We will take this break from your regularly scheduled programming so I can bemoan the state of K-State basketball. I love college basketball and this is my favorite time of the year. Sunday night will find me watching the NCAA selection show. I will fill out a bracket (which will most likely be horribly wrong, but it's still fun). I will watch lots of basketball games, even involving schools I know nothing about. I will cheer and yell at the TV and get excited and my children will give me strange looks.
But the Kansas State Wildcats won't be in the NCAA tournament, and next year they'll have a new coach. Yep. After K-State lost to Texas Tech in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament yesterday, Coach Jim Wooldridge got the ax. The AP story makes it pretty plain -- if the Cats can't make the NCAA tournament, then they need a new coach. Wooldridge came to Manhattan six years ago and took over a pretty miserable program. He's built and developed the team to the point where they're actually competitive and they beat the Kansas Jayhawks in Allen Fieldhouse this year. That's amazing! But they've lost a lot of close games, especially in the Big 12, and the powers that be decided it was time for a change. That chafes me -- I'm not so naive to think that winning doesn't matter, but it's not the only thing. Conducting yourself with class and integrity, both on and off the court, also matters. Building respect for a program by doing things right matters. Becoming competitive in a very tough league matters. I think Coach Wooldridge has done all those things. So I'm sorry to see him go and I'm sorry our university seems to think that winning matters more than anything else.