Friday, March 31, 2006

More Photos Of Kyle Orton's Drinking Habits Make the Rounds. It's Time for Someone to Get This Iowa Kid Some Professional Help for His Problems

The Kyle Orton situation is getting sadder and more ridiculous all the time.

In my e-mail this morning was a note from my West Coast Correspondent that said, "Orton is at it again."

Then there was a link to photos.

More pictures of Orton drinking.

Orton is the former Southeast Polk High School and Purdue quarterback who now is trying to stay in the National Football League with the Chicago Bears.

He was the Bears' starter for a while last season, but was on the bench when the year ended.

Photos of him drinking in an Iowa City bar circulated on the Internet last fall, and now there's a new set of pictures making the rounds.

They were published by "Deadspin" and I'm sure other Internet sites, and are at the top of this column.

"Deadspin" writes: "For the record, we admire Kyle's attitude about drunk pictures of him showing up on the Web, saying essentially, 'Hey, whaddya gonna do? Doesn't affect me.' If only more athletes were like Kyle and didn't take themselves so darn seriously. Of course, other athletes don't show up in as many drunk pictures on the Web as Kyle does, either."


I think the young man needs professional help.

Very soon.

* * *

"Doug from Davenport," not his real name, had a question:

"Can the Fresno State women's coach be a candidate for the Iowa job when Alford leaves?"

The coach -- actually, the former coach at Fresno State -- is Stacy Johnson-Klein [wearing the red outfit], who is involved in some interesting legal action with her former employer.

"Evidently, she follows former Fresno State men's coach Tark the Shark [Jerry Tarkanian] in the Hall of Shame," writes Mark Robinson.

Not so fast, Mark.

Actually, a number of Iowa fans in addition to "Doug from Davenport" have been wondering if Johnson-Klein might be on Iowa's short list when Alford finally finds a place that'll hire him.

* * *

This e-mail is from "Midwest Guy:"


"Whoa! Wrestling coach? We thought we were going look for a new basketball coach? Oh well, we're stuck with that guy...for now.

"I know this is a stretch, but consider this as a sales pitch for a wrestling coach. Bob Bowlsby would be foolhardy not to place a phone call to Waverly, Ia., and ask Wartburg College for permission to talk to Jim Miller, or at least consider him. Last month, Coach Miller guided the Knights to their 5th Division III wrestling national championship in 10 years.

"Miller and Bowlsby have crossed paths at UNI. Miller was an assistant to Don Briggs on the wrestling team, Bowlsby was the athletic director. Miller left UNI to become the head coach at Wartburg in 1991, after legendary West Waterloo coach Bob Siddens served as interim coach upon the death of Dick Walker in an auto accident in November, 1990.

"Jim Miller has been nothing short but amazing during his tenure at Wartburg. Over 100-plus consecutive conference dual wins, 14 straight Iowa Conference titles, and 5 Division III national titles, is nothing to sneeze at. When Don Briggs was let go at UNI in 1997, Miller interviewed with his alma mater, but decided to stay at Wartburg.

"Miller has benefitted from having a consistent coaching staff, from Matt and Steve Walker [Dick Walker's sons], to several conference champions and national place-winners such as current assistants Chris Ortner and Nick Mitchell. Miller's influence during his stay at UNI convinced one of his former Panther wrestlers, Dave Malacek, to join the staff several years ago.

"Recruiting might be a challenge, since we're talking about the Big 10 and not the IIAC. Nevertheless, Wartburg has had several wrestlers transfer from, ironically, Big 10 schools: Tom Smith [Iowa], a two time national champion; and two-time placewinner Josh Dodd [Minnesota]". More importantly, recruiting aside, he's an excellent teacher and a great individual who not only motivates on the mat, he does it in the classroom as well.

"Oh, did I mention he's a fellow East Waterloo alum?

"I think Miller will look at the opening at Iowa, but the question will be is he ready for a new challenge at this stage of his life? Maybe not. His son T.J., who placed 4th in nationals, will return as a junior next winter. Coach is very happy and content to stay in Waverly, with the construction of the new Wartburg-Waverly Wellness Center under way.

"We'll see what happens in the coaching search.

"One last add: Mike Davis said that Indiana would be better off with one of their own. Boy, talk about insert foot in mouth, thanks to AD Rick Greenspan! Sometimes it's better not to say anything."

Midwest Guy
Des Moines

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Jim Miller sounds like a winner to me. Bowlsby is a former wrestler himself, so I know he'll know where to go to find the guy who get Iowa back to where it belongs in that sport].

* * *

A guy tells me that Kevin Evans' last day at the Waterloo/Cedar Falls Courier is today.

"He's leaving to join an old friend in the real estate business in Waterloo," the guy says of Evans, who is a former sports editor at the Courier.

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: I enjoyed working with Evans in press boxes around the nation in the past, and I wish him well in his future endeavors].

* * *

An e-mail from "Docile of Des Moines":

Ron, God, what a time for sports!! Give Pollard credit, the man has balls and is not afraid to move forward. S’pose the NAACP will be on his case because the only guys he canned -— so far -- are black? Any chance Bowlsby will take a clue and can Alford?

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: I'll tell you this. If I worked at Iowa State -- whether I was a janitor or a decision-maker -- I'd be looking over my shoulder these days. I don't know anything about Pollard's balls, and really don't want to know anything about them, but don't look for me to be predicting that the firings at Ames are over].

* * *

From "Eric of Eastern Iowa:"

"Cneck out the photo of Jim Zalesky at the top of Page One in Thursday's Iowa City Press-Citizen. The caption says, "UI fired Bowlsby on Wednesday."

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Oh, well, give 'em a little credit at that paper. At least they had half of the story right. Zalesky, the wrestling coach, was the guy fired by Bowlsby, the athletic director].

* * *

Anna Benson [pictured in her baseball outfit, complete with her bat], the outgoing wife of Baltimore Orioles pitcher Kris Benson, is filing for divorce.

She probably figures her husband, who was traded in January from the New York Mets to the Orioles, is holding back her modeling career.

Benson had a 10-8 record and a 4.31 earned-run average last season.

Despite those numbers, the righthander was dumped by the Mets. There has been speculation that the deal was perpetuated by the behavior of Anna, who has posed topless, has her own website and publicly discussed intimate details of their sex life.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Ruth and Marv Hiddleson Of West Des Moines Find Out That There Are Hawkeye Fans Everywhere -- Even When They Go To Islands In the Caribbean

You may remember my friends, Ruth and Marv Hiddleson of West Des Moines.

They're very nice neighbors and bigtime University of Iowa sports fans.

They not only have season tickets to the Hawkeyes' football and basketball games, but for about 10 years have had what they call a "Hawkeye Room" in their home.

The room is the half-bath on the main level, and it's filled with Hawkeye memorabilia.

I asked if there was anything new in the room since I last saw it.

"We have pictures of this season's basketball team, and an autographed picture of [Iowa guard] Jeff Horner and I that was taken last June," Ruth said. "We also have pictures of Senior Night at Carver-Hawkeye Arena this season."

[Marv and Ruth are pictured at the top of this column while attending the March 4 Iowa-Wisconsin game -- which the Hawkeyes won, 59-44].

Ruth and Marv e-mailed me a while back when the rest of us were freezing our nubbins, or something, off.

It was January and the Hiddlesons were in the Caribbean islands of Barbados and St. Lucia.

They were part of a St. Olaf College tour. The Hiddlesons' daughter, Le Ann Hiddleson Finger, is a 1985 St. Olaf graduate who now is the men's and women's golf coach at the school in Northfield, Minn. Ruth is a 1958 St. Olaf graduate.

"The tour was appealing to us because we are longtime friends of Kay and Mary Kramer," Marv said. "Mary is the U.S. ambassador to Barbados [pictured on the right] and six other Caribbean islands.

"Kay Kramer and I were college classmates at the University of Iowa in 1957-58. Kay was president of the Hillcrest men's dormitory. Also from 1956-58, while in college, I was resident hall advisor at Hillcrest. Those were the 'Fabulous Five' basketball days at Iowa.

"Over the years, we have kept in contact, not only through Rotary, but we were instrumental in organizing in the Des Moines area the Golden Circle Iowa Alumni Club for the University of Iowa.

"The St. Olaf trip was appealing to Ruth and I. Since the Kramers arrived in Barbados two years ago, we said we would like to visit them in Bridgetown."

Marv said he and Ruth left Minneapolis Jan. 5 for five days in Bridgetown and another five days in St. Lucia.

"At that point, being away from Iowa and the basketball team, Hawkeye scoes were dominant in the Hiddlesons' minds," Marv told me.

When the Hiddlesons returned, Marv wrote about the trip for the April edition of the Iowa Alumni magazine.

Here's his story:

One of the current unbelievable basketball victories this winter was Iowa trouncing undefeated Illinois in Iowa City on January 7th, 63-48. More amazing was how news of the victory traveled to Iowa fans who were not at the game, not even in the States!

Krista Kramer Hartman, 1989 graduate in Leisure Studies, now lives in Chicago. She was so excited after watching the victory, that she called her father, Kay Kramer (1958 BA), who lives in Bridgetown, Barbados. Kay's wife, Mary Barnett Kramer, formerly of Iowa City, who graduated in 1957 with a degree in Piano Performance and 1974 MA in Adult Education, currently is Ambassador to Barbados and six other Caribbean Islands. She was appointed by President George W. Bush in late 2003 and is in her third year. She too savoured the victory.

