Like Clockwork, Fowler’s Mouth Starts Running

It started today. Despite warnings to the contrary, I can promise you that it won’t be ending today.


Lee Fowler issued the first of many “I support Sendek” statements this morning through the News & Observer. Can “Q&A with Lee Fowler” on or Pack Pride be far behind?

I am going to venture to guess that the answer is a resounding…NO.

Now that it has started – now that Elvis has reintroduced the drugs to his diet – there is NO WAY that Lee Fowler will be able to avoid interjecting himself into the media spotlight with multiple statements of support for Herb Sendek.

I can’t wait! I can’t wait to learn which new mstandard Lee Fowler will propose to highlight Herb Sendek’s ‘success’ as the Head Basketball coach of NC State. Since I have no doubt that Fowler’s mouth will soon be in overdrive in another exhausting defense of the great Herb Sendek (that nobody else in the country will hire despite Sendek’s recent overtures)…the real question is – “what will this year’s new standard of evaluation be?” Obviously, I use the term ‘standard’ as loose as humanly possible.

Your company has a job description outlining expectations for your role and performance. It probably includes metrics and standards against which you will be judged. But, your job is in the real world…not at NC State. Lee Fowler and NC State re-write Herb Sendek’s job description each year to make sure that it matches whatever Herb Sendek has recently “achieved”. And, each year around this time we learn of Fowler’s newest standard. He’s such an innovator!!!

Think about it:

* In 2001, after a horrible season and a mediocre (at best) 5-year run that did not include a single NCAA Tournament appearance, Lee Fowler openly proclaimed that he was retaining Coach Sendek because of the great recruiting class that was coming in. – Was it really worth the wait?

* In 2002, the standard was set with simply “making the NCAA Tournament”. – Achieved! On the Bubble.

* In 2003, the standard was ambiguously “build on last year” – Achieved! The ACC was almost as weak as this year as 3rd rated conference in the RPI. State’s RPI was #45, down from #32 the previous year and therefore negating the opportunity to use “show improvement”

* In 2004, it was time to “show improvement” and strive to be 2nd place since NC State could never be expected to compete for first place. – Achieved! Highwater mark in Sendek’s tenure. #2 in the ACC. #17 in the RPI. The worst RPI of any 2nd place team in ACC history.

* In 2005, after a 7th place ACC finish and an NCAA appearance as the worst RPI to receive an at-large bid, the standard suddenly shifted to NCAA Tournament performance. Of course, you can never forget the “Herb is a great guy” component that gets selectively thrown into each year a little here and a little there. – Achieved! NC State has fallen so low that as a #10 seed we are excited about upsetting UNC-Charlotte!!! One upset over UConn after a regular season of going 3-7 vs NCAA Tournament teams and 0-6 vs the RPI’s Top 25…and PRESTO!!! Success!!

So…what will it be in 2006? The truth about the ridiculous “Complete Body of Work” is starting to take root, as are more accurate perspectives around Five Straight NCAA Tournaments (especially after our poor NCAA Tournament performances)

I don’t know what to expect the next time Fowler starts yapping. It is a year too early to start back at 2001 and talk about Sendek’s “great recruiting class”; that has to be saved for next season after we bomb and with Chris Wright coming to town. So, I don’t know what Lee Fowler’s new job standard will be in 2006. I do know that we won’t hear him admit that this team failed to approach his pre-season expectations chronicled here.

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27 Responses to Like Clockwork, Fowler’s Mouth Starts Running

  1. charlottefan 03/22/2006 at 8:42 PM #

    I want to make a prediction. I bet he somehow takes a jab at jimmy v. Something like: “coach sendek has been to 3 acc tournament finals in 3 years, and jim valvano only went to 2”

  2. Uncle Pack 03/22/2006 at 8:51 PM #

    Just curious, Jeff. What do you do for a living?

  3. Uncle Pack 03/22/2006 at 8:52 PM #

    I ask because you are remarkably thorough and consistent. I apologize if the question is out of bounds on the site.

