Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Alford-To-Indiana Rumors Still Flying -- Latest Has It That Our Guy Steve Was Given Permission to Talk to Indiana, And That's Why Mike Davis Got 'Flu'

The Internet chat lines are buzzing about the Steve Alford-to-Indiana coaching rumors, and you can take it to the bank that this won't be the last of them until (a) Alford says he's staying at Iowa or (b) Indiana says it's not interested in him.

Here's the latest nugget:

"Hi, Ron,

"You knew it was bound to happen, so here is a summary from a fellow who is able to post on the 'premium forum' of the busiest Hawkeye forum. In other words, he has to pay for it.

"Some guy who apparently has legitimate connections within the athletic department related a story he heard about Alford. According to this guy, Alford has requested and been granted permission to talk to Indiana. Somehow, this got out to Mike Davis, who in protest, stayed home sick with the 'flu' and followed that with a comment about how Indiana needs to hire one of their own.

"According to this guy, this is apparently close to being a done deal. I wouldn't bother passing this along except for the fact that even the moderator [of the Iowa website] is vouching for the guy's sources. He also says he has heard from sources inside Indiana who are reporting the same.

"The poster followed up by writing that he made a mistake -- that it was Indiana who initiated the contact. And, of course, that would make sense. Alford could not make first contact, as per the rules.

"Ron, he was just passing along second-hand information but, in my 10 years on the forums, the fellows who claim to have inside info are about 75 percent correct. Apparently, the guy who is quoted is highly-regarded.

"Alford could crash in the next few weeks. I'm not sure even that would preclude him from becoming the next IU coach. Indiana fans believe he could recruit much better in Indiana.

"As for me, I hope he makes it...to Indiana, that is.

"Best regards,"

Mark Robinson
Valencia, CA

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: I immediately wondered about the "flu" that Indiana coach Mike Davis [left] had on the day Iowa played in Bloomington -- and won, 70-67. Surely, I couldn't have been the only guy wondering about Davis' "flu," but it seemed every reporter who was involved with the game or was interested in collegiate basketball --including ESPN's Andy Katz -- swallowed Mike's explanation for his absence from the game. I'm sure ol' Mike was sick -- no doubt sick of hearing about Alford taking his job. In a way, you've almost got to feel sorry for Davis. It was difficult enough to follow Bobby Knight in the Indiana job, and he certainly seems like one of the more insecure, emotional coaches to come down the Big Ten trail in a long time. He has already resigned at Indiana, but will finish the season. In this age of the Internet, there are going to be plenty of rumors pertaining to Alford [right] and whatever team he'll be coaching next season. Some will be outrageous, some not so outrageous. Meanwhile, there's a sizable number of Iowa fans who have the same feelings as Mark Robinson -- they're wishing Indiana officials the best of luck in their pursuit of Alford].