Amaker. Here is Bilas’ response when asked in an ESPN chat to compare the respective troubles of Michigan and Kentucky basketball…

"Michigan. They just don't get it. I think that John Beilein will do a great job, with time. But, it will take time. Michigan had a dirty program, brought in Amaker to clean it up, and he did that. Along the way, he won. He just didn't crack the NCAA Tournament barrier.“ (Emphasis mine.)

So, you’re saying it’ll take time? This is the most incoherent piece of biased rambling you will ever get from a paid “expert”. His whole argument is absolutely ridiculous. He defends Amaker by saying, “Along the way, he won. He just didn’t crack the NCAA Tournament barrier.” That’s like Charles Manson saying, “Along the way, I did some good things. I just killed some people, too.” You can’t just sneak that last sentence by without anyone noticing. The fact that Amaker didn’t go 0-192 at Michigan isn’t an indicator of his ability to coach. The fact that he “just didn’t crack the NCAA Tournament barrier” in five years or, the fact that Amaker went 17-3 against Northwestern and Penn St. and 26-56 against the other eight Big Ten teams, however, is an indicator.

Bilas goes on to say:

“Now, with good talent, they are getting their heads bashed in because they are starting over. How do you think those kids feel? Their heads are spinning. It is clear to me that one person needs to go...and that is Bill Martin. He has presided over this, and if the prior coach needed to go, then Martin should go too. If an AD's job is to put the pieces in place to have a winning program, then Martin is not living up to that end. Sorry, but that is how I see it."

I am shocked not shocked at all that someone actually gets paid for this sort of analysis but it's annoying nonetheless. First, Bilas insinuates that Michigan fired Amaker just as he was getting talent into the program. Yep, the Michigan basketball program was just about to explode after graduating four senior-starters with only one contributing upperclassmen returning. This year’s Michigan team is littered with underclassmen. It had absolutely no shot of winning this season under Amaker, John Beilein, or John Wooden. Just to clarify, Michigan does not have any more “good talent”—as opposed to the underrated bad talent—now than it ever did under Amaker.

Bilas then rails Bill Martin for putting the Michigan players through the unbearable situation of “starting over.” Let’s see, Manny Harris, Kelvin Grady, C.J. Lee, Zach Gibson, and Anthony Wright—all of whom are averaging at least 10 minutes per game—are all in their first year of playing time at Michigan. How can those players be “starting over” if they hadn’t even played a single minute at Michigan before this season? DeShawn Sims and Ekpe Udoh are sophomores. That leaves Ron Coleman—a senior—as the only meaningful player who is truly “starting over”. Bilas then attempts to play the “those poor kids” card by saying, “how do you think those kids feel?” Yeah, I bet they’d rather be losing under Amaker than losing under Beilein. I bet they’re all torn up about playing for a coach who took his team to the Sweet Sixteen in two of the last three seasons instead of a coach who had a .320 winning percentage against all non-Northwestern and Penn St. Big Ten teams.

Bilas obviously has had a beef with Michigan ever since it mercifully let his buddy go last March. This isn't the first or second time Bilas has defended Amaker or tried to put heat on Bill Martin. The fact that Michigan struggled in its search for a football coach was just the perfect opportunity for Bilas to get a shot in on Martin. It was clearly a premeditated strike. Bilas even admits that Beilein “will do a great job at Michigan” which I believe means Bill Martin did a “great job” in bringing Beilein to Michigan. Instead of reaching the universally accepted conclusion that 1=1, Bilas says, “If an AD's job is to put the pieces in place to have a winning program, then Martin is not living up to that end.” Apparently, hiring a coach who will do a “great job” is utter failure in Bilas’ world. In other news, the rest of the college basketball world was so smitten over Amaker’s availability that he ended up at Harvard.


Anonymous said...

Duke sucks... and so did Amaker.

b said...

I can't believe Bilas said such a thing about Martin. Did he not see Martin's recent football hire?? And we all knew there would be growing pains with Belien - but show me a person out there who believes Amaker is a better coach than Belien! I think you have to know when to rebuild with new guys and Michigan is doing that now. Sucks that they, well, suck right now, but it'll be far better than being stuck in 2nd gear like they were with Amaker for so long.

P.S. New reader to the blog, Detroit born and bred but live in AZ now - will be at the Wings-Coyotes game Saturday night up in Glendale with about 10,000 of my closest Wings fans!

Jake said...


I don't actually think Bilas even agrees with what he said which is what makes it so bad. Heck, he even admitted that Beilein was a great coach who will get the job done.

Enjoy the game. Gretzky's starting to look old which is a bummer for some reason. The Wings are rippin' it up right now.

Take care!

b said...

Man, I noticed the same thing about Gretzky looking old!

Hell of a Citrus Bowl win yesterday. We're on a nice little win streak


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