Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Iowa State Owes Oregon a Thank-You Note

The Iowa State men's basketball program received more good news early this week.

The University of Oregon hired Creighton's coach Dana Altman to run its program. Creighton then quickly turned to Iowa State's Greg McDermott. Suddenly, the Cyclones' coaching chair was vacant. Most times when another school takes a coach away from your school, you are sad and disappointed. Iowa State was actually happy.

As I wrote in this blog before, McDermott needed to win next season at Iowa State or he was probably out. For whatever reason, the Iowa State basketball future under McDermott looked dismal. And he knew he was in trouble. So his options were to stay at Iowa State essentially under a one-year contract or sign a 10-year deal at Creighton.

McDermott's decision saved the Cyclones some probable embarrassment. They didn't have to fire the coach and admit that the marriage didn't work. They also don't have to buyout the remaining years on his contract. Plus, Iowa State will collect $800,000 from Creighton for McDermott's early departure.

The interesting aspect of McDermott's move is his son, Doug. Now, he will play for his dad at Creighton rather than begin his career at Northern Iowa. The kid was probably good enough to play at Iowa State, but both dad and son were realistic about a long-term relationship there together.

And Iowa State really needs to send its thanks to of all places--the University of Oregon.

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