  4. Uncle Pack 03/22/2006 at 9:09 PM #

    This won on Doyel’s Dribbles on CBS Sportsline on Monday. He was assessing coaching vacancies and our boy Herb was mentioned. Take it for what it’s worth:

    “Cincinnati: If it’s not interim coach Andy Kennedy — and it should be interim coach Andy Kennedy — the longtime buzz has said this job is between Murray State’s Mick Cronin and George Washington’s Karl Hobbs. However, North Carolina State coach Herb Sendek is a late-arriving dark horse. And let’s be honest: Sendek would be perfect. He’s a winner, he once coached down the road at Miami (Ohio), he’s a Midwest native (Pittsburgh) and he’s got the Eagle Scout personal life Cincinnati craves.”

  5. Only One 03/22/2006 at 9:30 PM #

    Well let’s see. Lee Fowler dismissed the first 5 years of Herbs tenure as holdover from Les’ incompetence. Okay. Fine. What do you want to bet he somehow comes up with a reason to dismiss the SECOND five years of Herbs tenure? Suggested reasons for our fearless leader.
    1) Well UNC won a title. That really hurt our program as far as competition goes.
    2) Coach K ALMOST going pro really hurt us. I mean, look at the renewed interest in Dook after that.
    3) League expansion somehow hurts us. I mean, we have more in conference travel now, having to go ALLLLL the way up to Boston and ALLLL the way to Miami. I mean, c’mon. Is it really fair to Herb and the Herbettes to have to travel so far?
    4) Julius Hodge graduating really set us back. You can’t lose a player of his (dubious) caliber without having to adjust.
    5) The entire ACC is having a down year. It’s a cycle thing. When the ACC rebounds, we’ll be…….middle of the conference still. But we’ll be mediocre in a truly elite conference. There’s something to be said for that.
    6) (or, the NUMBER ONE REASON) It’s our lunatic fringe fans fault. If they’d quit whining about our coach, we could get better faster. It’s NOT HERBS FAULT- IT”S THE FANS!!!

    This will shortly be followed by another press conference announcing that since in effect this is Herbs first year, we can’t expect him to compete with the elite in the ACC. But in the future……..we’re going to achieve more mediocrity!!!!!!!!

    Where do you hang the banner for mediocrity? In the ladies room? I assume so, since Lee Fowler doesn’t have the testicular fortitude to set foot in the men’s room.

  6. Jim 03/22/2006 at 10:13 PM #

    I propose a 1-year amnesty for LTR holders to not buy season tickets yet retain the LTR rights. Why not? After the “terrific,” “very good” and/or “great” season we just had and only “idiots” and the “lunatic fringe” having a problem, the market won’t show any dip in season ticket sales. Right?

    If Fowler is confident in his great decisions why not stand behind them and employ my idea?

  7. TPack 03/22/2006 at 10:27 PM #

    “6) (or, the NUMBER ONE REASON) It’s our lunatic fringe fans fault. If they’d quit whining about our coach, we could get better faster. It’s NOT HERBS FAULT- ITâ€?S THE FANS!!!”

    Please, blame it on the fans. The same fans are more than happy to fill Carter-Finley and the RBC Center. They spend money giving to the WPC so they can have money to do whatever. They do what you want fans to do.

    Yes, we whine about our coach, however there are 2 things wrong with you bringing this up. First off, we whine for a reason, what Herb Sendek is doing is simply not up to par. Maybe at Clemson or Florida State where you should be excited to make the NCAAs (as it doesn’t happen much) this would be acceptable. But at NC State? A Program with the History we have? Jimmy V might just roll over in his grave. We should be winning the ACC every now and then, and atleast competeing for National Titles. And Secondly, Fans don’t coach games, coaches do. Fans don’t play games, players do. Fans don’t officate games, refs do. What do fans do? Watch, support, that thing. We do that. Herb is stopping us from getting back to the next level of basketball success.

    “4) Julius Hodge graduating really set us back. You can’t lose a player of his (dubious) caliber without having to adjust.

