April 7, 2010

Tim Curley: Everything is Fine. Everything is just FINE!

Most of you are aware by now of Tim Curley's recent interview with the Centre Daily Times in which he reaffirmed his support of Ed DeChellis and the general direction the program is heading in. The general responses themselves are not particularly disturbing, as one would not expect Curley to say anything bad in public about a coach that he just decided to retain. Rather, the real disturbing part is the flawed reasoning Curley uses to convince himself and the fanbase that Penn State basketball is a sleeping giant thisclose to waking up.
Centre Daily Times:What are your goals for the program?

Tim Curley:I think the goals for the program are real simple. One, like any college basketball team, we want to win our conference championship and we want to win the national championship. Realistically, we want to be in the upper echelon of the Big Ten and we want to be in the NCAA tournament every year. Because once you get in the tournament, you never know what’s going to happen, as evidenced by this year. That’s where we ought to be shooting for year-in and year-out.

And...We've come nowhere close to achieving those said goals. Aside from a three-way tie for 4th place in the Big Ten in 2009, PSU under Ed DeChellis has only twice avoided finishing in the basement of the Big Ten and even those two finishes weren't exactly 'upper echelon' (7th in 2008, 8th in 2006). I also hope Curley's suggestion PSU 'ought to be shooting for' NCAA bids is merely a poorly worded way of saying that the goal every year has been to make the NCAA tournament. Then again, this IS Tim Curley we're talking about, boys and girls.

CDT:The program has had some trouble meeting those goals. Do you feel like you’re moving toward that?

TC:Obviously, we haven’t met those goals, and I feel like we’re very, very close to getting there. We’ve had years — the year Danny Morrissey got hurt (2006; Penn State finished 15-15). I think if he would have stayed healthy that year, we would have been in the tournament. I think the year Geary Claxton got hurt (2008; Penn State finished 15-16), we had a good shot at being in the tournament. I thought last year (2009; Penn State was 27-11) we should have been in the tournament.

First, let's give credit where credit is due to Curley for not making any excuses regarding 2007's 2-14 Big Ten campaign, which was as god-awful as the record makes it seem (Not to mention, losses in the non-conference slate that year to powerhouses such as Stony Brook and SE Louisiana). He also has a legitimate point with 2009 as one could argue that the selection committee chose a lesser-deserving Arizona team over PSU simply because of Arizona's rich tournament history. The rest of the response though, could be described as 'wishful thinking' in the very least and 'historical revisionism' at worst. As great of a 3-point threat as Danny Morrissey was, to suggest that a role-player type such as him would've been the difference between barely making the NIT and making it to the NCAA tournament is downright asinine.

Not to mention, the 2008 team that lost Geary Claxton didn't exactly have the greatest NCAA tournament resume right before losing him to a torn ACL: PSU had their typical November classic meltdown losing to the likes of South Carolina, Rider, and UCF, none of whom were resume-boosters. Then of course, you have this year's oh-so-close 3-15 campaign where PSU blew two 16-point leads and squandered other close games, which combined with a lack of any seniors on the roster gave plenty of kerosene for Curley to dump on his already flaming excuse bonfire.

Another question mentions how the basketball program turned a profit of approximately $3.3 million last season. While the answer offered wasn't anything to scoff at (In a nutshell: Curley feels the economy sucks, and we can do better than those figures), it did set the stage for this gem of a response:

CDT:You upgraded the basketball offices last year and have made similar upgrades during the last few years. Does DeChellis have all the resources in place that he needs to win?

TC:We think we have all the pieces of the puzzle in place. Can you have more? Absolutely. Could we use another basketball practice gym and a larger weight room and a couple of those things? Yeah, those are things that we could always improve upon. But we think that what we have right now is comparable to other schools that are in our situation.

Ground Control to Major Curley: MEN'S BASKETBALL MADE OVER 3 MILLION DOLLARS LAST YEAR ALONE. That figure probably doesn't even include the money funneled in from the ginormous piggy bank that is the football program. You claim that we could use an upgrade in practice facilities and weight room...SPEND SOME OF THAT GODDAMN MONEY. A quality Athletic Director never settles for the status quo, especially when that status quo involves a program that's only been to one NCAA tournament in the last decade.

Speaking of the status quo:

CDT:You have the motto “Success with Honor.” DeChellis has done a good job with the “honor” part — he runs a clean program, does a lot for the community. Has that given him more leeway or more time to build the success than a lot of other coaches might have had?

TC:I think at Penn State, we value people that do things the right way. As I said earlier, I like the way he runs his program. He’s just a great representative of this university. From that standpoint, you want to try to be patient and support coaches that bring those values to the table every single day. Both Ed and I understand the importance of winning at this level, so that’s certainly a big component of all this. But there’s other aspects of it — he’s a great fit for the university, and that’s why I brought him here. I thought he could do all those things that we could all be proud of. So we’re going to continue to work real hard to try to improve the “Ws” and continue to support him with the overall program that he’s running, because I think it’s one of the best in the country.

And there you have it: Curley's delusional statements in that last paragraph explain the reason why at any other school BUT Penn State, a coach would be shit-canned for sporting a 95-123 overall, 34-93 Big Ten record, one winning season, and ZERO NCAA appearances in seven years. And please, spare me the talk of the NIT title: If you think that it's something to be overtly proud of, go root for some Ivy League school where winning is secondary to being a great representative of your school. Not to mention, that last bolded sentence is the most offensive, insulting, piece of drivel ever uttered: One of the best programs in the country? Perhaps if by 'best' he means 'best at consistently sucking' then you can disregard my previous comment.

What makes this even more frustrating is the fact that the two schools that beat PSU in the Charleston Classic this past season: UNC-Wilmington and Tulane, both made coaching changes due to years of poor performances. Keep in mind, neither of those schools play in major conferences either. The AD's at those schools apparently demand actual results, unlike Curley, who gives off the old Pee-Wee baseball mantra of: We'll get 'em next time...Who wants an orange slice?

Unfortunately, there's absolutely nothing we can do. We all just have to be a little more patient because in Tim Curley's universe we're all drivers, we're all winners, things are gonna change, he can feel it!


  1. Did we really think Curley was going to say anything other than this? He's in damage control mode right now, expect more of the same.

  2. It's not enough to just be in the running, Ed needs to make the damn tournament next year (particularly so if the 96-team expansion starts next year and not in 2014). Also, what's irking me most about Curley are his suggestions that we're "one of the best programs in the country" and his lack of desire to upgrade our facilities and make them amongst the best in the country, even though we have the money to do so. Shows what a giant cheapskate he truly is.