Fun with Folse

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 26, 2005

David Folse II

Time to cancel the Brady Bunch show

There are two sports at LSU that consistently make money. I know people are going to say, what about baseball?. But the money is so small that it is really not applicable in this case.

Thanks in large part to the television contracts, men’s basketball and football make money for LSU and help fund all the other sports at the university.

We’re not going to touch football, everyone knows it is on the right track and making money hand over fist.

My focus this week is on John Brady and his men’s basketball program.

After seven-plus seasons, a change needs to be made at LSU.

Before people start to say, “Oh, you just hate Brady,” hold on and let me back my opinion.

Let’s look at the facts.

For argument’s sake, let’s throw out the first two years of Brady’s tenure at LSU because of the transition of a new coach and probation.

Take the remaining five years. In order, this is LSU’s finish: SEC Champs, last in the West, fourth in the West, second in the West and second in the West.

They are coming off a 31-point loss at Kentucky. I don’t care who you are, you should never, I mean NEVER lose by 30-plus points to anyone in your conference.

Over the past three seasons, LSU has twice been to the NIT and once to the NCAA Tournament.

Some people may think that is enough. I personally do not.

Granted he took over a program in shambles, but Brady took over a program that once made it to 10 consecutive NCAA Tournaments. Making the Big Dance used to be the minimal expectation of a LSU basketball fan. Just making the field of 32 in the NIT seems like an accomplishment if you listen to Brady.

The other thing that continues to amaze me with Brady coached team’s is the attrition. Granted, every program will have attrition, but at LSU it is bordering on the ridiculous.

Here’s some names: Shawnson Johnson, Tim Bush, Teddy Gibson, Mildon Ambers to name a few. Brady loses these players, but has the gall to still complain about the lack of depth. That is like someone who burns their money in a fire saying I can’t go to the grocery store.

The other big thing to focus on, and this will draw the attention of administration is actual attendance. People may sayit doesn’t matter who shows up, just that the tickets are sold. Tell that to Skip Bertman who is fond of the concession sales and so on.

Here is LSU’s actual, not paid, actual attendance figures this season: 3, 807, 3,849, 4,228, 5,316, 4,811, 6,416, 7,411, 5,295 and 6,595. For an arena that seats over 10,000, that’s not good. When people are buying tickets and not showing up, what does that tell you? That the interest is waning in the LSU program.

I’m not going to bash Brady the entire time. The man deserves credit. He took a program that was crippled by NCAA sanctions to an SEC Championship in only his third season. However, the transition from probation to normalcy is complete at LSU. The program now needs a new leader that will take it to the next level and return LSU basketball back to where it belongs which is contending for SEC Championships and a force to be reckoned with nationally.

That is where LSU’s baketball program deserves to be.