The Colorado State Men’s Basketball program is quite the hot mess right now. As you likely already know, CSU plans to fire head basketball coach Larry Eustachy. This is due to the fact that Eustachy violated a policy of his contract regarding abusive behavior toward players and staff. “We can’t give a guy a zero-tolerance policy in 2014, have the conduct continue in 2018 and then just give him another warning,” said a source, according to The Denver Post. For more details, please click the above link.
I am not here to write about Eustachy, who really should not have been hired by the Rams in the first place, as this is not the first incident involving Eustachy and extremely inappropriate behavior. I’m also not here to write about Interim coach Steve Barnes, who was also just placed on administrative leave while the school continues its investigation into Eustachy. In all likelihood, both will be out before the end of next week.
I am here to write about what CSU should do going forward. I am here to write about the Rams can do to make things right, to make the more relevant and to set them up as winners and barrier-breakers.
Colorado State should look to its past while building toward a bright future. It should look into hiring one of its best basketball players in school history. A player who was an All-American in their senior season and helped lead the Rams to a 33-3 record. A player who led their team to a spot in the Sweet 16. A player who was named WAC player of the year, holds multiple offensive records and has their jersey hung in the rafters. A player who went on to star at the professional level and enjoy great success in the Olympics. A player who is currently a member of one of the best coaching staffs in all of basketball.
A player whose name is Becky Hammon
Currently, there are three women at the Division I level in the NCAA who serve as assistant coaches. Hammon would be the first head coach, and there is not a person on the planet who could argue her credentials for such a position. The only question is, would she take the job?
I honestly do not know. Hammon is currently an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs under Gregg Poppovich. She was the head coach for the Spurs in the Summer League for the NBA in Las Vegas. She even had some interest from the Milwaukee Bucks, who were thought to be considering her for their general manager position.
Some would argue that going from an assistant with the Spurs to the head coach at CSU would be a step backward. But would it? It would be a historical move, either way. And whether or not Hammon would take the job, it should be up to the Rams to at least afford her the opportunity to make that decision.
She certainly deserves at least that much from her alma mater.