The truth, the whole truth, half-truths, shades of the truth and other items admissible as sports news:
- ASU basketball coach Herb Sendek posted a blog (“From the Desk of Herb Sendek”) on Thursday and in it detailed his recruiting schedule for July.
“It’s a grueling three weeks where our entire coaching staff will spend 15 of 21 days on the road traveling from city to city watching game after game,” he wrote.
His use of the word “grueling” can be disputed.
College basketball coaches at the Pac-12 level stay in 5-star hotels, fly first-class, drive luxury cars, eat at elegant restaurants, and are compensated (based on Sendek’s $1.2 million a year) about $23,000 per week. Their per diem is ridiculous.
Somewhere along the way, a college basketball coach’s summer recruiting duties were mislabeled. Grueling? That should’ve been edited. They are merely time-consuming.
The guy who mows the greens at Tucson National Golf Course works harder.
- The reason UA grad Josh Pastner would always be on my must-hire-someday list is because he is a hustler who seems to be a step ahead of the other guys.
On Wednesday, Pastner announced he has hired as Memphis’ new assistant coach Keelon Lawson, one of the leading high school basketball coaches in Tennessee.
Pastner is aching to have recruiting access to Lawson’s three sons, K.J., Dedric and Chandler, who all project as potential McDonald’s All-Americans.
There is nothing suspicious about hiring for profit in college basketball (or football) anymore. Kansas set precedent 30 years ago by hiring Danny Manning’s dad, Ed Manning, a truck driver. Four years later, with Manning & Manning, KU won the national title.
The most brilliant move of Sendek’s ASU years was to hire Artesia (Calif.,) High School coach Scott Pera as a full-time assistant in 2007. Pera’s top player was James Harden. Now with Harden in the NBA, Pera has bounced around from ASU to Penn and Rice.
It happens at Arizona, too, and UA football coach Rich Rodriguez, never one to be a step slow, was ahead of the game when he recently hired Sean Patterson as a graduate assistant coach.
Patterson, whose credentials include three years as Duquesne’s starting quarterback and a year as an offensive coordinator for a pro football team in Cologne, Germany, is the older brother of Arizona’s leading QB recruit, Shreveport, Louisiana, high school junior Shea Patterson.
Shea made his pledge to be a Wildcat 18 months before his brother was hired by RichRod.
- From the get-off-my-lawn department: Seattle Mariners reliever Fernando Rodney pitched in Tuesday’s All-Star Game while wearing an oversized, flat-billed cap sideways. Had I been the coach/manager, he would not have stepped on the field until he properly wore his uniform the way All-Star Game predecessors from Whitney Ford to Greg Maddux did.
- The Pima County Sports Hall of Fame is a local treasure, although still backlogged, and it might be another 25 years until it can enshrine all of those who merit selection.
Here’s my quick list of three would-be Hall of Famers in a bid to make the next 25 years as worthy as the first 25:
1. Pam Reed, the top endurance runner in Tucson history.
Remarkably, Reed, 53, will again run in the brutal 135-mile Badwater Ultramarathon next week in the Central California badlands. She won it all (men’s and women’s divisions) in 2002 and 2003, and was the women’s runner-up in 2012 and 2013.
2. Vance Johnson. At Wednesday’s press conference unveiling 14 members of the Class of 2014, Johnson was mentioned three times by his peers. The Cholla High School star and All-Pac-10 tailback for UA in 1982 went on to play in three Super Bowls for the Denver Broncos. But I’m not sure Johnson’s top athletic achievement wasn’t winning the NCAA long jump champion as an Arizona freshman, jumping 26 feet, 11¼ inches.
In the 32 years since that jump, only two Pac-12 athletes have exceeded it.
3. Desiree Williams. She led Flowing Wells to the 2002 state softball championship, was Arizona’s 2004 Gatorade Player of the Year, became an All-Big 12 shortstop at Texas, and when she left the Longhorns, she held school records in home runs, RBIs and runs scored. No brainer.
- If you watched closely, the one ex-Arizona ballplayer visible at Wednesday’s ESPY Awards was Joe McLean. The same get-his-uniform-dirty basketball player who scored 629 points for the Wildcats from 1993 to 1996.
McLean walked across the red carpet with Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin, who is among McLean’s clients at True Capital Management in San Francisco. McLean is a senior vice president for the investment firm that represents about 150 pro athletes.
Although McLean played four years of European basketball after Arizona, his wisest choice was to pursue a degree from the Eller College of Management. McLean’s newest client is Michael Sam of the St. Louis Rams, the first openly gay player selected in the NFL draft.
Sam was photographed with McLean at the ESPYs after receiving the Arthur Ashe Courage Award.Item last: I now plan to petition my editor for some emergency time off after completing a grueling 917-word column.