Why You Need to Start Pulling For Tom Crean to Succeed.

You ever watched HBO’s Girls?

I have. I watched the first two seasons before I asked myself why I was watching a show that was nominally a comedy, but hadn’t made me laugh once, a show about four young girls living in New York, when I am not, nor have I ever been, a young girl, nor do I, or have I ever, lived in New York.

I couldn’t come up with a compelling reason why I was watching a show that didn’t speak to me, didn’t make me laugh, and whose characters I didn’t particularly care about. So I quit watching it.

But, I’m really glad it’s out there.

It’s better for all of us if there are independent voices out there, allowed to tell their own stories in their own ways. This one isn’t for me, but I loved Breaking Bad, and Mad Men, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer,  and Battlestar Gallactica. These shows exist because the people in charge of putting shows on TV let people with a voice and a point of view, create shows and put them on TV.

So, you go, Lena Dunham. Shine on you crazy diamond. It’s not my thing, but I’m sure glad she’s getting to do it.

It’s 100% for the best.

What, in all of God’s green goodness does this have to do with Indiana Basketball? I imagine you asking.

It’s this.

You need to start pulling for Tom Crean to fix this situation and succeed. Even if you don’t like him. Even if you’re tired of all the off-the-court substance issues. Even if you think the program is all talk and little action. Even if you complain about substitution patterns and play calling decisions. You need to start hoping he fixes this.

Because here’s the alternative. You ready?

Crean quits or gets fired sometime between now and next summer. And a coaching search begins. But it begins with this as the history of the last 20 years.

Historic Hall-of-Fame coach is fired after almost a decade of subpar results and a career of offensive and abusive behavior that would have gotten anyone who hadn’t won three championships fired years ago.

Interim coach replaces him right before the season starts. Takes a team to the championship game the next year. Quits on his team, according to Marco Killingsworth anyway, and then quits his job three years later.

Program is nearly destroyed by a cheater and a liar, who is fired after his second year.

A new coach is hired to return the program to the glory days of winning and doing things the right way. Rebuilds and eventually wins. But then loses too many games, too many fans, and control of his program. Arrests, dismissals, repeat offenses. Scandal.

Or, to put it much more succinctly.

Scandal and bad press.

Scandal and bad press.

Scandal and bad press.

Scandal and bad press.

17 years of scandal and bad press, disrupted by a couple of Big Ten titles and five lottery picks.

Does that sound like a good job to you?

It’s better if Crean succeeds. Just like it’s better that Lena Dunham has her show on HBO, even if I don’t like that show.

And not that you need to be told, but Crean can’t just succeed on the court. He has to to do that, and now, don’t get me wrong. But he has to fix the culture of his program. Something he did once already. Something he needs to do again. Because when Crean finally does exit Indiana Basketball the story needs to be…

Scandal and bad press.

Scandal and bad press.

Scandal and bad press.

Scandal and bad press.

Redemption.

Otherwise, we may never get back to who we think we are.

Jeff Taylor