Apparently Tom Crean hails from the Bobby Petrino school of etiquette when it comes to parting ways with his employer, fans and the players he recruited. Crean accepted the Indiana job without telling Marquette officials that he was considering a change, according to the Marquette blog, Cracked Sidewalks:

Tom Crean, the beneficiary of a generous, flexible,and accommodating institution, flushed that trust and goodwill down the drain and went “Irsay” on Marquette ………slipping out to Indiana under the cover of night without the decency to discuss his decision in-person with the folks who worked tirelessly to support his basketball program over the years.

And there was this heartfelt farewell salutation:

Thanks for the memories Tom … but don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.

Really, why would Crean leave in such an abrupt manner after promoting the Marquette program as a family organization? After being spurned by other coach-needy universities in recent years, he thought the offer wouldn’t be on the table long. Couldn’t wait another day to talk to his players and supporters?

Crean claimed what he thinks a more prestigious coaching job but lost any respect he may have earned at Marquette. Burned those bridges. Bad form.

Indiana could have used this occasion to polish its image but muffed as well.

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

3 thoughts on “Crean Creams Marquette”
  1. Disappointed to hear about Crean leaving Marquette in the manner he did. I can sympathize with Golden Eagle fans though. It’s been a tough year to be a West Virginia fan.

    We had two coaches leave within a year to a Michigan program I despise above all others now. Rodriguez and Beilien both left West Virginia at the alter, and could care less how they hurt their former employer.

    It sucks, but this is the world of college coaching we live in today.

  2. We had the great fortune several years ago to meet a very nice couple from Milwaukee while in Memphis for the C-USA basketball tournament. They were BIG Marquette fans, and were tickled that they were headed to the BIG EAST, along with Louisville.

    Over dinner and drinks, we discussed the growing basketball rivalry between the two schools, and the illustrious former coaches. A still remember one of the comments made by “Mark” that night…I’m paraphrasing here…but it went something like this…

    “Crean won’t become a legend for us…like Al…because Crean will eventually leave us. It’ll be a big program that gets him…like a Kentucky, Tennessee or Ohio State.
    We’re just glad Mike Deane isn’t here anymore.”

    I sent “Mark” an e-mail after hearing about the Crean move to IU, and I got a reply this morning:


    Hope you and the big guy are doing OK. Did you get to Charlotte to see the Cards? We went to MSG to see Marquette in the tourney, but decided not to follow them this year in the NCAA. About Crean, yes I was surprised and a little mad about the way it all went down. Kinda reminds me of the Petrino deal with you guys down there. Funny thing here is I ran into Dom James on campus last week and asked him about next year and he told me point blank that there were going to be a lot of changes. He did not go into specifics and I did not press him on this but it does make you wonder if the players already knew something was in the works.

    Take care and hope to run into the both of you sometime during next basketball season. Connie says Hi.


    Innuendo reigns.


  3. This year’s team & restoring our Top Ten tradition
    I don’t know about you- but basketball saved my 2007-2008 sports season, and made me completely forget the disaster that was football.

    For that- and a great, great ride this year — I thank this team and RickyP again.

    Y’know, UofL basketball has been named the seventh best all-time basketball program by Street and Smith’s, The Sporting News, and CBS Sportsline.

    This year’s team’s Top Ten finish was great, and together with the 2005 team is helping to restore our Top Ten tradition (#7 out of 328 Division I teams teams-top 2%).

    It’s a helluva lot of fun– again.


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