Basketball, Sports

Time to be frank: Haith achieved nothing

Dear Frank,

As we fans prepare for life post-Haith, it has come to my understanding that a key reason you left was a lack of popular support. This is understandable, as a failure to have one’s accomplishments recognized by those whose purpose is to cheer you on can be very frustrating.

However, I think you’ve gleamed over one fact: Your teams weren’t very good.

In seven years under your guidance, our Hurricane basketball team had a record of 45-72 in ACC play and one measly NCAA tournament win against Saint Mary’s in one appearance, all  the while bringing in allegedly top-tier players.

A lack of love from the student section couldn’t be your only reason for leaving, I assume. Living in Coral Gables isn’t for everyone, as I’m sure waking up in warm weather among multimillion dollar homes for almost a decade can really be hard on a man.

True, like any other cosmopolitan city, Miami does have its fair share of crime. That shouldn’t be a problem for you now, as I hear in Columbia the only thing you’ll have to avoid is getting in the way of the people driving past it to St. Louis on I-70.

Am I missing something about Middle America?

Not the economic middle. I’m talking about those places where your flights connect before you reach your actual destination. To be honest, I too lived in Middle America for three whole years, and I liked it so much I moved to Miami the first chance I had. But everybody is entitled to live and work wherever they please, so if Missouri isn’t miserable for you, mazel tov.

Being a man of passion, you have shown us time and time again that shouting into an empty arena can feel like, well, shouting into an empty arena. So from the bottom of our collective, selfish hearts, we’re sorry we couldn’t match your jacket-exploding enthusiasm.

On that note, what was Miami’s record when you did hastily rip off your jacket? 0-84?

To your credit, there were some high points in your tenure. Jack McClinton became the ACC’s all-time leader in 3-point field goal percentage, which you capitalized on by leading the Canes on a scintillating NIT run for his senior season. And don’t think we didn’t know how close you got to recruiting guys like John Wall and Brandon Knight – you reminded us many, many times. Hey, the fact that they both went to Kentucky isn’t your fault, right?

Admittedly, Miami is not a basketball town. So is it really a surprise that support was poor when a fan’s options were: A) watch the basketball team choke away a halftime lead while failing to break a single full-court press or B) go to South Beach in February? Athletics are in constant competition for attention, and there are plenty of distractions in South Florida. So to say you didn’t have enough fan support is simply neglecting the fact that you had a part in our lack of interest. This is an event-driven town and, as entertaining as your sideline tantrums were, they didn’t make for an enjoyable afternoon.

And certainly not a winning program.

Vaya con Dios.

Austen Gregerson may be contacted at agregerson@themiamihurricane.com.

April 6, 2011

Reporters

Austen Gregerson

Staff Columnist


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