Thursday, July 21, 2005

Perhaps ISU is serious after all

There may be hope on the Olympic sports horizon after all.

ISU made what appears to be a solid hire in Stacy Gemeinhardt, who comes from DII Emporia State.

Unlike her predecessor, Gemeinhardt brings a nice winning percentage to Ames, .688 in four seasons. Her team won conference titles and an NCAA berth. The team's record books were rewritten during her tenure. She won a B12 title as a player at Mizzou. On paper, she knows what she is doing.

Some may view DII success with scorn, that it's not "Big Time". It may have a smidge of merit when it comes to adjusting to recruiting DI talent vs. the DII skills she has been working with. But the staff at CSJ has always believed that winning coaches can win at any level: winning is winning. The strategies may shift a bit, but the skills are the same: developing talent, teaching X's and O's, motivating maximum performance every game.

Best of all, by hiring a quality coach for an Olympic sport, ISU confirms that it wants to compete in not just the revenue sports, but across the board. Hurrah!

Here's hoping the new staff can recreate the success it had at Emporia, and remove softball from it's "token Olympic and Title IX sport" status at ISU.


Friday, July 15, 2005

On a related note

Before Cyclone fan celebrates Football's newfound committment to winning at all costs, consider the recent and distant past for perspective:

Lou Holtz, who quit earlier this year as the coach at South Carolina, now appears to have cheated during his 6 years there. The best part: he cheated and still didn't win, finishing 33-37, 19-29 in the hyper competitive SEC.

Not that any of this should be a surprise. He left scandal behind him after tenures at Arkansas, Minnesota and Notre Dame. The surprising thing is that he didn't get caught cheating at neither William and Mary or NC State.

And in the thankfully distant past, we present Iowa State's own Jim Criner, who went 17-25-2 in four seasons (which his XFL bio describes as "helped the Cyclones become competitive"), got blown out by Iowa in each season, and landed the Cyclones on probation. Nice work, Jim.

While past performance is no guarrantee of future results, past cheating seldom leads to good places.

Hopefully Cyclone football players can avoid their own "Chalupa" episodes.


Welcome to Big Time Football

Nothing says serious college football more than ethical lapses, and ISU has now officially stamped "SERIOUS" across the front of it's media guide.

The return of Jason Berryman to Cyclone football will be viewed as a landmark in the development of McCarney's program. ISU is no longer content to be a program with high ethics and low winning percentages- they are all in emotionally. Jason is probably as high a risk to DM's credibility as any kid ever to pull on a red helmet in Ames, although there are reports that he may have learned his lesson and grown up a bit while in jail.

But the fact remains that DM's track record was simple: get in legal trouble, hit the road. More astute readers can rattle off the list of names who have gone this route. It now appears that ISU has again thrown off the burden of having athletic ethics as is going to be serious about its football.

Here's hoping it works out for everyone involved.