As planned, the Kramers met Marv Hiddleson (1959 BSC in Accounting) and wife Ruth the next day at breakfast in Bridgetown. The first thing Kay told Marv was that Iowa beat Illinois. Knowing Illinois was undefeated at this point (14-0), this was a major accomplishment for the Hawks. The Hiddlesons who were vacationing in Barbados, also visited the Kramers.

Hiddlesons continued their vacation to St. Lucia, and flew to San Juan, Puerto Rico. While waiting for their luggage in San Juan, Marv struck up a conversation with Steven Aanes, a pharmacist, from New London, IA who was wearing his Hawkeye jacket. He was interested in hearing the Iowa score, too. Another Iowa graduate Robert L. Hammond, Jr. BA in 1974 was shocked to hear the Iowa score, and down right delightfully happy which prompted a spontaneous celebration by the small Hawkeye Huddle at the San Juan airport.

(A sign reading "Absolutely NO photography" prevented capturing this Kodak Moment.)

Further visiting with Mr. Hammond revealed he is an attorney and also the mayor of Blue Earth, MN. Hammond has a local radio talk show each Monday afternoon for 25 minutes to discuss happenings in Blue Earth. In an attempt to turn Gopher fans into Hawkeye fans, Robert begins his weekly program with "The Iowa Fight Song." It just doesn't get any better than this.

Yes, Hawks are everywhere and keeping up to date on the scores takes many angles.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Alford-Haters Come Down With a Serious Case Of Depression After Indiana Turns Its Back On Our Guy Steve and Hires Oklahoma's Sampson for Coaching Job

It's difficult to tell where there's more depression today -- in Steve Alford's home or in the rest of the state of Iowa.

Indiana cut all remaining ties with the Bobby Knight basketball era by hiring Kelvin Sampson of Oklahoma as its new coach.

A number of Iowans were hoping that Indiana athletic director Rick Greenspan would step up to the plate and choose Steve Alford for the job.

Alford was a standout player for Knight at Indiana, and many basketball observers around the nation figured he'd be a natural to succeed Mike Davis as the Hoosiers' coach.

I mean, Alford is Mr. Basketball in the state of Indiana.

But I guess not in Greenspan's mind.

Alford didn't even get an interview out of Greenspan, and now is all but certain to return for an eighth season at Iowa in 2006-2007.

It didn't work out for him at Missouri. It didn't work out for him at Indiana.

"How about Oklahoma?" asked Al Schallau, a native Iowan and a University of Iowa graduate who is trying to find a new job for Alford.

I mentioned in an e-mail to Schallau that a number of Iowans had gone into severe depression now that Alford seems a lead-pipe cinch to be with the Hawkeyes again next season.

Obviously, Schallau has a never-give-up attitude.

Other readers of my columns also kicked in with comments about the hiring of Sampson.

"It's a shocking choice for a proud Big Ten university, as Sampson's graduation rates are comparable to those of Bob Huggins [at Cincinnati]," wrote longtime Iowa booster Barry Crist of West Des Moines.

"Oklahoma is also under an NCAA investigation in basketball, with probable probation looming.

"Greenspan was desperate, and Big Ten presidents are on notice."

However, Gordy Scoles of Bennettsville, S.C., approved of Indiana's hiring of Sampson.

"Indiana picked a great coach," Scoles told me. "He's another really nice guy and his coaching speaks for itself. He's sort of a local guy, born and raised in nearby Lumberton, N.C.

"He played basketball at UNC-Pembroke, which is also close to here, and then he was a graduate assistant at Michigan State. He's a Lumbee Indian, in case you didn't know. That's a regional tribe in this area that is seeking federal recognition.

"Anyway, if I were an athletic director look for a basketball coach, Kelvin would be a guy at the top of my list."

Sampson's Oklahoma team lost to Davis' Indiana team in the 2002 NCAA Final Four. Sampson had a 279-109 record at Oklahoma, and his Sooners played in the NCAA tournament 11 times.

Oklahoma lost to Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the first round of this year's NCAA tournament.

* * *


For the second straight year, Iowa's football team won't hold a spring game. The continuing renovation of Kinnick Stadium will force the final practice, normally played in the stadium, to the team’s practice field again.

The $90 million stadium project is due to be completed prior to the start of the 2006 season.

“As much as we’d like to stage a spring game for our fans,” said athletic director Bob Bowlsby, “their safety is our primary concern. Having an event in the stadium would not be the right thing for the players, fans or workers on the project.”

As was the case last year, the Hawkeyes will hold a controlled practice/scrimmage April 15. The final day of spring workouts will be held at the team’s practice facility with only player families and special guests invited to attend.

“We regret leaving the fans out of the mix,” said coach Kirk Ferentz. “Like last year, we’ll make up for it by staging a few events, which will include our fans, during preseason workouts late this summer.”

Monday, March 27, 2006

Al Schallau Says Other Schools Don't Hire Alford Because He's 'An Incurable Jerk' And the People In Our State 'Can't Wait To Get Rid of Him'

My readers explore a variety of subjects today, starting with the following e-mail from Iowa native and University of Iowa graduate Al Schallau, now a California resident:


"I think the reason Indiana, Missouri, Arizona State, Kansas State and all the others have shown no interest in hiring Steve Alford is because they have all figured out that he is an incurable jerk. They have also figured out that despite a great won-loss record this year, and a Big Ten tournament championship, the people of Iowa can't wait to get rid of him.

"Any A. D. with an I. Q. higher than a fence post would be saying, 'Hey, what's the deal here? Why are the Iowa people so anxious to get rid of this guy?'

"Conclusion: Steve Alford will be head coach at Iowa for the 2006-2007 season, and perhaps beyond. Ugh. The thought hurts.


Al Schallau

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: It continues to amaze me that Indiana has totally stiffed Alford in its search for a successor to Mike Davis. I figured the least Indiana's powers-that-be would do is include Alford in a group of candidates so they could satisfy the many folks in Indiana who remember Steve's days as a standout Hoosier player. But the way Indiana has ignored Alford should be an embarrassment to the man who has finished seven seasons at Iowa. I agree with Schallau [pictured at the lower right]. Unless Indiana's athletic bosses have a complete change of mind, Alford is destined to be Iowa's coach again next season and beyond -- whether he wants to be or not, and whether the many Alford-haters out there want him].

* * *

Jasper from Jefferson, not his real name and not his real hometown, writes:


"I see new Iowa State basketball coach Greg McDermott being a coach in the mold of Bo Ryan at Wisconsin. His teams will be extremely well-prepared and fundamentally sound, and he'll seldom get out-coached. But he'll quickly find out that life in the Big 12 is much different than life in the Missouri Valley. I don't see him attracting top-flight recruits, but he will cut into the shallow recruiting pool we have in this state, which will hurt the Hawkeyes. That said, I really like the guy and will be pulling for him."

Jasper from Jefferson

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: It's going to take quite an adjustment in recruiting and X's and O's for McDermott, who has done well at Northern Iowa. With coaches like Rick Barnes at Texas, Bill Self at Kansas, Bobby Knight at Texas Tech and now Bob Huggins at Kansas State, the job suddenly got harder for McDermott].

* * *

A central Iowa woman identified as "Alice in Wonderland," not her real hometown, writes:


"Wasn't there the same kind of love-hate relationship with Lute Olson when he coached Iowa? Wasn't he vilified because his hair was too perfect and he was thought to be arrogant? Didn't he go on to Arizona and do great things for them?

"I don't really understand why Alford is not liked. He has turned into a good coach and probably will be a great one, since he is so young now. Why are we driving him out? I wouldn't stay in Iowa either, with the kind of support he has had from us."

Alice in Wonderland

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: You're right, Alice. Olson was well-liked at first by most Iowa fans, but some later turned on him because he became so arrogant in his last few seasons in Iowa City. His family thought he had "created a nonster" by being fairly successful with the Hawkeyes. He went on to have some excellent seasons at Arizona, and is still coaching there].

* * *

Rev. David P. Mumm [pictured at the middle left] of Des Moines writes:

"Hello, Ron,

"The basketball coaching shuffle sure is making the postseason interesting for Iowans. I like Iowa State's new pick, but I was not at all pleased by the dismissal process for Wayne Morgan and staff. I was not surprised, a new A.D. usually means new staff in several sports. From my perspective. Morgan did a very commendable job during his three years. If he finds another college coaching position, and if that school provides him the resources to be successful, I see no reason why he could not be a very successful coach.

"As far as the NCAA men's tournament goes, so far my brackets have worked out at about 75 percent correct, which is about normal for me. The place where my percentages die is the Sweet 16 on to the end. Every one of these games could easily go either way. I think it's about as balanced a tournament as we have seen in quite a while. The one surprise on my picks is that all of my original Elite-8 are still in play.

"From my perspective, there have only been two suprises so far. Iowa losing in the first round, they should have handled their first two opponents, which would have brought them to a showdown with Texas. Texas - Iowa would have been an interesting game. I don't think Iowa could have handled Texas, but I would have liked to see it. The other surprise was Tennessee losing to Wichita State. My favorite of the Sweet 16 matches is UConn and Washington. I asked my dog 'Bandit' who is a Husky, who to pick, and he just shook his head and walked away. I think that was his way of saying, 'Pick UConn,' but I'm not sure.

