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Go read Vince Grippi this morning

Posted by Jeff Nusser on April 9, 2008

If you don’t make the Spokesman-Review’s SportsLink a regular part of your reading, make sure you cruise on over there and check out this piece by Vince Grippi this morning.

Normally, Grippi just writes a little bit of analysis on different things, then passes along a bunch of links. This morning, though, he wrote an extended post on his thoughts on Tony Bennett. It pretty much fleshes out a lot of his personal perspective and feelings about Bennett and the coaching carousel, which he has been hinting about the entire season:

“It’s a vicious circle born out of the money college coaches make today and the vagabond existence most of them lead. But Bennett is about as far from a vagabond as you can find, and the money? Well, he is still shocked anyone would want to pay him nearly a million dollars a year to do his job. And those two elements are what most in the national media, who try to play kingmaker, don’t understand. They think Bennett is like everyone else, ready to jump at a ‘better job’ that offers more money and a chance to win the national championship.

“They don’t get a guy who thinks about his family first, second, third, ad infinitum. They don’t get a guy who is more than satisfied with the money he’s earning. They don’t get a guy who wants to win a national title, but at this point in his life welcomes the challenge of trying to win one with a certain type of player, players he can attract to Pullman. He’s different than the coaches they are used to dealing with, so they try to shove him into the coach-form they are used to. And it doesn’t work.”

It’s a great, great piece that reiterates what I’ve been saying ad nauseam this season: That Tony Bennett is different from other coaches, that his priorities aren’t the same as other coaches, and that this constant media speculation is born out of most reporters’ complete inability to comprehend that. My opinion was based solely off of outsider observations, just reading quotes and knowing a little bit about his value system. Grippi’s is based off of actual conversations, both on and off the record.

Will the national media ever believe Bennett? Probably not.

But is it more important that the national media believe him, or that we believe him? I’ll go for the latter. And that’s good enough for me.


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