The Final Straw for Gonzo

Ryne E. HancockCorrespondent IMarch 17, 2010

Three decades ago and seven years before I was born, Woody Hayes' legendary career came to an end because of one punch in the 1978 Gator Bowl between Ohio State and Clemson.

Wednesday afternoon, the Bobby Gonzalez era ended in South Orange, a day removed from what was in so many words, an embarrassing end to what had been an already polarizing era of Seton Hall Basketball.

After drawing the fourth seed in the Tempe Regional of the NIT, the Pirates literally laid an egg against Texas Tech and in a scene that I remembered from my teenage years in Whitehaven, Tennessee, Seton Hall's Herb Pope hits Red Raider Darko Cohadarevic in the groin, something I'm certain Pope wouldn't do to my buddy Uros Pavolic.


Aside from the fact that while in places like North Carolina's Carmichael Arena and Arizona State's Wells Fargo Arena was full, the crowd at the Prudential Center, which seats 18,500, the crowd was 1,825.

That's right, 1,825 fans in an 18,500-seat arena.

While that number may not mean much to people like us in Memphis, save for the infamous 2009 football game played two days after my birthday between the University of Memphis and East Carolina when 4,000-plus fans showed up, it sent a message loud and clear to the officials at Seton Hall University.

Something had to be done.

It's one thing to have troubled players in your program, but to have a pattern of behavior coming from your coach that is on the border of insanity as well as people from your former college literally bad-mouthing you in a New York Times column and others blatantly laughing at your antics, then Gonzalez was the poster child for it.

As a coach of a major university, you're not only the ambassador for the basketball program, but also for the school itself.

Too bad Gonzalez didn't get the picture.