"Have a great day."

David P. Mumm M.Div.
Senior Pastor
Mt. Olive Lutheran Church and School

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Rev. Mumm wrote his comments before Sunday's games, which saw George Mason make it to the Final Four and become just about everyone's darling team. I would have picked George Mason to win it all, but LSU isn't such a bad choice, either].

* * *

Don Timm of Cedar Rapids writes:


"I am really losing interest in pro sports. Baseball is all I care about anymore. College is something else again. I think Iowa and USC getting back into the running has helped a lot. Now Iowa basketball. I don't know what to think about Steve Alford. I was always a Bucky O'Connor fan and I remember the 1955-1956 team. I was pacing the living room floor out on the farm when they were playing San Francisco. Mom, dad and my sisters went somewhere and I was home alone watching the game on TV. I think trading Alford for Mike Davis would have been a good trade, if they could do that in college. I even think Wayne Morgan would be better than Alford,
I also hard that Indiana isn't that in love with Alford."

Don Timm

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Lots of people were pacing the living room floor, Don, when Iowa was playing Bill Russell and San Francisco on March 23, 1956. But the pacing didn't help. Iowa lost the national championship that year with an 83-71 defeat as Russell scored 27 points and grabbed an incredible 26 rebounds].

* * *

Gordy Scoles of Bennettsville, S.C., writes:


"I think I've commented to you in a few of my e-mails that the SEC was a vastly overrated conference. Based on this year's Final Four, could you arrange to send me a large, corn-fed, Iowa crow that is cooked well-done for me to eat? Go, George Mason!"

Gordy Scoles

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: You're not the only guy who needs to chow down on some corn-fed Iowa crow, Gordy. It's been a strange tournament].

* * *

Californian Mark Robinson writes:

"Hi, Ron;

"What a conundrum, but that's the way it is with Alford at Iowa.

"You wrote: 'The best I can figure is that Alford –- naïve man that he is –- evidently thought he could go through the interview process with Missouri in secrecy.'

"I hadn't thought of that, and knowing Alford with his Radar O'Reilly naiveté, it could be true.

"Then, there is the report that the Missouri A.D. just blew up the search committee. He jettisoned Sunvold and a few others who, it was reported, didn't want Alford and wanted--gulp--Huggins to be interviewed. The A.D. didn't want to touch Huggins, to his credit. If you're trying to change the direction of a program like Missouri's, you don't start with Huggins. Watch for the NCAA to nail Kansas State with violations in the next few years.

"It comes as no surprise, then, that Alford is still listed as being on Missouri's coaching search radar.

"Bowlsby may have taken delight in allowing Missouri to talk with Alford. To paraphrase Henny Youngman: Take my coach, PLEASE!

"Keep writing,"

Mark Robinson
Valencia, CA

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: It took forever, but Missouri finally settled on Mike Anderson of UAB as its new coach. I still can't believe that Alford let his name be connected with the Missouri search I wonder what Iowa's players thought when they saw that their coach was making himself available to the Tigers. What an embarrassment].

* * *

A man identified as Midwest Guy checked in with this e-mail:


"Once again you hit the mother lode. I don't blame you for scratching your head over Brian Larson being named captain of the 4-A tournament team over Ray Miller. The media makes their selections of the all-tournament teams at the before the beginning of the fourth quarter every year at each championship game. It's standard operating procedure. Once they make their choices, they can not change their votes. They are locked into their picks.

"Come to think of it, I'm not surprised that this isn't the first time the captain of the tourney team was from a runner-up team or a semifinalist. If memory serves me correctly, in 1991, newest Hall of Fame inductee Fred Hoiberg (of Ames), Rodney Wallican (East Waterloo), and Hurl Beechum (North Des Moines) were named tri-captains of the 3-A tournament team. Ames defeated North in the semifinal, and then defeated East, 79-63 for the championship. Hoiberg had a career night in which he didn't miss. But the the votes were so close between all three players, it was a compromise decision.

"It's interesting that you noticed about the late starts for the championship games. I never thought of it until you brought it up. You are on to something here. The 4-A title game started very late, due to the overtime game between MOC-Floyd Valley and Harlan. I have always wondered if it would be a good idea to start the championship games either one hour early, at 5:30pm on Friday and Saturday evenings, or eliminate the consolation games, and move the title games in all four classes to Saturday.

"This is an example of how they can do all the title games on Saturday, if they get rid of the consolation games:

(11:00am) or 12:00pm: 1-A title game
(1:30 pm) or 3:00pm: 2-A title game
(4:00 pm) or 5:00pm: 3-A title game
(7:00pm) or 7:30: 4-A title game
(x): denotes my preferred choices for times

"The girls tournament doesn't play consolation games, neither has the NCAA since the early 80's (Iowa played in the one of the last consolation games held!). If hardly anyone shows up for these games, then what is the rationale to continue the third- place game? Both teams are not going to care much to play and it will show by their actions on the floor. It wouldn't mean a thing to them."

Midwest Guy

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: I like your tournament schedule for Saturday, Midwest Guy. I know it would bring me into Wells Fargo Arena for the games. Let's try it next season].

* * *

Here's a change of pace. Central Iowa Woman writes:

"Hey, Ron,

"What's the latest on Jason Berryman and is he coming back this fall? Just curious."

Central Iowa Woman

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: I hope Berryman has transferred to Guam University. I hear they're starting a team over there. Besides, they have cheap cell phones].

* * *

Bud Appleby of Des Moines writes:

"Interesting editorial on older workers in the Register yesterday, but I doubt that they are going to start practicing what they preach."

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: I agree with you, Bud. When did they ever practice what they preach?].

* * *

Barry Crist of West Des Moines has a question in this e-mail:

"Iowa's next coach -- Stacy Johnson-Klein of Fresno State? [pictured above]. She's a good recruiter."

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: I'm sure she'll be on the short list if and when Alford finds another job].

Friday, March 24, 2006

From the Doubts Over the Bloody Marys In the Football Tailgate Tent To the D1 Scheduling Mess, Morgan Went Down the Drain Quickly--And Deserved It

I first began noticing that there was some unrest among the big givers to Iowa State’s basketball program while I was walking through the tailgate area at Ames before the Cyclones’ football game last fall against Iowa.

This wasn’t the tailgate area where people were doing things Larry Eustachy-style –- which means eating Pringles and drinking Natural Light beer out of the trunk of the car.

It was the area of the big tents, where the heavy hitters were dining on shrimp with all the fixin’s, and drinking what were billed as the best bloody marys in town.

Inside one tent, there was even a well-mannered kid assigned to wait on visitors, whether they were Iowa State fans or Iowa fans.

It was just one big happy family, until I began asking about Cyclone basketball.

When I stopped by one heavy hitter’s tent, I happened to wonder what he thought of Iowa State basketball coach Wayne Morgan.

“There’s still some question about his X’s and O’s,” the heavy hitter said.

That surprised me.

Well, I knew no one had been mentioning Morgan's name in the same breath as John Wooden's or Coach K's -- but I didn't think people were already second-guessing ol' Wayne's play-calling.

After all, the Cyclones were then coming off a season in which they went 19-12, won at Texas and Kansas and advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament.

But now I know what the heavy hitter was talking about.

Now Morgan [right] is history and Greg McDermott –- whose last job was at Northern Iowa –- is Iowa State’s coach.

Morgan was fired less than a week before McDermott was hired. It didn’t look good to athletic director Jamie Pollard [left] when it became public knowledge that some sleazebag outfit known as D1 Scheduling was arranging some of Iowa State’s non-conference games and was providing players to the program.

Players-for-games never sounds like a good idea when you’re dealing with what once was known as amateur athletics.

To protect his ass –- but maybe not Iowa State’s ass –- Pollard showed Morgan the door and brought in McDermott, who once got involved in an exchange of four-letter words with Morgan after an Iowa State-UNI game at Cedar Falls.

After Morgan was dumped, I began wondering why Pollard pulled the plug on him so quickly.

After all, Morgan took his first Cyclone team to the semifinal round of the National Invitation Tournament in a 20-13 season in 2003-2004, went to the second round of the NCAA tournament the next season and finished 16-14 this season – including a very disappointing 6-10 in the conference.

While searching for answers, I found out some interesting things.

Iowa State fans, and certainly not Pollard, didn’t like it that Iowa State began the season among the nation’s top 25 teams, ended it nowhere in sight and even got stiffed by the NIT.

The Cyclones finished what amounted to 10th in what was generally considered to be a down season in the Big 12, and were bounced out of the conference’s postseason tournament by Oklahoma State in the first round.

The Cyclones lost seven of their last nine games, and were a ship without a captain in the final minutes of a lot of those. An “end game” was something they knew nothing about.

The late-game strategy amounted to, “Get the ball to Curtis Stinson and let him get the best shot possible.”

Iowa State had no inside presence all season. That disappeared when Jared Homan played his final second in the NCAA second-round loss to North Carolina the season before. Shawn Taggart, who stands 6-10, and the 6-11 Jiri Hubalek didn’t get any better as this season progressed.

Stinson likely thought he was the best guard in collegiate basketball, and Morgan may have agreed –- but he wasn’t. With the game on the line, Stinson failed more often than he succeeded.

