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Geiger's explanation of taking time

Discussion in 'Buckeye Basketball' started by ohiobuck94, Jun 27, 2004.

  1. ohiobuck94

    ohiobuck94 Buckeye Beach Bum

    Geiger gets ready to go undercover
    Upcoming interviews will hinge on thoroughness, discretion
    Sunday, June 27, 2004
    Bob Baptist

    ‘‘It took me awhile to gather myself for (the search). That’s just honest. This hasn’t been very easy." ANDY GEIGER OSU athletics director

    Andy Geiger is prepared for one or more of his candidates for the Ohio State men’s basketball coaching job not wanting to merely discuss the position with him this week.

    Rather, the candidate will want to hear what the OSU athletics director has to offer in terms of a contract.

    "It’s part of the problem" of trying to hire people who already have good jobs, Geiger said. "Which is why I disappear for a while."

    Geiger will vanish this week. He plans to begin interviewing potential successors to Jim O’Brien, who was fired June 8 for violating NCAA rules by paying a recruit $6,000.

    Geiger already may have contacted some, phoning them or their athletics directors in the privacy of their homes this weekend to reduce the chance of the news leaking.

    Most if not all candidates for a job of this magnitude prefer that only a trusted few know they are interested, much less interviewing. They want it handled expediently and quietly lest the job they have is undercut and their recruiting jeopardized, especially this close to the start of the summer evaluation period July 8.

    Marquette coach Tom Crean and others close to him, for example, retreated to their bunkers Friday, a day after Geiger let Bob Knight know that Knight was not going to be considered for the job. Knight’s departure left Crean, Tom Izzo’s former right-hand man at Michigan State, as the leading candidate in the opinion of most looking in from the outside. As such, don’t expect to hear a word from Crean until he removes himself from consideration or shows up at an Ohio State news conference.

    Before an offer is extended, though, Crean — or Thad Matta of Xavier or whoever is hired — will have been given the once-over by not only Geiger but others in the OSU hierarchy, including president Karen A. Holbrook, Geiger said. It might not be as cut and dried as some want, but it’s how Ohio State does business.

    "There would have to be a meeting . . . (and) an affirmation at high levels before an appointment is made," Geiger said. "It’s very hard to (make an offer) sight unseen. I know who these (candidates) are, but other people at the university don’t. And at the end, there has to be presidential approval.

    "We have a very difficult situation right now, and while it may look simple — ‘Why not offer the job to X?’ — I have affirmative action (requirements to consider), I have university procedures (to follow).

    "We’re not a professional franchise. We can’t operate the way some organization (does) that doesn’t have the due-diligence requirements we have. There are lot of things you need to do before you make a choice. And you have to do it all with an incredible media scrutiny, and that’s really, really hard to do."

    Geiger is aware that his slow dance has been criticized.

    "What are they doing?" a major-college head coach said last week in reference to the more than two weeks that the job has been open.

    "The first piece of bad news to emerge regarding the Ohio State coaching search was this: There would be one," a columnist for The Sporting News wrote in faulting the school for not making a swift and surgical strike.

    Circumstances made that impossible, Geiger said.

    First, he said he did not focus on hiring a new coach while O’Brien and the program were investigated this spring following O’Brien’s April 24 admission to Geiger that he paid the recruit.

    "I didn’t think starting the search and putting feelers out while we still had a coach would be a very seemly thing to do," Geiger said.

    Second, Geiger had a family vacation scheduled June 11-21. Maurice Clarett cost the athletics director his vacation last summer. Geiger was not going to let the search trump this one, especially when he needed to get away as much as anyone to recover from being betrayed by a coach he trusted implicitly. O’Brien waited five years to tell Geiger of the payment, and then only because it was about to be revealed in a court deposition.

    "It took me a while to gather myself for" the search, Geiger said. "That’s just honest. This hasn’t been very easy."

    A few days ago, Geiger said he was still trying to get a feel for the potential severity of the NCAA sanctions the program faces so he can be as clear as possible with candidates about what to expect in terms of lost scholarships or NCAA Tournament ineligibility.

    "I don’t think (the penalties are going to be) calamitous; I don’t think (it’s going to be) close to that. But that’s as far as I’ll go as far as prejudging," Geiger said.

    "I need to know some more things before we move. When we move, we’ll move quickly. But until then, we’re going to do this extremely thoroughly."
  2. buckeyebri

    buckeyebri 40 Days in the Hole

    Geiger received a lot of criticism for how long it took to hire Cooper's replacement (JT) and the process that he went through. If you recall it was a rather lengthy process all things considered. I would rather see him be thorough and bring us the basketball equivalent of JT than rush to hire someone.

    That being said, I didn't see Matta in the most recent list of candidates that were being discussed. I would have to think that Crean is the leading candidate....

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