Okay, you’re not going to believe this, but it is the truth. I hate picking on the Houston Chronicle. I hate picking on the writers at the Chronicle. And I really hate picking on Richard Justice.
But I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do.
The current culprit is Justice’s Wednesday column on the hiring of Mark Turgeon to coach the Aggies. While waxing rhapsodic on Turgeon, Justice decided to stab former Aggie coach Billy Gillispie a few more times. I quote from the column:
When Gillispie go the call [from Kentucky], he forgot all about that commitment to Texas A&M. He didn’t even have the decency to meet face-to-face with his players….Turgeon is different from Gillispie in one basic way. He’s married and the father of three. Gillispie was single and something of a night owl.
And this is after Justice called Gillispie a liar and a cheat over the weekend.
Justice makes a good and valid point. One with which I can agree. If you’re under contract, you should fulfill that contract. Gillispie was under contract. He’d just agreed to an extension, and he promised that he would remain at A&M. Then, the next week, he’s gone.
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But there’s one thing Justice doesn’t say. Mark Turgeon was also under a contract. He was bound by contract to Wichita State. And it was just last year that he signed an extension that was to keep him there until 2012.
So, applying the Justice rules, this makes Turgeon a liar and a cheat. He’s an untrustworthy man who can’t keep commitments. Am I being a bit harsh? Maybe. But this is what Justice has been writing about Billy Gillispie, and if it’s true as to Gillispie, then it’s got to true as to Turgeon. If you’re going to apply standards to coaches, then you have to apply the standards consistently.
Mark Turgeon did what Billy Gillispie did. He accepted an offer from a better school. It’s a chance to move up the ladder. Gillispie moves from A&M to a college powerhouse. Turgeon moved from a mid-major to a major. It’s something I believe that just about anyone would do.
I know that there are a lot of Aggies in Houston. And I know that their business is important. But you have to be consistent. You can’t praise a person for doing something that you denounce another person for doing. Especially in the same column. And especially not just to keep the Aggies happy. – John Royal