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Chad Markulics

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MEMBER SINCE   July 24, 2016

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Comment 30 Jan 2019

I hope "sour grapes" isn't the tone that we set, that certainly wasn't the intent. The point of the article was to show that as long as basketball is treated as a profitable afterthought by the athletic department, it will continue to be an afterthought by Penn State fans and college basketball at large. This isn't to say Sandy Barbour hasn't been paying attention - I still agree with her decisions to extend Pat on the two occasions she did so, they were both the correct decisions at the time - but tasked with a possible hiring this summer, how can she be expected to treat it as a major priority? The program is one of two profitable programs this school has, and investing big money (multi-million big) in a new coach is a risky investment at best. That's not to say they can't hire a good coach at the same money Pat got, but it does significantly lessen the attractiveness of the job.

Penn State will be low on the totem pole for any desirable candidate. I've seen a lot of people suggest that Buffalo's Nate Oats is an option. I suppose it's nice to dream big, but this is not an attractive job and he's going to be one of the most sought-after coaches on the market this summer. Because of its status, PSU is going to have to shell out above market value for any popular candidate.

Put yourself in Sandy's shoes - does it make sense to risk $4-5 million on an expensive staff when a) the program is already making money to support the 31 other varsity sports Penn State proudly offers, b) that money can go towards a safer and more productive investment in the football program (which James Franklin continues to rightfully ask for money for) and c) she will never be judged on the performance of the basketball program because not many people care to begin with?

This isn't questioning whether Penn State has the money to do this - this is questioning how much logical sense it makes for Penn State to spend big on a glamorous hire, and questioning why people think there is going to be a big cash splash. There's plenty of evidence to suggest this will be another low-profile hire and not much evidence, if any, to suggest that a big investment into a coach will be made.