This morning, the Raleigh News & Observer’s Caulton Tudor calls for Herb Sendek to resign if he fails to make the NCAA tournament. link
In my view, Tudor bats .500 in his surprisingly well-written epistle. He very aptly describes the sharply negative atmosphere that would surround the program in the offseason:
“But if N.C. State can’t finish strong enough to get back to the NCAA Tournament, the smart move by Sendek would be to resign. The alternative would be a year in a purgatory of fan resentment and constant speculation…Sendek would face a miserable offseason if the next few games go poorly. For State fans, an NIT bid would represent an unacceptable consolation prize. They expected a high ACC finish and two or three NCAA victories, not a step back to the level of Sendek’s first four seasons…[T]here would be no more middle ground for him to plow in his 10th season. To avoid an outright dismissal, he would need a national top-15 finish and a postseason breakthrough. The pressure on Sendek and his players would be unwavering. Each conference game would bring a status check.”
However, I think he’s wrong to suggest that resignation would be a good option (at least without a significant buyout, which could be easily arranged with funds from Sendek supporters and detractors alike), but that a firing would be out of line. I have never understood why anybody could expect a coach (or any professional) to fire himself when his superiors are not inclined to drop the axe. This seems backward-thinking, and does not acknowledge the obvious – that Sendek’s first and foremost responsibility is (and should be) to his family. Why should we expect him to simply walk away from millions of dollars VOLUNTARILY? As I have noted many times before, college basketball is a big business, not a charity gig. We should not expect RESULTS or decisionmaking behavior to reflect any alternate reality.
Of course, batting .500 isn’t too shabby, especially for Tudor – who closes with what might be the money sentence of the entire Sendek debate:
“But big paychecks come with big responsibilities.”
We here at StateFansNation couldn’t have said it any better.