Georgia's Conference Winless Streak Continues as Bobby Knight Rumors Heat Up
Georgia (9-13, 0-7) will carry a nine-game losing streak into Saturday's 5 p.m. game at South Carolina. The last time the Bulldogs won a basketball game was Dec. 31 against Kennesaw State.
So the Bulldogs are zero for 2009.
It's been a difficult season already for Georgia after finishing last year as the darlings of the national media following a miraculous four-day run to the SEC Tournament championship which earned them an unlikely bid to the Big Dance.
The misery continued when the conference slate started in early January. Georgia dropped its first five SEC games when athletic director Damon Evans decided he had finally seen enough.
Head coach Dennis Felton was fired on Jan. 29 and replaced on an interim basis by Pete Herrmann. It will cost Georgia $1,483,641.08 to pay Dennis Felton not to coach the Bulldogs’ basketball team, according to documents obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution through an Georgia Open Records request.
The move has made little difference on the scoreboard to this point. Since Felton's ouster, the Bulldogs have suffered back-to-back losses against Alabama and LSU to stay winless (0-7) within the league.
The last SEC team to go winless in conference play is Georgia Tech in 1953-54. The Yellow Jackets went 0-14 against SEC opponents that season.
That’s even older than me, an old dude born in 1955.
The big news this week, of course, has been the possibility of interviewing and hiring Bobby Knight, winner of 902 games and a few national championships, as Georgia’s new head coach of the men’s basketball team.
Knight seems to have interest in coaching in the SEC. He won’t pursue the job, however, and probably would accept it, if offered. It’s not clear if the Bulldogs’ administrators are interested in Bobby Knight.
That’s a shame. Georgia may be blowing an opportunity to get their men’s hoops program into national prominence.
Bobby Knight consistently does and says things in private on a positive level. Knight brings out the student in every student-athlete he coaches at Georgia and significantly increases the graduation rate. And, as the owner of 902 victories and three national championships for starters, he would make each of those players significantly better as a basketball player, too.
Even a University of Georgia student is circulating a petition requesting that UGA President Michael Adams and athletics director Damon Evans interview Bob Knight for the position of men’s basketball coach.
But it probably won’t happen. They will use Knight’s age of 68 as an excuse: that they want to hire a coach for many years.
The real reason is that Michaels Adams is a close friend of the man who fired Knight at Indiana, Myles Brand. Brand is now president of the NCAA. Adams is just too politically correct.
The next move, whatever it might be, would be up to Damon Evans, the director of athletics.
What would I do? I would first offer the job to former Georgia coach Tubby Smith, who is now at Minnesota. He has a successful, short tenure at UGA.
If Tubby turns it down, I would offer the job to Bobby Knight, having him commit to a five-year contract.
Unless they hire a proven winner, Georgia is just going in circles and harming the men’s basketball program.
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