To sum up the statements of Buzz and Director of Athletics Larry Williams: Buzz isn’t going anywhere, and they’re excited about the program’s future.
Before this reassurance, some fans considered Buzz leaving as a realistic possibility. There were rumors of a rift between the coach and the school’s administration, including Williams and University President the Rev. Scott Pilarz.
The last year or so hasn’t been the smoothest off the court for Marquette, including bar fights and six players being cited for being in a club underage. One would think Williams and Pilarz would want to fix the image of the program and the school.
But, they’ve dealt with those issues, and they are now are a thing of the past. The opinions of those who already think little of the program won’t change anytime soon. I’m not saying just throw it under the rug and say it never happened, but there is no changing any of it now.
What Buzz, Pilarz and Williams must do now is make sure events like those never happen again.
Everyone knows Marquette makes a lot of money because of its men’s basketball team. Because of the source of the money, which is the team’s success, the university’s profile has been raised in a manner that would not have been possible without its successful teams of years past.
We also are entering what could be a very unique period in the history of Marquette basketball. The team just finished a season where it won 14 games in the Big East and reached its second consecutive Sweet 16.
With success like that coming so quickly for one of the country’s youngest and most enigmatic coaches, the demand for his services elsewhere is inevitable.
Just because it was rumored Buzz may consider another job doesn’t mean Marquette fans should express their dislike for the prospect of their beloved coach leaving in as harsh a manner as some fans have.
Through message board posts and tweets, fans have threatened to stop donating any money to the school if Buzz leaves. There also have been some who have went as far as to call for Williams’ job.
I grew up in nearby Waukesha and have regularly attended Marquette games since I can remember. My father is an alum, and I sat by many other alumni during those years of exhilarating fandom.
I understand where all these people are coming from, but if some school isn’t rumored to be ready to offer Buzz a boatload of money to go and coach at their school, then he is not doing his job.
Every year he is probably going to have to come out with a statement saying he’s not leaving because he will have gotten so many emails from fans asking for him to stay and saying how much he means to them.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar once said, “One man can be a crucial ingredient on a team, but one man cannot make a team,” and it’s the same thing in this situation: if Buzz left, it wouldn’t be the end of the world.
Marquette basketball is bigger than any one coach or player. With some of the most obsessive and passionate fans in the country, there will be some who will overreact every time.
But, for those of us who truly get it, it’s about the program itself. It’s about how we truly are Marquette and no one coach leaving can change that.
In the meantime, let’s look to the future and get excited for the next couple years of Marquette basketball, which are set to be some of the best in the program’s history.