It was interesting that the day the D1 Scheduling scandal surfaced, Stinson and his roommate, guard Will Blalock, both said they plan to make themselves available for the NBA draft.

Neither is projected as a first-round choice in a two-round draft. Blalock indicates he’d like to play his senior season if it appears he won’t be drafted, but that probably won’t be the case with Stinson.

There are questions being raised about Stinson’s eligibility.

It could be that a place like Italy –- not the NBA –- is where both guys wind up playing.

And when Stinson and Blalock are frantically searching for Iowa State and NBA scores in the European editions of USA Today, there could be some interesting things going on in Ames.

A couple of outfits that like to do plenty of snooping –- the NCAA and the IRS – may have their magnifying glasses out while investigating Iowa State’s relationship with D1 Scheduling under Morgan.

Discipline both on and off the court was lacking at Iowa State in the Morgan years

There’s a rule at Iowa State and at most Division I universities that the team travels as a unit to and from road games.

The only exception is during the Christmas/New Year’s Day period when players can return to their family homes from a road game if the transportation is easier.

The word is that at least two Iowa State players didn’t return with the team after the Feb. 11 game at Kansas this season. Both were seen by Cyclone fans at a fast-food restaurant in northern Missouri.

One of the players, who doesn’t have a driver’s license, drove away from the restaurant.

I guess the one guy who might understand that kind of stuff would be Eustachy, who traveled on his own regularly in his years as Iowa State’s coach.

And we all know what it got him.

A one-way trip to Hattiesburg, Miss.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

I Wonder If Iowa's Steve Alford Is This Confusing To His Players During NCAA Games. It Could Be That's Why the Hawkeyes Don't Win More Of Them

I guess I’m wondering if Steve Alford is this confusing to his players during timeouts in NCAA games.

Maybe that’s why he doesn’t win more of them.

And maybe that's why he blew a 17-point lead to Northwestern State last week.

Honestly, I can’t figure the man out.

When everyone from the school president to the guys in the boiler room at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., guessed he’d be the next coach at Indiana after Mike Davis said in February that he’d be leaving, Alford said nothing.

He kept his boss, his own players, Indiana’s players and fans of both Iowa and the Hoosiers confused.

He went through the rest of the regular season, the Big Ten postseason tournament and the first few days of the NCAA tournament without addressing the situation.

Then, when Indiana athletic director Rick Greenspan made it obvious that Alford wasn’t going to be interviewed, Alford evidently went into shock. .

It turned out he could pout with the worst of them.

The next development saw Missouri athletic director Mike Alden –- of all people –- asking Iowa athletic director Bob Bowlsby if it could interview Alford.

“Sure, go ahead,” Bowlsby said.

I’m surprised Bowlsby didn’t say, “Hang on, I’ll put you through to Alford’s office right now.”

I’m still not sure if it was Alden or if it was Alford who initiated the Stevie Wonder-to-Columbia rumor.

The best I can figure is that Alford –- naïve man that he is –- evidently thought he could go through the interview process with Missouri in secrecy.

Then, the minute people heard that he was making himself available to the Big 12 Conference school, he said, “I’m not interviewing with anyone.”

No one except Indiana, that is –- which doesn’t want him.

No one except Missouri, that is –- which, for some silly reason, apparently still has him among its candidates.

Well, wait a minute on that.

If Bob Huggins, one of the biggest thugs in the coaching business, can get the Kansas State job and be happy in the ridiculous outpost of a place called Manhattan, Kan., I guess anything can happen.

Now back to Alford, who apparently intends to say no more about this unbelievable situation in which he's involved.

Iowa fans want answers, and they deserve to get them from a man who is looking like a fool.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

[Ron Maly is a four-time Iowa Sportswriter of the Year and also is the best-selling author of "Tales from the Iowa Sidelines," which is in its second printing as both a hardback and softback book. The book is about the rich football tradition at the University of Iowa. Maly has a heck of a lot of fun doing what he's doing. Ron's columns about sports, newspapers, his family, medicine, travel, the people he knows, the people he doesn't know, a few people he'd like to know better, a few people he once knew and is trying to forget, a few people he has already forgotten, and anything else that trips his trigger appear regularly at and]

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I'm Not Believing for One Minute That Alford Is Interested In Missouri. It's a Smoke Screen. He's Just Hurt That Indiana Seems To Be Stiffing Him

As much as I'd like to think that Steve Alford has rescued Iowa's basketball program by going into a mating dance with Missouri, I'm not buying it.

Alford has already proved plenty of times that he's not the smartest basketball coach in the universe.

Those defeats at Ames, Evanston and Minneapolis -- plus blowing a 17-point lead in a loss last week to Northwestern State in the NCAA first round -- demonstrate that.

But I doubt he's dumb enough to get involved with Missouri, whose athletic leadership ranks right up there with the most pitiful in the nation.

I mean, they're spending more time investigating athletic director Mike Alden's role in the firing of basketball coach Quin Snyder a number of weeks ago than they are in looking for a new guy.

Some boosters want Alden fired.

People down there are talking about hiring Bob Huggins to replace Snyder. Huggins? Hell, I don't think anybody in the program graduated when he was coaching at Cincinnati. That includes the ballboy and maybe even the athletic department tutors.

As many as eight of Missouri's players say they might leave because interim coach Melvin Watkins isn't going to be retained.

That's how stable the program is in Columbia.

Any talk of Missouri being interested in Alford or Alford being interested in Missouri must be a smoke screen of some kind.

The way I look at it, Alford figured he needed some attention in this state because Iowa State was getting all of it with the firing of Wayne Morgan and the hiring of Greg McDermott.

So, on the first day McDermott is wearing his red Iowa State cap, word leaks that Alford might be interested in coaching in the Big 12.

Hey, Alford hasn't ever been a Big 12 guy. It's Big Ten blood that runs through his arteries.

Surely Alford can't be naive enough to think he's going to get a raise at Iowa by taking a drive south to interview at Missouri.

Bob Bowlsby, Iowa's athletic director, gave Missouri permission to talk with Alford -- but Bowlsby is certainly no dummy.

Just because Missouri wants to imply that it's interested in hiring Alford, Bowlsby isn't going to feel threatened.

If I were Bowlsby, I'd tell Alford, "Stevie-boy, if Missouri can't afford the moving expenses from Iowa City to Columbia, we'll be glad to help you out with Mayflower."

My guess is that Alford feels hurt that Indiana isn't showing much interest in hiring him.

Alford is the golden boy of Indiana basketball, but when the athletic director at Bloomington pays more attention to the night janitor at Assembly Hall than he does to Stevie Wonder, it does raise a question or two.

Stay tuned.

It's going to get even more interesting.

Maybe the next thing we hear is that Alford wants to be the athletic director at Drake.

The job is open, you know.

* * *

My West Coast Correspondent had a great line when he heard that Missouri might want to interview Alford for its basketball job.

"If Alford goes to Missouri, Greg McDermott will have two chances a year to beat him," My West Coast Correspondent said in reference to the two games a season that Missouri and Iowa State always play.

* * *

Of Alford's possible move to Missouri, Iowa fan Al Schallau writes:

"This is looking encouraging. I am thinking that all the bars in Iowa should be getting ready to play those famous lyrics from Kool & The Gang, that go:

"Celebrate good times ---- come on."

* * *

Another man who is keeping up on the Alford-to-Missouri situation writes:

"Alford was liked in Springfield, Mo., where he coached Southwest Missouri State [now Missouri State]. They liked him taking SMS to the NCAA Sweet 16, but even then -- coaching at a mid-major school -- his ego and arrogance were off the charts.

"Aside from a close group of friends, he had no time and no interest in even being civil to just about anyone he crossed paths with.

"I was told that Sam Alford [Steve's father, who then was one of Steve's assistant coaches] even had to sit him down at one point and tell him that his ego was out of control, and he had to tone things down. It didn't appear to have worked.

"My biggest fear is that he ends up back in Iowa City next season, but I have a feeling that interviewing at Missouri would be the point of no return for him and the Hawkeyes. Then again, if running a clean program is more important than wins to those in Columbia, maybe Alford is the right man for the job."

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Those who have been around Alford are well aware of his inflated view of himself. He is, after all, a legend. All you need to do is ask him].

* * *

Al Schallau, again:

"How ironic is it that Greg McDermott's first act as the Cyclones' basketball coach was to put on an Iowa State baseball cap -- when it does NOT have a baseball team. I sure hope athletic director Jamie Pollard will remedy that bit of administrative stupidity in the near-future."

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: There's a move afoot to maybe bring baseball back as a sport at Iowa State, but that was probably delayed another few years because of the millions of dollars it's paying McDermott to come and Morgan to leave].

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Steve Alford Stuff Gets Really Goofy -- Indiana Is Jilting Him, But Missouri Asks For and Gets Permission From Bowlsby To Talk To Him

Now things are really getting bizarre in the Steve Alford coaching scenario.

Well, maybe bizarre isn't the right word for it.

Let's try insane.

Just when I figured the Iowa basketball coach would be ready to be signed, sealed and delivered by and to Indiana, this happens.

Andy Katz of ESPN writes that Alford is being jilted by Indiana, his alma mater, and is tentatively scheduled to meet with Missouri officials about the job opening there.

