Sometime last year after Pat Chun stopped by the 710 ESPN Seattle studios to be interviewed on our show, I asked the new Washington State athletic director what he planned to do about the foundering basketball team. He said he was going to give head coach Ernie Kent another year.
WSU fires men’s basketball coach Ernie Kent after 5 seasons
I was disappointed to hear that, pretty much feeling like Kent was not going to turn the program around in his fifth year if he hadn’t shown progress in his first four years.
Then again, everyone always pointed to the huge buyout Kent would get if he were fired, preventing his dismissal. But Wednesday night it finally reached the breaking point when Chun decided he’d look under his couch cushions to find the last few dollars of the $4.2 million needed to pay Kent to leave Pullman. Typical of performances we’ve seen under Kent, the Cougs looked hopeless and hapless against the Ducks in the Pac-12 tournament, losing 74-51 in yet another non-competitive effort, scoring just three points in the first 11 minutes of the game.
What told me that this just couldn’t continue were the “crowds” at Beasley Coliseum this year and last year and in almost every year of the Ernie Kent Era, one that ended up looking like the Paul Graham Era, the worst era in Cougar basketball history. You can’t keep trotting out a coach in front of hundreds of fans. There were games that appeared to have 200 or 300 fans at tipoff. No one cared about Cougar basketball anymore.
It’s a weird deal. Why was Kent able to build so many successful teams at Oregon and fail so miserably at Washington State? I don’t have an answer for that, nor do I have an answer as to …read more
Source:: MyNorthwest.com – Sports