OK, kids, the following story is so appalling that we had to drop our plans to sit in a saloon all day and watch cricket and rush to the office to post it.
Basketball coach Bobby Gonzalez, fired by Seton Hall University basically for being a jerk, is now suing the school for violating its contract! Gonzalez claims he was fired without cause and is owed two years of salary. His lawyer says the school left him no choice.
Do you know what it takes for a major Division I program to fire a coach? Bobby Knight, after all, threw a chair and still kept his job.
“Without being able to define it, we have an expectation that we’re going to be represented well,” said Patrick Hobbs, the Seton Hall law school dean overseeing the university’s athletic department, in the Star-Ledger. “And we were not being represented in a way that the university holds as the ideal.”
Some Gonzalez lowlights: more than 20 technical fouls at Seton Hall; blamed a loss on a benchwarmer who got into a game for two minutes; got into a near fistfight with a former assistant; got into a dispute with a campus security guard. But even though he was the only coach ever suspended by the Big East Conference for being obnoxious on the sidelines and criticizing the refs, the school still handed him a contract extension.
Beyond that, one of his players was arrested for driving the wrong way down the highway and smashing into another driver. Another player was arrested for armed robbery. A third player, with a DWI arrest in his past, was ejected from a game for twice sucker punching an opponent in the balls.
At his previous post at Manhattan College, Gonzalez won, but he left behind a lot of hard feelings. The athletic director there called it “unprofessional or selfish behavior.” A former player called him “the craziest person” he’d ever met, and said, “Even though we won, it was hard to enjoy basketball.” Another player said he cared only about his career, not his players.
The ironic thing is that if Gonzalez had been winning at Seton Hall, getting into the NCAA tournament, he probably would have kept his job, despite his behavior.