I find two things hard to believe:

1. That Indiana is turning its back so quickly to Alford.

2. That Alford would want to talk to Missouri.

I figured Alford would at least be invited to Bloomington, Ind., for a courtesy interview with Hoosier officials.

Then he could think about it for a couple of days. Afterward, he could take the job and try to bring back the glory days of Bobby Knight, his coach at Indiana.

Or he could say, "I appreciate Indiana's interest in me, but I'm the coach at the University of Iowa, and I'm happy there."

To get no interview at Indiana is a bigtime slap in the face.

I mean, that's like Golden Boy taking a knee to the groin in the living room of his own home.

It's like Mr. Clean falling head-first into a mud puddle.

It's like the guy who has been named "The Man With the Sexiest Hair" going bald overnight.

One thing I can't see is Alford taking the Missouri job. He's well known there, of course, because he coached successfully at Southwest Missouri State [now Missouri State]. But, basically, he's a Big Ten guy, not a Big 12 guy.

Like I said, it's bizarre.

And maybe it ain't over.

When you're dealing with basketball coaches, it's never over, I guess.

Anyway, here's Katz's story from

Iowa coach Steve Alford, on the verge of being jilted by alma mater Indiana, is tentatively scheduled to meet with Missouri for an interview this week that could land Alford in the Big 12, multiple sources close to the situation told on Tuesday night.

Iowa athletic director Bob Bowlsby confirmed to that Missouri athletic director Mike Alden called Tuesday, seeking permission to speak with Alford. Bowlsby granted the wish. Alford's contract pays him $800,000 through June, 2009.

Meanwhile, a source close to the situation told that Indiana's search committee let Alford's representation know that the Hoosiers would only be bringing in two candidates and as of Tuesday Alford wasn't one of them.

Indiana is searching for a replacement for Mike Davis, who resigned last month but finished the season by coaching the Hoosiers into the NCAA Tournament second round before losing to Gonzaga in Salt Lake City. Missouri has been searching for a replacement for Quin Snyder since he was forced to resign last month. Snyder didn't finish the season and was replaced on an interim basis by assistant coach Melvin Watkins.

Alford coached the Hawkeyes to the Big Ten tournament title earlier this month. Iowa, seeded No. 3, lost to No. 14 Northwestern State on a corner 3-pointer with a second left in the NCAA tournament first round in Auburn Hills, Mich. Iowa finished 11-5 in the Big Ten, tied for second with Illinois (25-9 overall).

Alford led the Hawkeyes to the NCAA tournament in 2005 as well, losing to Cincinnati in the first round. Alford's Hawkeyes won the Big Ten tournament title in 2001, the other time the Hawkeyes went to the NCAA tournament under Alford, beating Creighton in the first round, losing to Kentucky in the second. Alford led Iowa to six straight winning seasons and six consecutive postseasons in his seven years at the school. Prior to Iowa, Alford coached Southwest Missouri State (now Missouri State) to the Sweet 16 in 1999. Alford won the national title as a player at Indiana in 1987. He grew up playing for his father, Sam, at New Castle High (Ind.) before going to IU. He got his coaching start at Manchester College (Ind.).

If Alford isn't one of the two finalists for Indiana, that could mean one of the other two is Orlando Magic assistant Randy Wittman if the Hoosiers are going to invite one coach with strong Hoosiers ties. Wittman has expressed interest in the job and there are plenty of IU alumni working hard for his hire.

Meanwhile, Missouri's search has been kept mum the past month. Multiple sources say there has been strong influential booster support for former Cincinnati coach Bob Huggins, but Alden isn't in favor of the hire. Sources confirmed that representatives for Missouri have contacted the intermediaries for LSU's John Brady and Pitt's Jamie Dixon to test their interest.

Another source said Creighton's Dana Altman is a strong choice for Missouri and might be interviewed as well. A source said Missouri has also had interest in UAB's Mike Anderson.

Missouri has been looking for a coach that has a clean record with the NCAA after the school had violations under Snyder.

Jamie Pollard and I Agree -- UNI's Greg McDermott Should [And Will] Be Iowa State's Next Coach. And, By the Way, Sorry About That, Iowa

I'm putting my money -- well, all 2 cents of it -- on Greg McDermott being a success as Iowa State's next basketball coach.

The more I thought about it, he became my choice to be the successor to the fired Wayne Morgan.

Know what? Wisconsin-Milwaukee coach Rob Jeter and Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard agreed with me.

McDermott was the last man standing.

He's getting the job today.

It could be that Iowa State was scared off by the $900,000 buyout in Jeter's Wisconsin-Milwaukee contract.

They teach you in your freshman year of Athletic Director School that, when two coaching candidates appear equal in ability, take the guy who has the cheapest buyout.

In this case, it would be McDermott, whose buyout at Northern Iowa is a bare-bones $25,000.

Pollard probably got an "A" in that freshman class at Athletic Director School.

Then again, it could be that McDermott had a great interview with Pollard.

Whatever, Jeter told the newspaper in Milwaukee today that he's no longer a candidate at Ames.

After surveying the situation, he pulled the old "I didn't call them. They came after me, and I'm flattered. But I'm staying right where I'm at" routine.

That left only McDermott, who has been a hot coaching property around the nation.

By hiring McDermott, Iowa State accomplished another significant thing.

He won't be available to go to Iowa when, as expected, Indiana hires present Hawkeye coach Steve Alford for its coaching job.

I know Jeter [left] had been a favorite of Pollard for quite a while.

But McDermott, 41, has been a big winner at Northern Iowa, knows what it's like to coach at Hilton Coliseum in Ames and obviously is familiar with the state of Iowa.

Whether he can recruit at the national level to be able to compete for Big 12 Conference championships remains to be seen.

But I'm convinced the guy can coach after taking UNI to the NCAA tournament again this season.

That's more than I can say about Wayne Morgan, the guy he'd be replacing.

McDermott [right] has a 90-63 record at UNI and has taken three of his teams to the NCAA tournament.

His 2005-2006 squad faded down the stretch and lost in the first round of the tournament to Georgetown.

But a lot of teams around the nation fade down the stretch. Some -- like Iowa State -- don't even make the NCAA tournament. Or even the NIT.

And a lot of teams lost to Georgetown this season. One of them was Big Ten power Ohio State, which bowed out of the NCAA tournament after losing to Georgetown in the second round.

Morgan was fired last week after three years as Iowa State's coach.

Jeter, 36, the son of former University of Iowa football standout Bob Jeter and a man who took Wisconsin-Milwaukee to the NCAA tournament in his first season there, was interviewed for the Iowa State job yesterday and was waiting to hear back from athletic director Jamie Pollard.

"Obviously, they knew who they wanted to speak to," Jeter told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in reference to himself and McDermott. "I'm not in the business of hiring coaches, but they did it quickly."

The Journal Sentinel said Jeter and McDermott are "two highly-placed candidates" for the Iowa State job.

However, it appears Jeter has been reading the stuff I've been writing about McDermott -- or someone has been telling him about it. He told the Journal Sentinel today that he's staying at Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

It could very well be that Jeter was allowed to get out of the running for the Iowa State job after being told by Pollard that he was zeroing in on McDermott.

Jeter's Panthers had a 22-9 record, won the Horizon League regular-season and post-season tournament titles and has known Pollard a long time.

Pollard administered the Wisconsin basketball program when Jeter was an assistant coach there. Pollard was a deputy athletic director at Wisconsin.

I'm sure Jeter will become an outstanding collegiate coach, but the guy has been in a major-college job only one season and knows little about our state.

That's why I'm hanging my hat on McDermott.

McDermott, whose Northern Iowa teams played Iowa State once every season, and Morgan were not the best of buddies.

The two of them had a shouting match that was laced with four-letter words late in a UNI victory over Iowa State two seasons ago.

Although they seemed to get along better during the game UNI played at Ames in the 2005-2006 season, I doubt they went to lunch together earlier in the day.

Now, ironically, McDermott will be moving into the coaching office that Morgan just left.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Iowa State Gets Permission To Talk With Rob Jeter, But Hiring Him Will Be Expensive -- The Buyout Cost Alone Will Be a Whopping $900,000

Just as I told you in these columns Saturday, Iowa State is pursuing Wisconsin-Milwaukee coach Rob Jeter for its basketball coaching job.

Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard requested and was granted permission by Wisconsin-Milwaukee athletic director Bud Haidet to talk to Jeter [right] about the job from which Wayne Morgan was fired late last week, Haidet confirmed this afternoon to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

"They've asked to talk to him, which really is a professional courtesy because you can't stop somebody from talking to somebody anyhow," Haidet said.

Haidet and Pollard also discussed Jeter's buyout clause.

Jeter is in the first year of a deal that paid him $300,000 this season. If another school lures Jeter away in the first year of the deal, the "liquidated damage" clause calls for Wisconsin-Milwaukee to receive three times his current salary, or approximately $900,000.

Jeter was unavailable for comment this afternoon. Jeter, 36, is the son of Bob Jeter, a Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer who was a standout running back for Forest Evashevski's Iowa football teams in the 1950s.

* * *

The e-mailers have been busy, and they've been having fun, now that the NCAA basketball tournament is rolling right along.

"Jim Zabel wonders how good Iowa's basketball team would have been this season if Steve Alford still had Bradley MVP Marcellus Sommerville, Oregon State MVP Nick Dewitz, and Mt. Pleasant MVP Pierre Pierce," writes a man identified as 'Second-Guessing In Garnavillo.'

