Those Bad Charleston Fans

From ESPN:

Charleston bought out (Tom) Herrion on June 15 despite his four-year record of 80-38. Because he had four years remaining on his contract, the school paid close to $1 million (his contract initially called for him to receive $250,000 a year for each of the remaining years) to oust him. Herrion received his first check, for $500,000 wired to his account, on Friday (he is due the remaining portion in January 2007). Still, as of Saturday, Herrion said he hasn’t been told why he was fired and is under the impression it wasn’t for cause.


Less than twenty years ago, NC State was one of the ten most prominent basketball programs of the preceeding 40 years in college basketball. The College of Charleston is…well…the College of Charleston.

NC State fans helped finance a $166 million 20,000 seat arena that stands as one of the country’s finest for the Wolpack’s competition in the nation’s premier basketball conference. The College of Charleston plays in a glorified high school gym that cost $5.4 million for their battles in the Southern Conference..

Yet, NC State fans have continuously been castigated in the local and national media for supposedly “running away” Herb Sendek?

The double standard never ceases to amaze me.

This is the same Herb Sendek who CHOSE on his own free will to leave Raleigh for another job that guaranteed 300% more pay than his current pay!

Sendek had been on the proverbial “hot seat” with Wolfpack fans since he was unprecedently retained by Lee Fowler after five consecutive seasons of NOT making the NCAA Tournament. After five years of “breaking even” by manufacturing entrance into the NCAA Tournament with no real signature season, Sendek ‘coincidentally’ chose THIS YEAR to leave Raleigh — before a season where his squad was depleted of talent and not projected to make the NCAA Tournament even BEFORE Cedric Simmons’ decision to enter the NBA draft. (In fact, Sendek left the cupboard so bare that ESPN’s Joe Lunardi did not even list the Pack as a program that he “considered” for a 2007 NCAA Tournament bid in his first Bracketology for next season).

Just for review…NC State fans are “bad” for (supposedly) “chasing off” a coach who CHOSE to leave for more money prior to a season where his recruiting and coaching created what was going to be his worst team in at least seven years.

But, Charleston fans get no criticism for buying out the contract of a coach who won over 66% of his games?

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19 Responses to Those Bad Charleston Fans

  1. old13 07/02/2006 at 11:01 AM #

    Why can’t we “chase off” Foulup as well!

  2. jwrenn29 07/02/2006 at 2:10 PM #

    Ugh. Indeed it is NOT a rational world.

  3. 4NCSU 07/02/2006 at 4:14 PM #

    I get tired of the media “piling on” on NC State fans. Fowler and others made a bad choice to keep Herb in ’01 and they reaped the consequences of their actions: unrest and lack of support for Sendek over the next five tumultuous seasons. If Carolina hadn’t made it to a Final Four in ten seasons and lost to Duke by 24 points in Chapel Hill in their coach’s tenth year, what would the media be saying? Sure, State is not Carolina. But we’ve made two bad chioces in Robinson and Sendek. Robinson was just a flat out bad coach. And Sendek, while decent, was in the same category as Les in that he never won the ACC. It was all I could do to stomach Herb’s defiant, insulated, stupid expectations for hisself and the program. He just could not and did not connect well with the fans. He kissed the right boosters’ asses and was able to buy himself some leverage, despite doing nothing to merit any kind of real long-term support from the grassroots fans. That is, win a title of some sort, 26-28 games one year, make it to a Final Four. Something like that.

    Sendek was a better coach than Robinson. Decent to get to five NCAAs. However, he was not on the level of Valvano. And the sorry way he dealt with fans earned him quickly their displeasure.

    It certainly would have been better had Herb been let go in ’01, but he was not. A bad decision was made. The wrong decision was made.

    He knew next year, in ’06-’07, the team was going to struggle and he would have been treated more harshly than ever before. He got out because the rift between him and the fans was never going to get better short of: 1. him winning the ACC or 2. him quitting State. He chose 2. This could have gone on for 5-10 years had Herb not resigned.

    I don’t have a lot of strong feelings about Mike O’Cain. He wasn’t defiant towards fans. He didn’t promote this “It’s not all about winning” stance like Sendek did. Yeah, I remember MOC as a mediocre coach, but I don’t have strong feelings about him. I didn’t dislike his attitude.

    I wish nothing bad on Sendek right now. But I didn’t like him as State’s coach because of his mindset about winning, championships, and the fans.

    And I just could care less about the media. I don’t care if they say we’re the worse college fans in the country (We’re not.). We just wanted the program to win big once in a while and Herb didn’t do it. According to the Holes and the media minions, we’re just supposed to accept the pecking order of : 1. Duke or UNC, 2. Duke or UNC, 3-12: Insert rest of ACC teams here.

