Gene Chizik, Wesley Johnson, and Greg McDermott. My gosh. It seems that no matter which Cyclone site I go to, or what fans I come across, one of those three names comes up, and it's usually something negative. The way fans bring this stuff up in an upsetting or angry way, is silly. I think we need to address these three individuals, then move on from it.
Gene Chizik: I think this guy was a good coach, who screwed up the hiring of assistants, and had a hard time relating to the Upper Midwest. The guy saw the opportunity to take a hefty pay raise, and move to a location that felt more like home, and he did it. The way he left the team and went about it was wrong, no doubt. But here's the thing: how many people out there would turn down the chance to nearly double your salary and move closer to home? I'm guessing 90-95% of people would do this. Auburn is doing well, and the guy didn't make the type of errors he did when he was in Ames. Look, I was mad too when news broke. I thought our football program was going to continue to step back, and was ticked at him for it. Nearly two years removed from it now, I see a team that has athleticism like we've never had before, and a coaching staff that has taken the Iowa State program a step forward in each year. So why be ticked at Chizik?
Wesley Johnson: This was a case of a 20 year old, leaving the program for many more reasons than we probably know. ISU originally found a guy that nobody wanted, and when people realized he could play, other programs wanted him. He capitalized on that, ended up in Syracuse, had almost every game on ESPN, and was picked in the Top 5 of the NBA draft. It stinks when you lose the face of your program, but that was over 2 years ago. The guy is in the NBA now. What's done is done, and honestly, the move to Syracuse ended up being a better one financially. Like the rest of you, I was ticked when this happened and had McDermott's back 100% with this. I think Wesley leaving the program was the program-killer for McDermott. Besides the way he went about his business, I haven't heard of Wesley being a bad person or anything like that. I know there are some Cyclone fans out there that will actively boo the guy and root for him to do poorly in the NBA. But why? Maybe he screwed the program over a little bit, but he didn't do anything to you personally.
Greg McDermott: The Creighton game is coming up in just over 2 weeks, and what I'm worried about is Cyclone fans not being classy. I hope that isn't the case. McDermott is a great guy and a good basketball mind. The areas of the program that went poorly had to do with relationships with some of the players, as we'd have half the team leave every year. I think McDermott will do a good job back in the Valley, and he did Iowa State a favor in many ways. It just wasn't going to work out, New York Times articles dissing him and Iowa State related to Wesley Johnson looks poorly, and the fanbase was ready to be done supporting the team. Just a recipe for a bad situation. Rather than put the program through all of that, he found a win-win for both himself and Iowa State. I'm not going to hate on that at all, and I'm not going to root against the guy. I hope Cyclone fans follow suit.
Cyclone fans, lets get over this. Air all of your drama out in the comments, and let's move on! It's 2010-11, we have great people leading our programs! Let's spend our energy supporting the Cyclones we have, rather than focusing the attention on those who are gone.