"And if you felt bad about Iowa's loss to Northwestern State, you felt even worse when you saw how West Virginia flicked them aside."

Alford, of course, went through a period when a number of his players didn't like him, or didn't like what was going on in the Hawkeye program. Sommerville [left] has helped Bradley of the Missouri Valley Conference get into the NCAA Sweet Sixteen, and is a quality major-college player.

Mt. Pleasant MVP Pierce is locked up, for his good and the good of society.

I think the Hawkeyes were a much better team without him. He's right where he belongs -- out of sight.

Alford has showed that he can recruit some of the best high school talent [Greg Brunner, Jeff Horner, Mike Henderson are examples] this state can produce, but he hasn't been able to attract or keep blue-chippers from around the nation who are needed to get the program beyond mediocrity.

Hopefully, Alford's recruiting weaknesses won't cause Indiana's search committee any problems when it comes knocking on his door. Take him, please.

Another reader obviously has kept a file on those players who left Alford's program. Here's what he writes:

"Sommerville was a huge loss. His high school coach in Peoria was hired by the new Bradley coach. Obviously dirty pool. He didn't like being redshirted at Iowa, however.

"Nick Dewitz was a junior college product who was not going to class or practicing well within the system. He transferred to Oregon State, where he saw the light and played well.

"Californian Josh Rhodes was only at Iowa for two or three days as he failed the pee test. He's a marijuana freak and has never played anywhere to my knowledge. Rob Griffin, a juco signed by Tom Davis, played Alford's first year and was the leading scorer. Rob then had some deportment issues and was sent packing.

"Courtney Scott was a reserve power forward in the Reggie Evans years. A Michigan native, he transferred to Oakland University in the Detroit area. I know that Scott was abused in practice by Evans and then his father was in a horrible semi truck fire. Courtney may have wanted to be closer to him. Of course Oakland told him he would start, while at Iowa he was a role player.

"Ben Rand was supposed to be a great shooter as a wing forward. However, he was slow afoot and left for Northern Illinois after his freshman year when Haluska transferred to Iowa.

"The marquee departure, of course, is Pierre Pierce. He currently is playing at an institution in Mt. Pleasant, Iowa where all his games are home games. Good conduct will make him available for road games in a few months later this year.

"Sean Sonderleiter mysteriously quit the team his senior season. He's from Des Moines.....Sean's sister committed suicide the summer before Sean's departure. He was troubled by that, which is understandable."

* * *

I'd like to know when the voting took place among reporters for the captain of the state all-tournament Class 4-A high school team.

Brian Larson of runnerup Pleasant Valley was named the captain, ahead of shot-blocking sensation Ray Miller of champion Des Moines Hoover [26-0].

Give me a break.

That vote must have been taken before the game began.

Or else the reporters who voted had their eyes glossed over and their brains fried.

Believe me, I know there have been plenty of reporters in that shape during the last couple of nights of past state tournaments.

There's no way the 6-7 Miller, who blocked a half-dozen shots in Hoover's 33-28 victory, including four in an amazing 2-minute period in the last half, shouldn't have been voted the captain.

Miller is pictured blocking a shot in the Quad City Times photo at the top of this column. He led a stifling Hoover defense that never let Pleasant Valley up for air.

* * *

Another thing I can't believe is how tournament officials allowed the 4-A championship game to start at 9:25 p.m.

That's total insanity.

When college games can start at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. throughout the season, it's ridiculous to start a state championship high school game on a Saturday night at 9:25.

I wouldn't want to sacrifice any of the hall of fame ceremonies that take place -- that's some of the best stuff at the tournament -- but the folks who run the big show need to find a way to get the last game started at a decent time.

* * *

Great job by the Big Ten in the Big Dance, right?

* * *

Here's an e-mail from a reader touting the coaching abilities of Ames native Terry Carroll, who now coaches at the University of Denver:


"What is wrong with this resume?

Terry Carroll Information

Born and raised in Ames -- Inducted into the Ames High School Hall of Fame in 1996 --Graduated and played at UNI

51 years old - Married [Barb] with two children [Stephanie is 22 and Billy is 18].

Majority of coaching experience/history involves Iowa:

Fort Dodge High School - Head Coach (1981 to 1984)

Drake University - Assistant Coach (1984 to 1988)

Ottumwa High School - Head Coach (1988-89)

Indian Hills Community College - Head Coach (1989 to 1998)

Iowa State University - Assistant Coach (1998 to 1999)
Associate Head Coach (1999 to 2001) University of Denver -- Head Coach (2001 to Present)

Indian Hills - Overall record of 269-50 (84.2%)

Won back to back NJCAA National Championships (1997 and 1998)

NJCAA Coach of the Year in 1997 and 1998

NJCAA District Coach of the Year four times ('93, '96, '97 and '98)

Set NJCAA record with 72 consecutive wins

Iowa State

Back-to-back Big 12 Regular Season Championships (1999-00 and 2000-01)

Back-to-Back NCAA Tournament Appearances (1999-00 & 2000-01)

Elite Eight in 1999-00

Last two recruiting classes at ISU were ranked fourth and seventh nationally

University of Denver

Has graduated every player but one since arriving

Won five straight Sun Belt Conference Academic Awards

Team has had a grade-point average of 3.0 or above each of the last five years

Moved to Division I eight years ago -- Most wins they had at Division I before this was 10

Never had a winning season at Division I before his arrival

After going 8-20 in his first season, Denver has had four winning seasons in a row under Terry:

2002-2003 17-15
2003-2004 14-13
2004-2005 20-11
2005-2006 16-15

Coaching Awards

2004-2005 Sun Belt Coach of the Year
1997-1998 NJCAA Coach of the Year
1996-1997 NJCAA Coach of the Year
1997-1998 NJCAA District Coach of the Year
1996-1997 NJCAA District Coach of the Year
1995-1996 NJCAA District Coach of the Year
1992-1993 NJCAA District Coach of the Year

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: I'm pretty sure the e-mailer is strongly indicating that Carroll deserves to be mentioned prominently among the candidates for the Iowa State coaching job. The leader -- at least this week -- is Jeter, but this was only his first season as a head coach at the major-college level. Carroll is a good guy and a sound coach. You'd think athletic director Jamie Pollard would look at others such as Carroll before making his decision].

* * *

Sam from the Golf Course, not his real name, sent this e-mail:

"Hey, Ron,

"Pretty impressive. You predict one day on your blog that Wayne Morgan will be fired at Iowa State, and the next day he's gone!

"Now make a prediction on Steve Alford going to Indiana. Looked to me like he left for Bloomington with 5 minutes left in the NCAA first-round game against Northwestern State. Suppose his old mentor ever blew a game he led by 17 points with 8 minutes remaining? Egad!"

Sam from the Golf Course

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: All I can say, Sam, even though that isn't your real name, is that I'm in Alford's corner in a bigtime way when it comes to getting him into that Indiana job. They like the guy in Indiana a lot more than the people in this state like him. He's not exactly Mr. Warmth and he's never really caught on with Hawkeye fans. Now he's got the perfect chance to take his old high school and college game films and strut into Indiana with high expectations. He can watch those old films day and night in the coaching office that his mentor, Bobby Knight, frequented for so long. Don't forget, he never says he likes it at Iowa -- so I guess we can all assume that he doesn't].

* * *

E-mailer Buckeroo from Bondurant writes:

"Bob Jeter's son coaching at Iowa State? That gives me the jitters!

"There may be a suggestion that racism had something to do with Pollard's decision to ax Morgan. In fact, I'm surprised Morgan's pals haven't been floating the idea. But if Pollard goes for another black coach, it's a moot point."

* * *

Gordy Scoles of Bennettsville, S.C., writes:


".....Sounds like good riddance for Morgan. When I worked at Iowa State and Earle Bruce suddenly replaced Woody Hayes after the punching incident, there were rumors that Ohio State was just waiting for Woody to do anything so they could get rid of him. Morgan will have a nice going away present--$1.5-million. Wasted money if someone would have been doing his/her job before it happened. The new athletic director sounds like he's on the ball. Wonder how long he'll stay in Ames? Probably not too long if he's good."

Gordy Scoles

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: I'm sure Pollard and others at Iowa State had the goods on Morgan and couldn't wait to get rid of him. The scheduling/recruiting mess Morgan got into gave them the perfect opportunity. As for Pollard, I expect him to stay at Iowa State for a short time, then take the director's job at Wisconsin when Barry Alvarez retires. Count on it. He's not a lifer in Ames. Nobody ever is].

* * *

"Always Looking Up" writes:

"A rumor I just heard:

"Jim Zalesky gets fired, and Dan Gable comes back for two years to groom one of the Brands brothers for the head position [as Iowa's wrestling coach].

"Seeing Iowa State clean house and Alford coach his last game as a Hawk, I could see this happening.

"As Frank Deford said the other day on NPR... 'beware the Ides of March!"

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: It would be fantastic to see Gable coaching Iowa's wrestlers again, but I doubt it'll happen. I think everybody's favorite wrestling coach has the best job in collegiate athletics. One of these days I'm planning to find out what it is].

