Well, just days after firing Tom Crean for not being able to get past the Sweet 16 -- it seems Indiana’s reportedly about to hire a basketball coach that hasn’t been able to get past the Sweet 16 in his career.
Per a report from Jordan Schultz of The Huffington Post, Indiana has offered the head coaching job to Indiana alum and UCLA head coach Steve Alford -- and a contract that would average in the $4.5 million dollars a year range.
It’s not just the Huffington Post’s Schultz reporting or hinting at this news. Here’s Gregg Doyel in a column that just dropped on a Steve Alford hiring being “kind of dumb.”
The Alford-to-IU noise is so loud, coaches around the country are telling me what they’re hearing: They expect Adidas — IU has a $54 million contract with Adidas through 2024 — to pay Alford’s $7.8 million buyout at UCLA. It too was an Adidas school when UCLA hired Alford in 2013, but the Bruins recently left Adidas for a 15-year, $280 million deal with Under Armour. Adidas would love to return the favor and help Alford leave UCLA. That’s what other coaches are hearing, and telling me.
How hot is Alford’s IU candidacy? So hot that ESPN 1070’s Dan Dakich told me in a text message Saturday — with Alford’s third-seeded Bruins preparing to play No. 6 Cincinnati on Sunday — that “the deal (with) Alford is done.” Dakich and Alford played together at IU. Another coincidence, maybe.
That would seem to corroborate Schultz’s story in some way. However, long time Indiana beat writer Jeff Rabjohns is directly refuting the story without mincing words. Jeff Goodman of ESPN also says no offer has been made at this time.
Earlier this week, multiple sources indicated to CQ that Alford’s own camp & people were driving a good deal of the chatter and that he is “campaigning” for the job — so you may want to wait on this one. This doesn’t seem like a report that would make much sense, given the report of Indiana’s use of a search committee today.
That said, I’m not going to mince words here. Steve Alford would be a laughably terrible, embarrassing hire by Indiana University that might border on administrative malpractice. His long history of failing to accept responsibility for his behavior in the Pierre Pierce sexual assault case should instantly disqualify him from coaching, in our opinion. But, if were you to even look past that for some reason, Alford’s been arguably a worse coach than Tom Crean through the balance of his career! He’s been a Big Ten coach before (it went poorly), he’s never advanced past the Sweet 16 in the tournament (that’s why Tom was fired), UCLA fans want him shot into the sun, and he’s coming off a losing season JUST LAST YEAR.
Steve Alford is absolutely unfit to be Indiana’s basketball coach.
As not a blogger or reporter — but as an Indiana fan, please dear god let Rabjohns be right.