December 02, 2009
Last night, Tom Crean ended Indiana's 80-68 loss to Maryland in a huff. He appeared at one point to be saying something to Maryland coach Gary Williams, and it was clear ESPN 2 announcers Sean McDonough and Bill Raftery were just as confused about the gesture as the rest of the audience.
Who else is torn? Because on one hand, Crean is doing the upstanding thing. Good sportsmanship precludes chanting profanities at opposing players, no matter how much you may hate them. (I have a feeling Maryland's Greivis Vasquez was a prime target; he was jawing in his typical Greivis way for much of the night.) And he's also doing the smart thing; acting huffy about naughty words -- asserting Indian's superiority in this regard -- is exactly the sort of thing his aging, good-old-days, money-puking booster base wants to hear.
On the other hand, though ... it happens. They're college kids. They swear sometimes. After the game is over and the swearing subsides, many of them will return to their dorms and illicitly consume alcohol and other substances. This is what college kids do. And it happens all over: It was just a few years ago that Maryland's own fan base resorted to chants of "F**k you, J.J." almost anytime Duke All-American J.J. Redick touched the ball.
In away, Crean ends up looking like an out of touch scold. Which, again, might be exactly what he's going for.