    With a good coach, this year’s team should be better than last years. Last year, we were a rather young team with 1 star vet. This year we had 3 seniors, all of whom can play. Cam Bennerman is the excitement. Tony Bethel was the True PG that we lacked for years. Illian was a big man who can shoot 3s, which if coached right is a matchup problem. Ced is a great talent, and with Coach K or Roy coaching the guy, he would have been 1st team all-conference. I honestly feel the guy has the potential to be better than Sheldon Williams. Coach him up Herb, looks like you are staying so far, lets see you stop f-ing up.

    “2) Coach K ALMOST going pro really hurt us. I mean, look at the renewed interest in Dook after that.

    You have to play the best to be the best, and a Coach K coached team is the best. You also have to play someone about as good as you or better to get better. A Coach K team will be that.

    I could expand upon your other remarks, but it is obvious you don’t understand that playing good teams doesn’t hurt.

  8. Only One 03/22/2006 at 10:59 PM #

    LoL @ T-Pack.

    Please go to

    Enter in facetious

    Hit “enter”

    Read the answer

  9. Long Leaf Pine 03/23/2006 at 12:37 AM #

    What has been consistently overlooked is the fact that Herb has done an excellent job for NC State basketball. The problem is that it has become abundantly clear that he hit his coaching plateau for our program a few years back. It has taken a couple seasons for this fact to be proven but now it is now obvious that we need a coaching change to take our program to the next level. Coach Sendek has taken a broken program and developed it into a consistently top 25 program. For that I believe we should all be grateful.

    I also believe we should all hope that Fowler recognizes this fact and attempts to does everything in his power to attract the right coach that bring NC State basketball back to elite status where it belongs. It is his responsibility to all alumni and students to recognize this fact. As respectful as it is that he displays the support and class that Sendek has shown NC State, he also needs to take the appropriate actions to attract a coach that will take our beloved program to the next level.

  10. scott 03/23/2006 at 1:34 AM #

    I erroneously thought I could keep my LTRs w/out buying the season tickets, which I was planning to do from now on as long as Herb was here. But, I’m thinking seriously about giving up my LTRs…I’ve watched or listened to most every NCSU b-ball game for 34 years, but I don’t want to see any more of Herb ever, and I can’t stand the thoughts of giving any more $$ for this athletic admin. & the WPC to waste.

  11. WufPacker 03/23/2006 at 1:40 AM #

    ^ “consistently top 25 program” – I think that is debatable at best, but I get your points and agree. Herb has done a pretty good job at restoring the infrastructure and perceived integrity. IMHO he’s in over his head for the rest of the trip up the ladder.

    ^^^^Some folks really have a difficulty grasping (obvious) sarcasm, eh?

    ^^^^^^ “Herb and the Herbettes” – ROFL

  12. WufPacker 03/23/2006 at 1:41 AM #


    Errrrrr…ad a “^” to each of those…heheh

  13. WufPacker 03/23/2006 at 1:46 AM #

    ^^^ Of course we’ve all heard of and read V’s book “They Gave Me a Lifetime Contract Then Declared Me Dead”, right?

    I think a new book should be written about the NCSU athletics dept. and its demise….it should be entitled “I Bought Lifetime Rights but the University SHOULD HAVE Declared the Athletic Department Dead”.

  14. brad nicholson 03/23/2006 at 5:50 AM #

    Let me just say that I have not liked Herb since I was a student (c/o 98). He has never exhibited the desire, the drive, the fire to win; his attitude is not that of a winner. I am an Army officer and before i go into combat if i told my Soldiers that coming off 50/50 in a battle would be a win they would mutiny in the trenches. People (players, soldiers, workers, etc) want to follow a winner who they know wants to win and excel. It is time for herb to go and it has been time for a long while. Maybe we could have had barnes, not now, maybe knight? doubtful. Not sure who the next coach should be but it should NOT be herb! Thankfully i am starting grad school at Georgetown University this summer so i will be able to root for someone else by proxy. NCSU basketball is dead to me as long as a corpse is at the helm.

  15. Cardiff Giant 03/23/2006 at 8:35 AM #

    I am so mad about all of this that I simply don’t know what to say at this point.

  16. NCSU'79 03/23/2006 at 9:32 AM #

    Definition of INSANITY.

