It is both interesting and disappointing to follow current developments at North Carolina State University, where school officials are entangled in an effort to oust basketball coach Jim Valvano.
Based on various reports, the basketball program at N.C. State has been out of control in recent years with far too much emphasis placed on the win-loss record of the team, regardless of academic achievement or the personal actions and behavior of some of the players. Coach Valvano either was oblivious to what was going on among his basketball players, or he was looking the other way, or he didn't want to know what was going on. Regardless, whether it is right or wrong, fair or unfair, the coach has responsibility for the team.
There are many accusations relative to the N.C. State basketball program, and the majority of the university's board of governors wants to fire the coach. But as an indication of how out of kilter the situation must be at the North Carolina school, Valvano and his agent reportedly are trying to dictate the terms under which the pompous coach would agree to leave his post or stay on for additional coaching.
It is understandable that Valvano would like to have "one more year" as coach because it is a sure bet he would do everything he could during that year to have his fans and critics forget his sorry, irresponsible record and perhaps put him in a position to move into another high-salaried job. He wants to use the one year pact strictly for his own personal gain after years of mismanagement.
Just who runs the school? The coach and his agent or the school's chancellor and the board of governors? Since when do coaches dictate to universities unless the athletic-academic balance of a particular school is totally out of line?
The sooner North Carolina State University can dump Valvano, the quicker the school will get on the road to academic respectability. Most major university coaches are top-flight individuals, but the Valvanos and the Billy Tubbses do not reflect credit on their schools or the coaching profession.