Mystery of Marcellus

This is not a Colombo TV mini-series. Nor does it take the masterful interrogation skills of Perry Mason to figure out this whodunnit. I placed a call to my friend, The Shadow. He got right to the heart of the matter.

Marcellus Sommerville is a native of Peoria, Illinois. Peoria is primarily known for two things: Caterpillar Tractor and Bradley University.

Bradley University is a small, private university. The school has long been a member of the Missouri Valley Conference. The basketball program is a mere shadow (there I go again) of it's former self. Years ago, when the Missouri Valley was a high division 1 conference, the Bradley Braves had great teams with players like Chet "The Jet" Walker and Joe Allen.

A search was conducted for a new basketball coach last spring. For some unknown reason the search committee passed over a popular, hometown hero, Wayne McClain. Wayne is a legend in Peoria as he coached Peoria Manual High School to three consecutive Illinois state titles. In addition, his 1997 squad was named National Champions by USA Today and Wayne was also honored as the National High School Coach of the Year. The community was strongly in McClain's camp during the search. McClain is now an assistant coach at the University of Illinois.

However, the university went in another direction and hired Jim Les over Wayne McClain. Les's background includes being a stock broker and has a coaching career that pales in comparison to McClain's.

Shortly after Les was named last April, rumors started to surface in Iowa City that Marcellus Sommerville, a 6-6, 215 pound freshman forward would return home to Peoria and attend Bradley.

Fast forward to August. Sommerville's high school coach's son has been hired as an assistant at Bradley. Marcellus leaves Iowa.

Those who doubt Bradley personnel's involvement in this matter probably still believe in the tooth fairy. Their denial shouldn't even play in Peoria.

Bradley officials have made a bad mistake. No Les, no more!


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