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].