    Trying the same thing over & over and expecting a different result.

    ie…Princeton Offense & Fowler Defense

  17. DCM 03/23/2006 at 9:37 AM #

    It seems as though you want to base everything now on RPI and wins against RPI. Now, its just a matter of fact that that is a major factor in NCAA appearance and seeding, but this year, among all years, has been proof that the RPI is not reliable in determining the quality of one team versus another.

    Boston College and West Va were consistently 10 spots below the MVC and CAA teams this year, whose RPI was manufactured by playing weak teams on the road instead of home.

    If you look at actual games against quality teams, its a different story. Wins against Alabama (road), Notre Dame (road), and GW (21 point blowout). Now, we arent stupid. The Seton Hall loss was St. John’s like. (You guys will know what I mean by that.) And the two losses to Wake at the end of the year were equally painful.

    Also, let’s not forget in the wake of bad feelings that the Pack once again one 10 games this year in the ACC. Discounting that is a mistake. Especially since it was done with a banged up squad missing a key piece in Brandon Costner the entire season. You will all see what a loss that was next year. Not to mention the level and depth of talent has increased every season now for the last few years at the recruiting trend is that it is going to continue……that is unless we bring in some mid-major goon that has to start from scratch in making contacts with the high school community.

    Dont get me wrong. Id be for taking two steps back if it meant 5 steps forward, but there isnt a guy out there more capable of taking 5 steps forward than Sendek that is even an option. The kids are coming to NC State. The high school basketball community is buying into NC State basketball. The only people who aren’t are the haters. The same haters that ran off Norm Sloan and who were constantly complaining about Jimmy V, sans a couple of honeymoon years after the miracle.

  18. VaWolf82 03/23/2006 at 9:49 AM #

    but there isnt a guy out there more capable of taking 5 steps forward than Sendek that is even an option.

    This is an example of opinion, agenda, or speculation stated as fact. An intelligent argument is based on facts and conclusions that can be drawn from those facts. Name-calling doesn’t help people’s percpetion of you either.

  19. class of '85 03/23/2006 at 10:06 AM #

    DCM, just say you like the guy and you support him, i can accept that but to try and defend his record? you are fighting a losing battle.

  20. Rick 03/23/2006 at 10:33 AM #

    “I am so mad about all of this that I simply don’t know what to say at this point.”
    I was mad a few years ago. I am now ready to give up. I know it is what they want but I am tired of the fight.

  21. Rick 03/23/2006 at 10:35 AM #

    “Especially since it was done with a banged up squad missing a key piece in Brandon Costner the entire season. ”

    I am beginning to think you have to be completely unable to think logically to support Sendek.

    Not one freshmen got any significant playing time this year. And now we are supposed to believe if Costner had not been hurt the year would have been different. What a lot of dung.
    We had as few injuries as you can expect to have in a season and still stunk donkey nuts.

  22. Chief93 03/23/2006 at 10:37 AM #

    “Can “Q&A with Lee Fowlerâ€? on or Pack Pride be far behind?”

    Way to set up for an “I told you so.” James has had a thread asking for questions for his Fowler interview for several days, so clearly there will likely be such an article in the near future.

    I predict that Billy Packer will disagree with a call in the next four days.

  23. DCM 03/23/2006 at 11:10 AM #


    Look at years past at freshmen as well. Andrew Brackman and Gavin Grant last year. Engin Atsur the previous year. Julius Hodge. Illian Evtimov.

    To say that Herb doesnt play freshman is just plain wrong. Still, Im with you. We all want to see the freshman out there. I guarantee you that Herb does too. No coach wants kids who arent ready to commit defensively, or that cant help but pick up fouls. But if you think that Ced was ready last year, you didnt watch the games in which he did play. Now if you saw the games this year that Costner did get to play in, you know he was going to get time.

  24. BJD95 03/23/2006 at 11:34 AM #

    We had enough players and enough talent to compete. That’s the bottom line.

  25. class of '74 03/23/2006 at 12:20 PM #

    We had enough talent that if Roy, GW, Hewitt or K had coached them they’d still be playing in the NCAAT and would not have finished fourth in the ACC this season!

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