Had a real nice, and lengthy conversation today with SMU coach Larry Brown, the only coach who has won an NCAA and NBA title.
Brown is coming off his first season at the Dallas school. His second should be something since his incoming recruiting class is ranked 14th nationally and that’s not counting some outstanding junior college players who will be ready to rock this year but it does include his son L.J.
This is the football blog. I get it but I love Brown, always have. He’s e’s a straight shooter No.1 and No.2 he genuinely cares about others and how they fare. All you have to do is look at the many folks he’s touched in the NBA and NCAA circles – start now and you’ll still be counting at the end of the week.
Anyway, to the straight shooter part.
Here it is on conference realignment and all the shaking up that has taken over college athletics…
‘Well I’m sick. I’m sick about it because of my relationship with [late] Coach [Dave] Gavitt. I mean the Big East? How great a conference was that? I mean he had a vision but I don’t think he ever anticipated it even being that special. I’m real close to [Maryland coach] Mark Turgeon. Think about Maryland not playing North Carolina, Duke or Virginia. Think about Texas not playing Texas A&M or Kansas not playing Missouri. It blows my mind. And then they talk about the best interest of the student-athlete. Allright, you’re a field hockey player at Maryland and you go to Nebraska to play field hockey, you don’t charter like basketball and football probably, right? How are you going to do that trip? How many days of school are you going to miss? I mean I’m blown away.
“I understand how important money is to programs and the dollars you make helps support the olympic sports but there’s so much tradition that we’ve gotten away from that it troubles me. We’re lucky here because they were able to hold together, to some degree, where we have some terrific opportunities to play against some great, great programs but at the end of the day… West Virginia in the Big 12? Missouri playing Alabama in the SEC? I don’t get it. I just don’t get it. I was in the Big 8 and I know what Nebraska brings in terms of football but I don’t get Nebraska being a Big Ten school. Nebraska-Oklahoma to me in football was like wow. Colorado and Utah being in the Pac-10, or whatever Pac-12 or 14 or 16… I don’t know. I don’t understand it but I’m troubled by it.
“I know we have to make our program relevant. We’re in Dallas. We have so much potential here and I’m hopeful as a coach we can make a difference where kids want to go to school here and if we do a good job in building our program I’m confident June [football coach June Jones] is going to do it in football. He’s already accomplished a great deal so hopefully we’ll be in good shape forever.”