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Rob Jeter, Favorite To Become Iowa State's Next Basketball Coach, Is the Son Of Bob Jeter -- Standout Back On Iowa's Best Football Team Ever In 1958

A man who is the likely favorite to become Iowa State’s next head basketball coach is the son of a guy who played on the best team in the 116-year football history at the University of Iowa, and was named the most valuable player in the Hawkeyes’ 1959 Rose Bowl victory.

The coach who has the inside track on the job, if he wants it, is Rob Jeter [right], whose Wisconsin-Milwaukee team finished the season with a 22-9 record after losing to Florida, 82-60, today in a second-round NCAA tournament game at Jacksonville, Fla.

His father is Bob Jeter [left], who played for Forest Evashevski’s powerful Iowa football teams. Bob lettered in 1957, 1958 and 1959 and was a standout on the 1958 squad that is regarded as the best in school history.

Evashevski’s '58 Hawkeyes won the Big Ten championship, went 8-1-1 overall, walloped California, 38-12, in the Rose Bowl, and were named the national champions by the Football Writers Association of America and awarded the Grantland Rice Trophy as the No. 1 team by Look magazine.

Jeter ran for 194 yards in only nine carries in the Rose Bowl victory. He dashed for an 81-yard touchdown, which was a Rose Bowl record, and set another Rose Bowl mark with his 21.6-yard rushing average.

In those days, Iowa actually won Rose Bowl games. Evashevski’s 1956 and 1958 teams were successful at Pasadena, but the Hawkeyes lost there in 1982, 1986 and 1991.

Bob Jeter was a first-team all-Big Ten player in 1959 and was chosen in the second round of the 1960 National Football League draft by the Green Bay Packers. He played in two Super Bowls and is in the Packers' Hall of Fame.

Rob Jeter, 36, credits his dad and mother for much of his success.

“My dad and my mom always set high standards for us,” he said on the Wisconsin-Milwaukee athletic website.

Jamie Pollard, the Iowa State athletic director, who pulled the plug on Wayne Morgan as the Cyclones’ basketball coach, got to know Rob Jeter when both were at the University of Wisconsin.

Jeter worked under Bo Ryan for 10 of his 11 years as an assistant coach. He was on Ryan’s staff at Wisconsin for four years. Pollard was deputy athletic director at Wisconsin before coming to Iowa State last year.

“Coach Ryan, who I played for and coached with, always had high standards,” Jeter said. “I have always had high standards for myself personally. Every time I step onto the court I want to win. Every time I wake up in the morning, I want to be better than I was yesterday.”

Rob Jeter was born on May 15, 1969 in Pittsburgh, Pa. He grew up in Chicago.

He’s been a part of 10 conference championships, including eight as a coach. As a player at Wisconsin-Platteville, his teams went 102-16 in four seasons. I his his 11 years as an assistant, his teams were 245-85.

Jeter is in his first season at Wisconsin-Milwaukee after succeeding Bruce Pearl, a former Iowa assistant coach who is in his first year at Tennessee. Pearl's Volunteers lost to Wichita State today in the NCAA tournament at Greensboro, N.C.

Jeter’s veteran team beat Oklahoma of the Big 12 Conference, 82-74, two days ago in an NCAA first round game.

The Sooners handed Morgan’s Cyclones one of the most frustrating losses in what became some horribly frustrating final weeks of the season –- something that helped get Morgan and his assistant coaches fired.

On Feb. 18, 19th-ranked Oklahoma got three free throws from Michael Neal with 8.4 seconds remaining for an 83-82 victory over Iowa State at Norman, Okla. Neal wound up scoring 29 points.

It was the Cyclones’ fourth straight loss, and they went on to drop seven of their final nine games.

Morgan and his staff and players seemed clueless as the season wound down, and now guards Curtis Stinson and Will Blalock say they’re going to try their luck in the NBA draft.

It’s a dumb decision by both players, but that’s not the first dumb decision lately in the Iowa State basketball scenario.

Morgan made plenty of them.

Sign In a Bar. The Words Tell the Story. And Another Thing.....It's Still Early In NCAA Tournament, But I'm Already Sick Of the Coach K Commercials

Friday, March 17, 2006

Now That Wayne Morgan Is History At Iowa State, Jamie Pollard Won't Have To Go Far To Find a New Coach -- UNI's Greg McDermott

I received Mike Green's e-mail at 7:25 a.m. today.

Green is the sports information representative for men's basketball at Iowa State.

His e-mail began "Media Advisory."


That means one thing.

It's something big.

It said there will be a press conference at 11 o'clock this morning at the Jacobson Athletic Building on the Iowa State campus.

Athletic director Jamie Pollard, who has been on the job since only September, will be addressing reporters.

It will be a "significant announcement," the e-mail said.

Wayne Morgan is gone as the Cyclones' basketball coach.

Not a big surprise, really.

You read it here first.

In these columns yesterday, an in-the-know reader said Morgan's time is up.

He's "toast," the guy said.

Morgan [right] was shown the door swiftly by Pollard and other Iowa State officials after his role in a recruiting/scheduling controversy surfaced.

Moving quickly to get rid of Morgan enables Pollard to hire his own man as the Cyclones' coach. He now won't have to carry Morgan around as unwanted baggage.

Morgan had been the fifth or sixth choice as coach when Larry Eustachy was dumped a couple of years ago for excessive drinking and kissing college women -- whether they wanted to be kissed or not.

It's interesting that the Iowa State press conference will be held just before and during Iowa's opening game in the NCAA tournament against Northwestern State at Auburn Hills, Mich., and 2 1/2 hours before Northern Iowa's game against Georgetown at Dayton, Ohio.

I would imagine that Greg McDermott [left], Northern Iowa's successful and clean-cut coach, will be paying careful attention to what's going on in Ames.

My guess is that McDermott will be on the short list of candidates -- maybe even the favorite -- when Pollard starts the search for a new coach.

Indeed, that search may already be under way.

Can you imagine the goofiness that might be taking place in this state soon?

Iowa coach Steve Alford is thought by many -- certainly by me -- to be heading to Indiana to succeed Mike Davis as the Hoosiers' coach.

McDermott could be leaving UNI and heading to Iowa State.

So all three schools -- Iowa, Iowa State and UNI -- could have new coaches next season.

Here's Green's media advisory that was sent to me today:


AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State University Athletics Department has called an 11 a.m. news conference (Friday, March 17, 2006) to make a significant announcement. Jamie Pollard, Iowa State University’s Director of Athletics, will be present for the announcement, which will be held in the Jacobson Athletic Building.

* * *

iI just had a horrible thought.

I hope Indiana officials weren't paying a lot of attention to Iowa's game against Northwestern State in today's NCAA tournament at Auburn Hills.

I hope nobody tells them that Alford's team, which was seeded No. 3, blew a 17-point lead and lost to 14th-seeded Northwestern State.

There was no excuse for that, of course. Iowa had no business losing the game.

Good teams don't lose games like that.

I sure hope the loss doesn't screw up Alford's chances of getting the Indiana job.

Please hire the guy.

* * *

Here's Iowa State's announcement on the firing of Morgan:

Iowa State University Head Men’s Basketball Coach Wayne Morgan has been relieved of his duties after three years with the Cyclones. Director of Athletics Jamie Pollard made the announcement Friday morning.

“We have decided to make a change in the leadership of our men’s basketball program. That change is effective immediately,” said Pollard, who along with Iowa State University President Gregory Geoffroy met with Morgan Thursday evening. “During the past six months, I have had the opportunity to fully assess the overall direction of the men’s basketball program, and I do not believe our current coaching staff can sustain the level of performance required for our athletic program to achieve its goals.”

Pollard said that the Cyclones have one of the best fan bases in the Big 12, a strong reputation in the sport and the department has made significant investments in the program. For those reasons, he says that men’s basketball needs to be a marquee sport at Iowa State.

Morgan compiled a 55-39 overall mark at Iowa State, including a 22-26 ledger in Big 12 play. His 2004 team made the NIT semifinals and the 2005 edition reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Iowa State failed to reach post-season play this year despite being ranked No. 25 nationally in the pre-season poll.

“The fact that we didn’t advance to the NCAA or NIT this season certainly contributed to our decision to make a change, but it clearly was not the only reason for our decision,” Pollard said. “The expectation that we have for our sports programs at Iowa State University are far greater than a single won-loss record or lack of appearance in post-season play.”

Pollard also emphasized that recent concerns regarding the scheduling practices of men’s basketball games were not the reason for the change, but “the negative national publicity contributed to the timing of the decision.”

Pollard said that no state tax dollars or public funds will be used to pay the remaining obligations to Coach Morgan and his staff as a result of this change. The funds for the payments will come from an operating reserve the department has accumulated in the last decade.

A national search for ISU’s next men’s basketball coach begins immediately.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

'Wayne Morgan Is Toast' As Iowa State's Coach -- 'You Don't Contract To Schedule Games And Get Players In Return'

Those who know Wayne Morgan and his bosses at Ames are saying that the Iowa State basketball coach doesn't need to shop for a new lunch pail at K-Mart anytime soon.

It probably won't be necessary for him to bring a ham-and-cheese sandwich to work much longer.

The future of ol' Wayne, they maintain, is very bleak after what happened yesterday:

1. Standout guards Curtis Stinson and Will Blalock -- again proving that their university education hasn't made them clear-thinkers -- said they're taking their acts to the NBA.

2. The news surfaced that Iowa State's coaching staff had a tie-in with a sleazebag California scheduling-and-recruiting company.

