Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Why Is Cincinnati Hating On Sean Miller?

Here in Cincinnati, all the sports talk has been about former Xavier head coach Sean Miller. Miller is leaving the Muskies for the Arizona gig which reportedly will pay him $2M a season.

Most of the sports talk guys and the callers to their shows are ripping Miller. How could he leave Xavier? Doesn't he know that this team will be really good next year? Some have even called him a liar.

Excuse me, but you do know you are Xavier ... right?

I know people hate feeling like they've been used. It happens in sports ... especially college sports ... that a coach will bolt a program that he has put back on the map for a cherry job at an elite school or one in an elite conference. It is a right of passage at this time of year. For Xavier to forget who they were is sad.

Memphis played for a national title last year. But John Calipari bolted for the luxury of Kentucky. How can you fault Miller leaving a program that has never sniffed the Final Four for one that currently owns the longest active streak of NCAA Tournament appearances?

It's not like Xavier hasn't seen this before. Pete Gillen left for Providence (and then Virginia). Skip Prosser who then leave for Wake Forest. Thad Matta left for Ohio State. Now Miller is leaving for Arizona.

Those honks around the Nati can't believe it.

No offense at all to Xavier. This is a great school that plays in the best basketball arena in the city. The fact that Xavier has had so many sought after coaches shows the kind of program they have built there. There are a lot of schools that would trade with Xavier right now.

But how can these people complain on the radio and TV about Miller leaving? Despite their success, Xavier is a second class citizen in this town. During the season, there were probably ten times the discussion on the University of Cincinnati than there was on Xavier. Heck, Ohio State and Kentucky got more run than the Muskies.

The local FOX station will move around primetime programming in order to show Cincinnati basketball. You'd be hard pressed to see Xavier anywhere on the tube. I live here and I only remember seeing two of their games this season: the Crosstown Shootout against Cincinnati and their terrible loss to Duke.

The point is that the city doesn't give Xavier the respect it deserves. Now when the coach leaves, they wonder why he'd want to go to a place where the program is the top dog.

Hey, Cincinnati. Xavier is your only good team. The Reds have enjoyed eight straight losing seasons. The Bengals continue to be a punchline. The Bearcats haven't recovered from the Bob Huggins firing. If you want somebody to stick around town, you may want to think about showing him some love.

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