College Football Mailbag (cont.)
Posted: Wednesday June 13, 2007 12:30PM; Updated: Wednesday June 13, 2007 1:52PM
What do you know about Terry Hoeppner and the Indiana coaching job? I am hoping he can continue coaching. It seems IU has become more competitive during his tenure.
The situation is far more serious than originally believed, and it's left Indiana's football program in an uncomfortable yet basically unavoidable state of limbo. As you may recall, Hoeppner underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor following his first season with the Hoosiers in 2005. While obviously an extremely serious procedure, Hoeppner barely missed any work while undergoing subsequent proton-therapy treatments and at the start of last season, the only sign there'd ever been anything wrong was the scar on his scalp. Even more remarkably, he missed just two games following an emergency follow-up surgery last September (doctors were worried about a possible recurrence but found only scar tissue). He coached the rest of the season, and when I talked to him in mid-February for a story about the new kickoff rules, it was business as usual for Hoeppner.
Shortly after that, however, Hoeppner had to take another medical leave, and this time, he's barely been heard from since. Out of respect for the coach's privacy, there have been no details released about his condition, but it's believed to be fairly serious considering he did not attend a single day of spring practice, nor did he participate in the May recruiting period. No one knows whether he'll be back for this season. AD Rick Greenspan has said he's "concerned" about the coaching situation but remains sensitive to Hoeppner and claims to have set no deadline for Hoeppner to announce his intentions. In the last week, there have been reports about a clause that would allow the school to void his remaining contract for health reasons, but I doubt Greenspan wants to do that. Not only would it appear insensitive, but as Tom mentioned, the Hoosiers have made serious strides under Hoeppner. Enthusiasm surrounding that program hasn't been this high since Antwaan Randle El first stepped on the scene, and it's all directly related to Hoeppner and his exciting offense. If need be, I think the school would allow interim coach Bill Lynch (previously a head coach at Ball State, Butler and DePauw) to lead the Hoosiers this season if necessary, but only if it could be reasonably certain Hoeppner will eventually be able to return.
In the meantime, I'm mainly concerned for Hoeppner, a genuinely great guy who's going through a heck of an ordeal. Let's all hope for a speedy recovery.
I can't believe you're letting the "we" thing slide. It's not like I'm part of SI because I read your article. Until I receive some improper benefits, I'm withholding my allegiance from every college sports entity.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE KEEP THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT!!!!! Stewart, when hung-over students and rich-cat boosters start showing up on the field during spring practice and two-a-days, then they can say "we". Until then, they are just fans.
No, No, No, No. Put the Commandment back. The test is simple, if "your" team wins a national championship, do you get a championship ring? If the answer is yes, then you can say "we." If not, you can't.
Jeez, where were you guys a couple of weeks ago when I was under attack? The truth is, I was already regretting my change-of-stance on the issue when, at the aforementioned Vegas bachelor party last week, I was reminded of just how annoying it really is. Many of my buddies are diehard New York Mets fans. As if sitting at a restaurant listening to them stage a serious debate about freaking baseball for 10 minutes wasn't enough to consider poking my eye out with the fork, suddenly one of the guys says, "Oh, is Oregon State playing [in the NCAA baseball tournament] tonight? I want to watch that pitcher we drafted." Are you serious? Adam, buddy, I love you and all, but the only pitcher you've ever drafted would have been in a fantasy league.
So in the sprit of the upcoming presidential election, here's how I'm going to pander to both sets of constituents: There will be no commandment, so all those deep-pocketed boosters and screaming students who want to take credit for their school's victories can feel free to do so all they want -- but rest assured that no readers of mine will ever be subjected to a published question in which the person uses "we."
What's up with this Mailbag every-other-week business? When does it become a weekly affair? Do you not realize that we cannot get enough college football?
Just for you, Donald, I'm bringing it back next week, and every week after that through the season. Let the games -- or at least the talking about the games -- begin in earnest.