    I don’t buy it. Despite seventeen years of doing nothing in terms of winning the ACC, I believe NC State can occasionally, once every four or five years, be really good and have a chance to be no. 1 in the conference.

    I hope Sid can get us there. But if he can’t (Not saying he won’t), after four or five years, we make another change until we have the right man who can win big.

  4. tractor57 07/02/2006 at 6:39 PM #

    And now they have Bobby Cremins to kick around – interesting turn of events in my book.

  5. tractor57 07/02/2006 at 6:42 PM #

    It is a gross oversimplification to say Les Robinson was a bad coach. Even with Foulup present things are a lot different in Raleigh now as compared to then. Actually Robinson’s teams more often than not overachieved. Remember, he was working under very restrictive academic policies – his job was to “right the ship” after the Valvano era (although I never knew why the ship needed righting other than a big smear job by the N&O and CBS.

  6. Wulfpack 07/02/2006 at 8:13 PM #

    To suggest that Robinson was anything but a stain on our program is crazy. We were horrible under his direction, the perennial kings of the “play-in” game. Sorry, but I just don’t understand this thought process.

    “Sendek was a better coach than Robinson. Decent to get to five NCAAs. However, he was not on the level of Valvano.”

    Was Sendek really better than Robinson? Could have fooled me. Five consecutive NCAA Tournaments at this day and age, a trip to the Sweet 16. Surely Les has more to boast about….Do you know how hard it is to qualify for 5 consecutive NCAA Tournaments? Have you been paying attention to what has happened at Maryland and Wake? And how about Georgia Tech? Or UVA, or Clemson, or Florida State, or Virginia Tech?

    If you haven’t been paying attention, Jimmy V left our program a long, long, long time ago. Let’s just all pretend it’s 1980, that’ll get us somewhere quickly. Hate to tell you but the comparisons don’t really work today. I’m not going to sit around and take Sendek bashing time and time again. What a thankless bunch some of you really are. A “decent” coach. To suggest that the media is responsible for concocting this notion that NCSU fans are, well, frankly disagreeable, is nuts. We must all look ourselves in the mirror and figure this out.

  7. tractor57 07/02/2006 at 8:36 PM #

    Yes, we were horrible under Les’s direction and I agree Herb did a lot to help revive the program. Again I don’t think all the negatives of the Robinson era can be laid at Les’s feet without realizing that there were elements that made a concerted effort to destroy the program. Was Les as good a coach as Herb – never. I have nothing but respect for what Herb did in his first 5 years but the program did not progress after that time, in fact I think it regressed.
    Les served under a very difficult time and I think he did a good job under the constraints he worked under.
    I ask why should we accept anything less than the best? That’s why Les was replaced with Herb and Herb with Lowe. Is Lowe an improvement – we shall see but at least he doesn’t go out of his was to antagonize the fan.

  8. class of 74 07/02/2006 at 10:07 PM #

    The largest difference in Sendek and Robinson were the restrictions placed on the program immediately following the Valvano era that held Robinson and our program down. If left to compete on exactly the same terms there’s not much difference at all. I am convinced this thought is shared by most Wolfpacker’s over 35 years of age who saw the Valvano era and saw Robinson while he was at ETSU.

  9. WolfInVolCountry 07/03/2006 at 9:15 AM #

    At worst Les was a poor coach. At best he took a bullet for his Alma Matter. We all loved and respect Jimmy V, so for someone to come in and climb into his shoes… well, it was a no-winner. Les was a placeholder that helped us “serve time” for the bogus transgressions heaped upon us.

    Yes, his teams were crappy, but he held the fort for a school from which he graduated and loved.

  10. WolfInVolCountry 07/03/2006 at 9:18 AM #

    ^ OOPS… it matters, thus it is ALMA MATER

  11. PBdafan 07/03/2006 at 10:16 AM #

    Amen Wulfpack. The man is still only 42 years old, and has his best coaching years ahead of him. His accomplishnments to date are excellent, and I’m convinced ’07 was going to be the true breakout year everyone was hoping for. The program is now in shambles because he left, not the reason why he left. Get real people. Does anyone honestly think if the fans were truly supportive he wouldn’t still be here? To say the fans didn’t drive him out is total crap. Okay, you’ve got what you wanted. Lets hope it won’t be too horrific.

    SFN: You have GOT to be a parody. With that said, please make sure that you read this link so that you won’t be surprised when some of your stuff disappears. Thanks so much!

    “we aren’t interested in stupid comments eating up our bandwidth”

  12. class of 74 07/03/2006 at 10:40 AM #

    I know it’s a holiday weekend, but PBdafan you’ve got to stop drinking so much of the hard stuff you’ve fried too many brain cells. Just relax in a few short years Sid and staff will make you forget the past 15 years of nightmares and you’ll find out what a real basketball program is really like!

