Should Things Go Badly Tonight…
Here we are again. On the precipice of another basketball coaching search. Has it really been six years since the infamous “sabotaged” search of 2011? Or 11 years since the bungling circus broadcast in real time on the PackPride message boards?
Time flies, I guess.
Mark Gottfried is done as NC State’s head coach. It’s no longer a question of if, but when. Loose-lipped “sources” who are unfortunately too “close to the situation” have already been spilling their guts to local and national media alike about plans to ditch Mark after the season and the initial efforts to replace him.
It’s all we State fans can talk about since Monday and all this is transpiring with nearly a month to go in the season. State’s home matchup against UNC is tonight and all eyes are on Gottfried’s employment status, not this game. All things considered, the timing could not be worse—an impressive feat given our past track record of poor timing.
I never like playing this “what if” game as a fan of my school, but I can’t shake this: an embarrassing loss to UNC tonight might be the best thing for everyone involved.
It feels gross just typing it, but here’s my rationale: The cat is out of the bag. There will only be more leaks to the press moving forward. The athletic department will only face more questions about his job status and be forced to release more “non-denial denial” press releases about how things will be evaluated at the end of the year. Known potential replacements will field awkward questions and be forced to give awkward answers.
It’s admirable to want to give Mark an opportunity to “rescue” the season with a late run and an ACC Tournament title, but that ain’t happening.
An embarrassing loss tonight gives you an out to pull the trigger now, save some face and let the normal process of a coaching search begin. Midseason moves aren’t ideal, but it may give State a leg up on things as the process of discretely gauging interest begins in earnest. If Yow chooses to use a search firm, as she has in the past, she can employ one in plain view instead of in a clandestine manner (which itself would be a juicy, awkward, leak-able piece of information were Mark still employed).
Bottom line: these last few weeks of a dead-man-walking Gottfried don’t need to happen. They shouldn’t happen. And if getting our ass spanked by Carolina tonight by 50 (again) brings a swift, clean end to the Mark Gottfried chapter and allows us to move on to the next phase, by all means, let it happen.