"I would hope from my eight years at Marquette that I wouldn't have to defend myself about honoring Marquette's tradition," Crean continued, "We have really tried to honor former players, and I am very into honoring the past and the tradition we have."
Crean went on to express his regret in not handling the situation differently saying, "There is not a chance, that if I thought we were making a mistake, I would have allowed it. In retrospect, I wish I would have called George." Crean continued his apologetic tone saying, "I have told George that no one within the Marquette basketball program would ever try to disrespect him. I am sorry that it happened."
"We fixed the situation right away, and we put Lazar in another jersey, which you saw today," Crean said. "The blame for this situation goes to me, not to Bill Cords or anyone in the athletic department. If there is blame to go around, it should go to me," Crean concluded.
Coach Crean later went on to define his view of Marquette's policy for retiring jerseys and numbers, saying, "In my opinion, we do what UCLA, North Carolina, Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, and Oklahoma State do. When honoring players of past, we are taking the numbers out of the situation, we are honoring the individual. We do not take the number out of the equation but rather the jersey itself is what is retired."
In the end, it appeared that Crean was very apologetic for what was a genuine oversight on his behalf and as he stated, he was willing to do anything to correct the mistakes made and preserve the honor given to Marquette's great players.
**Andrew Phillips is a senior majoring in Political Science.