  13. 4NCSU 07/03/2006 at 4:23 PM #

    tractor57 and Wulfpack, I stand by my comments. Plain and simple.

    Robinson was a bad coach. I recognize that he was under restrictions. I recognize he took one for the team. But I also know he lost to Campbell, Davidson, and worst of all, Florida Atlantic in ’94. A 2-21 team in their first year of D-1 ball! State led by 16 only to lose by 4. It has to be the low point of all time in the history of NC State basketball. Even an average coach wouldn’t lose to FAU. Robinson was just a bad coach. Even with the restrictions, we should lose to mid-major teams.

    Wulfpack, you’re in the minority on Sendek. Sendek will slowly now fade into the past as with all ex-NC State coaches, but he was probably the most divisive coach ever in NC State history. Wulfpack, Valvano is a part of our history and Sendek failed to live up to what Sloan and Jimmy V did. People are going to compare any coach with what we’ve done in the past. That’s just a natural thing to do. Sendek was arrogant, aloof, divisive, stubborn, and way out of touch with the fans. Now, as of July 2, 2006, I’m surprised ‘ol Herbie lasted as long as he did. Without some big boosters pulling some strings, he would have been gone before now.

    Herb stayed too long. But we can’t correct the past. We just have to look forward now.

    Thank you to Statefansnation for all the work you did concerning new direction in the basketball program. Herb was pretty good, decent, whatever “average” description you want to use, but a lot of us knew six years ago that we would NEVER win an ACC title under his lack of charismatic leadership.

  14. tractor57 07/03/2006 at 4:41 PM #

    4NCSU I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree about Les. We both agree that the program was in the pits during that time and Les was the coach, so from that view Les did a horrible job of coaching. I’m just not so sure he was hired to coach – that is the crux of our disagreement.
    Regardless, now we have Sid and I think we will see some great improvement as time goes by.

  15. GoldenChain 07/04/2006 at 5:59 PM #

    All I can say is imagine what they would have said if we hired Marshall then he backed out to stay at Winthrop!

    As far as the bashing State has taken, the best response is to be wildly successful, that will put an end to it however as long as our AD is under you-know-who I’m not sure ‘wildly successful’ will ever be said.

  16. Glen Sudhop54 07/04/2006 at 6:56 PM #

    Les was not a good coach. A great guy, but not a good coach. However, all those fellow Wolfpackers who seem to only judge the Pack on how they fare against the Heels SHOULD consider him the greatest coach in State history. They were 5-7 against UNC under Les….a winning percentage that Sendek,Sloan,Valvano all would have killed for. The Heels had great teams then too, including an Ncaa Champion team. Of course Les didnt beat that team but his record against the heels was more than respectable considering the gigantic advantage the Heels had in the talent department.

    So, the lesson here is don’t solely judge the team on how they do against UNC. If you do, then how in the world can you continue to support Chuck (the imposter) Amato?

  17. redfred2 07/04/2006 at 11:29 PM #

    I know I, for one, didn’t feel like the players were held back from giving their all on the basketball court during the Les Robinson years. The fact also remains that there was some major improvement in a few players during his time at NCSU. The Robinson years weren’t good, and most times not even really tolerable, but they didn’t leave me with the knowing feeling that we really could, and should have, done a hell of lot better after every game.

    Les Robinson was a nice guy and good for the university in the long run. But a good coach? Not hardly. His losses made more sense and made them less painful in the end. Robinson better than Sendek? Maybe not on the court, but I wouldn’t argue that, it’s worthless.

    Who was better for NCSU in the overall picture? Les Robinson wins hands down.

  18. RickJ 07/05/2006 at 10:45 AM #

    ^”So, the lesson here is don’t solely judge the team on how they do against UNC. If you do, then how in the world can you continue to support Chuck (the imposter) Amato?”

    Amato’s record against UNC-Chapel Hill is 3 – 3. Granted, it should be 4 -2 but it is still better than our historical average.

  19. Glen Sudhop54 07/05/2006 at 7:03 PM #

    Actually it should be 5-1. A well coached team would have won the past 2 years against UNC. The only loss should have been that game where Julius Peppers and David Thornton dominated on defense. There is no excuse to have lost the last 2 games against the Heels. Of course, if we’re such hot stuff we shouldnt have lost the last 2 WF games at Groves. Shoot, we didnt even have an easy time against Duke when we used to play them. However, Amato’s teams have always always been competitive. Rarely do they lose by more than 10 points, Win or lose, they’re never boring!

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