'The Search' Might Be the Story

The play is the thing that will catch the conscience of the king...or so wrote Shakespeare. ‘The play', as it is in Iowa's these days, is Gary Barta's stealthy coaching search. We'll toss a few more names into the fray, but right about now, the most ‘meaty' aspect of Iowa's coaching search is the search itself. Jon Miller provides his thoughts on 'The Search'

'How can I convince you what you see is real
Who am I to blame you for doubting what you feel

Ok, so that was just a way to mix in a song lyric from Survivor. My bad, it's won't happen again, unless it's Eye of the Tiger.

Here we are, well into the second week of Iowa's search for it's new men's head basketball coaching position, and most people are scratching their heads, wondering what direction that Iowa Athletic Director Gary Barta is going to take next.

Well, I had better amend that statement, since we apparently don't know what steps he has already taken, thanks to this Parker Executive Search firm.

Where do they get off keeping this entire process one big secret, anyway?

You have to tip your cap to them and Barta; they have us all drawing at straws right about now.

As we saw over the weekend, the Rick Majerus to Iowa rumors that were popular on Friday amounted to nothing…allegedly. Majerus told every media outlet that contacted him that he was not interested in the Iowa job, that he had not been contacted, and just what part of no don't you understand (something he told a Cedar Rapids Gazette reporter).

Dana Altman's name isn't completely out of it…he's almost like a cold case; a name that had fallen by the wayside, only to rise from the ashes on Saturday. I said more than once that if it was going to be Altman, I expected that hiring to take place quickly, because Dana does not want these things to drag out because the majority of his million dollars per year that he earns at Creighton comes from the boosters, and you don't want to upset them.

The thing is, with this Parker Search firm, coaches are beginning to realize that their names just might be kept secret after all. If you missed the CBSSportsline.com story on the search, click on that link. It's quite an eye opener, and I suspect it's how coaching searches are going to be conducted from now on, more often than not.

I think what you are going to find is coaches from around the country are going to catch wind of this firm's ability to keep things well off the radar of the media, which in this day and age is hard to do, and they are going to contacting this firm themselves, throwing their names into a pool each year about this time.

The bad news is that it's going to be harder to figure out whom your school is looking at. The good news, or at least I am hoping this is a good offshoot, is that colleges like Iowa that are looking for a new coach are going to come into contact with some names that they might not have been able to speak with on their own, if they conducted their own search. Because we have all seen examples where schools just can't do that as effectively as they like, because people talk. Oh yes Ray, people talk.

But Parker doesn't talk. Their business has been putting CEO's and Executives in touch with interested companies for 25 years. It appears to be highly applicable to coaching searches as well.

The Tubby Smith to Minnesota move proves that. Again, read that article that I liked above, as I think it will shed light on what Iowa might be going through, since they are using this same Parker search firm.

As for names, you probably want names. I guess I could throw a few against a wall to see if they stick, which is what the media is doing right now. CNNSI reported that Oregon's Ernie Kent is ‘rumored' to be in the hunt for the Iowa job. Lute Olson is pushing Kurt Speraw. Lorenzo Romar's name was swirling a bit this weekend, Mike Dunlap is out there as well. Tom Crean probably won't do anything until the Kentucky gig is decided, and a fan favorite Reggie Theus seemingly gets mentioned because he is a fan favorite.

Rumors seem to be all we have; a few leads that we really don't know where they will lead. So far, they've led to some disappointment amongst the fan base, and some embarrassment for the media member or outlet. (Do you think KGAN is flinching on that pep band report right about now?)

That's a concern that I have, that this roller coaster that we have all gone through could lead to some disappointment in the coach that is hired. I hope that doesn't turn out to be the case, and that the fans will give whomever Gary Barta hires, a chance to succeed or fail on his own merits without passing judgment before he even sets foot in Carver Hawkeye Arena.

Please, don't let it come to that. Iowa basketball fans have dealt with too much division for the past 10 years, when you factor in the waning Dr. Tom Davis years and then the tumult of the Steve Alford era at Iowa.

But is the genie out of the bottle?

I guess time will tell.

And it seems like that is what we all have right now…time to ponder, to speculate and for some, to worry about nothing, specifically.

We'll see what this week uncovers. With the college basketball season coming to an end late on Monday night, you have to imagine that Iowa will be announcing its new coach later this week.

There's a prediction for you. The play is the thing that will catch the conscience of the king...or so wrote Shakespeare. ‘The play', as it is in Iowa's these days, is Gary Barta's stealthy coaching search. We'll toss a few more names into the fray, but right about now, the most ‘meaty' aspect of Iowa's coaching search is the search itself.


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