Final Hurrah for Memorial Gym Coaching Boxes

Wednesday night's win over Mississippi State marked the final game where Memorial Gym is set up the same way it has been since the buildings construction in 1952. After 63 years of the coaching boxes being purely along the baseline, one of the traits which makes the gym unique in college hoops, Vandy is being forced to change the layout from the first game of the 2015-16 season.

As of next fall the coaching boxes will still be along the baseline, but they will be extended down the north sideline beyond the three point line and toward the scorer’s table. With this rule change the two head coaches only, not assistants, will be able to walk throughout this whole box during games, essentially giving them an L-shaped area to coach from. Players will remain on the baseline except when walking to the scorer’s table to check into the game.

This is a rule change which was brought about at an SEC meeting and not something which has been mandated through the NCAA. This alone is quite an interesting point, what with the NCAA being known for their micromanaging of everything down to a player’s sock choice, but the governing body of the sport was content to let Vandy maintain their individuality and uniqueness when it came to the coaching setup.

The SEC coaches, however, decided differently. The fact that the other coaches can make such a decision is in itself completely questionable. Where does this stop?

Do Mountain West teams get to tell Boise State that their blue football turf should be green?

Do SEC teams tell Kentucky it can't sign 1 and dones?

How about banning Ohio State from dotting the I in Script Ohio?

Strangely enough the most vocal advocate for Vanderbilt in this whole mess is a guy who has coaches at Memorial Gym as the face of the enemy on many occasions. Bruce Pearl, yes the former Tennessee and current Auburn head coach, had the following to say and to be honest he puts it more eloquently than I ever could.

"It's unique to college basketball, and it's something I think the SEC should honor and promote as opposed to having somebody else decide how the thing should be configured," Pearl said. "It's very difficult to establish history and tradition, and Vanderbilt basketball has it. So who am I to change it?"

Well said Bruce. Well said. Top Stories