"Wayne Morgan is toast," a reader tells me in an e-mail. "Iowa State is in a lot of trouble over this.

"You don't contract to schedule games and get players in return. [Athletic director] Jamie Pollard will blow out Morgan in a matter of weeks. That's my feeling....."

Another reader says in an e-mail, "Jamie Pollard [right] might not put up with too much shit from Morgan [left].

"At Wisconsin [where Pollard was deputy athletic director before coming to Iowa State last September], he rolled some heads of folks who were under him.

"If those two players [Stinson and Blalock] leave, the prediction of some people might come true -- Iowa State have to eventually fire Morgan."

* * *

Still on the subject of the basketball mess that Iowa State is in, a man who goes by the handle "Midwest Fan" writes:


"In the words of the popular character Shaggy from the Scooby-Doo cartoons, all I can say is 'YIKES!'

"If there was a cyclone hovering around Iowa State, it isn't painted in cardinal-and-gold. First the Gregg Doyel article, which was jaw dropping and interesting, and then the press release around 5:40 p.m. that Stinson and Blalock has decided to forgo their senior season. There's trouble in River City.*

"Ron, you are being swamped with responses on the Doyel article [on], but I'll stay with Stinson and Blalock with this e-mail. What in Hades are they thinking? Is the situation over at the Jacobson Building and Hilton that bad for them to say, 'That's it, we're out?' I have a bad feeling that Morgan is either:

"A. Over his head with the personalities of his team,
"B. Letting several of the players turn the locker room into the peanut gallery, or
"C. [Fill in the blank of whatever comes to mind]

"If Stinson and Blalock believe that the team will not improve next year, with Carr leaving, and Marsden, Gray, Taggart green behind the ears, and leaving the team high and dry is their reasoning, then to me they are making a horrible mistake. They are not mature enough to handle the pressures of the NBA [and we're not talking about their playing skills]. Stinson is known in losing his temper when things are not going as planned on the floor, Blalock was so fustrated that he called out his teammates for poor play. Ironically, the both of them couldn't handle it was gut-check time."

Midwest Fan

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Stinson and Blalock are no more ready to play in the NBA than my Uncle George, who couldn't shoot beyond 2 feet, couldn't go to his left and never wanted to follow instructions. Let's hope Stinson and Blalock don't sign with agents so they can play their senior season at Iowa State -- if, of course, they'd be eligible. Naturally, there's no assurance of that].

* * *

"Midwest Fan's Twin Brother" checked in with this e-mail:


"I do believe that the NIT should send a gift basket to your family, as they took your advice and passed on Iowa State for the NIT. What should be more embarrassing for the Cyclones? Michigan, Creighton, and Missouri State received first-round byes and will host the first-round games. Yes, the Bluejays and the Bears. Secondly, Minnesota, Penn State and a soft Colorado team will be playing this week as well. Let this be a lesson to Iowa State. With the team they had this year, if Iowa State would have made an effort to play up to their talent and not down to their competitors, Iowa State would be winning the NIT, or at least get a No. 10 seed in the NCAA tournament.

"This week, ESPN and reporter Shelley Smith will be following Tennessee and coach Bruce Pearl. Earlier this evening, they were showing Pearl, with his wife, and player Dane Bradshaw sitting nearby. Bradshaw asked Pearl about where the teams would be going and where they could be going. Just as Pearl said that they could be going to Jacksonville or Greensboro, Tennessee's name was called up as a No. 2 seed. As the crowd erupted and wife in shock, Pearl's eyes bulged from his eyesocket in disbelief. Thankfully, he was aware that he wired with a microphone, because if anyone could read lips, I'm very sure he said, without sound, "Holy ----!'
"The discussion of Drake going to Division III was something my father and I talked about briefly last summer. He felt that Drake should be playing D-3 and join the Iowa Conference. I retorted back and said, 'Keep dreaming.' If Drake was to even join the Iowa Conference, they have players who are biggest, faster and stronger in each sport and Drake would just dominate the conference.

"This is just me talking, as a graduate of an Iowa Conference school, would it be a more feasible solution for Drake to leave the Missouri Valley and join a lesser-level conference, or drop to Division II? I bring up Division II since I think it would be a better fit for Drake. They will be able to attract students to a high-academic school, and compete with other teams, such as the MIAA or the North Central Conference [for which Morningside was a former member].

"Upper Iowa, which was best suited for the Iowa Conference, decided to move up to Division II, and William Penn moved down to NAIA after leaving the league. William Penn's decision actually may have helped them. The verdict is still out on Upper Iowa. Morningside's move to NAIA has been a savior for them. The football team qualified for the playoffs, the women's basketball team won back-to-back NAIA championships, and the men's team continue to be a threat year in and year out.

"It remains to be seen whether Drake will continue competing on the Division I level in basketball and I-AA in football. It will either depend on who the new athletic director is, or if Drake will seriously consider their options. The thought of Army, Navy, and Drake competing with Wartburg, Central, Mt. Union, and Pacific Lutheran sounds like three bullies walking into town.

"I would imagine that you decided to pass on watching the useless pandering of Billy Packer and Dick Vitale, and Digger Phelps on Sunday. For the first time in my life, I didn't sit in front of the television to watch the selection show. I went to grocery store. Best 90 minutes I spent this weekend!

"Take Care!"

Midwest Fan's Twin Brother

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: The decline of Drake basketball continues to be one of the saddest stories around. It's hard to believe a university that sent a team to the Final Four in 1969 can't field a competitive squad in the Missouri Valley Conference now -- even with the man [Tom Davis] who was the winningest coach in University of Iowa history calling the shots. I'd like to say that the future is bright for Drake basketball, but that's certainly not the case. A drop to Division II or III would be difficult for Bulldog fans to accept, but 19 straight non-winning seasons aren't easy to accept, either].

* * *

"Sadie from Schleswig" -- not her real name, not her real hometown -- brings up a familiar name for a basketball coaching job that likely will soon be open:


"What a great win for the Hawks [in the Big Ten conference tournament over Ohio State]. They played with a lot of heart, guts and determination. They were not going to be denied....I feel good for Horner and Brunner that they can end their regular season with such an awesome victory. I know the talk about Alford leaving will intensify. I have a perfect solution. Hire Tim Floyd!!!! He was an excellent coach at Iowa State. He should never have left. He couldn't cut it in the NBA, but I think he was good as a college coach."

Sadie from Schleswig

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Steve Alford hasn't said he's happy at Iowa, so I assume he's getting ready to take the Indiana coaching job when the Hawkeyes' season is over. Tim Floyd [pictured at the top of this column], who was at Iowa State from 1995-1998, was the best coach the school has had for the past 30 years -- but I doubt he's going to leave Southern California after one season. Floyd, 51, had a 17-13 record in his break-in year at USC, but what happened to him at the end mirrored what took place at Iowa State. USC was snubbed by the NIT despite beating North Carolina, Arizona and UCLA during the season. Like the Cyclones, USC lost seven of its last nine games. USC will be playing in a new arena next season, so I'm assuming Floyd is looking forward to that. I predict he'll be a big winner there. Besides, I don't think there was any love lost between Floyd and University of Iowa officials when he was at Iowa State].

* * *

Iowan-turned-Californian Al Schallau sent this e-mail:

"I am a member of a very small minority group who believe that Division I basketball coaches don't have to recruit eight academic dunderheads to have a winning team. From what the national press tells us, Coach K graduates almost all his players at Duke.....

"That old line, 'We can't win in our conference because of our high academic standards' is so much bullshit. That is the readily available cop-out for losing coaches who are exactly that -- losing coaches.

"From 1970 to 2002, Drake University made some spectacularly bad hiring decisions in their choices of head basketball coaches. They they ranged from mediocre to really awful. Drake University's chronic lack of success in men's basketball since 1970 can be laid squarely at the doorstep of the athletic directors who hired Drake's head coaches.

"I will stand by my position: If Drake University hired Vance Walberg as head basketball coach, the Bulldogs would own the Missouri Valley Conference after his third year.

"There are many Division I head coaching vacancies popping up already. Keep your eye out for Vance Walberg. He will be hired by some Division I school.

"Best regards,"

Al Schallau

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: I certainly agree that a school can be successful in basketball without recruiting idiots. Idiot players have a way of getting a coach into trouble in more ways than one].

* * *

Writes Barry Crist of West Des Moines:

"The happiest man in the world today is Matt Leinart as he will now not have to live in the toxic waste dump known as New Orleans. Drew Brees may have gotten a great deal from the Saints, but the QB yelling 'God Almighty, Glory Be to Jesus', was not located anywhere near a swamp.

"Will Matt Be ballroom dancing tonight?"

Barry Crist

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: With the millions Leinart, the quarterback from Southern California, is going to make in the NFL, he can dance every night of the week. Every day, too].

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

[Ron Maly is a four-time Iowa Sportswriter of the Year and also is the best-selling author of "Tales from the Iowa Sidelines," which is in its second printing as both a hardback and softback book. The book is about the rich football tradition at the University of Iowa. Maly has a heck of a lot of fun doing what he's doing. Ron's columns about sports, newspapers, his family, medicine, travel, the people he knows, the people he doesn't know, a few people he'd like to know better, a few people he once knew and is trying to forget, a few people he has already forgotten, and anything else that trips his trigger appear regularly at and]