Making four straight NITs is a weird thing in college basketball. To be that consistently mediocre, without bubbling up to the big dance (especially now that there are 68 teams) or falling down to no postseason is rather odd. An entire class of players knew what it is was like to be competitive, but not actually good.
Decent, but not something to be proud of. That’s the last four years of Northwestern basketball under Bill Carmody. The four years that produced John Shurna, the program’s best player, but no March Madnesses. And Carmody will get the chance to fulfill his contract and correct that, the school announced today.
There had been a decent amount of media coverage on the idea of Carmody being let go, possibly replaced by Duke assistant Chris Collins, and many Chicago sports fans believed it was time for Carmody to go. But Athletic Director Jim Phillips will let him try and get the team to the promised land next year, and possibly beyond.
“Bill Carmody is under contract to be our men’s basketball coach, and has the full support of the athletic department and University. We had another solid season competitively, but let me be perfectly clear: we are not satisfied. We are, however, optimistic that our program will continue to get better on the court while always maintaining a standard of excellence in academic success, NCAA compliance, social behavior and the development of young men.”
There were also a number of online polls showing that fans and alums wanted Phillips to make a change.
“I don’t live in a sheltered world and I know what [the media was] saying and I had to address that,” Phillips said. “This is the first media alert and conference call we’ve had for an end-of-the-year coach evaluation. The program is going to be better. Bill has assured me of that.”
Carmody and Phillips said last season that Carmody signed a two-year contract extension. But Carmody said Thursday that he actually has more than one year remaining on his contract and would not say how many.
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