Tony Bennett screws WSU, heads to Virginia

tonybennett1Congratulations to former Washington State basketball coach Tony Bennett for providing our WTF Moment of the Year.  After years of deceiving everyone with his “I love Pullman” talk, Bennett just royally betrayed all of Cougar nation by bolting for the head coaching vacancy at the University of Virginia.  I know.  I completely forgot that UVA existed, too.

To call this move a head-scratcher would be a complete understatement.  First off, Bennett has a pretty good thing going at WSU, where the expectations are low, and he can mask his coaching and recruiting deficiencies by playing hard-nosed defense and flying under the radar.  Not so at Virginia, where the unassuming Wisconsin boy will be thrust into the spotlight and expected to turn a completely irrelevant Cavalier program into a contending force in the ACC.

Second, if Bennett was going to leave, why didn’t he do so last year?  One would have to assume that the coaching offers headed his way were better a year ago, with his Cougar ballclub coming off back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances.  Plus, the departures of nearly all his key players from a year ago had to make him realize that the ’08-’09 edition of Cougar basketball wouldn’t be so hot.  And that’s exactly how things ended up, culminating in a first-round exit in the NIT.

Third, what about the loyalty factor?  Throughout his tenure at WSU, Bennett has professed his love for the city of Pullman and his employer repeatedly.  He quickly became the Golden Boy of Washington State basketball, and has now gone on to break everyone’s hearts.  One can’t expect him to stay put at Virginia for very long, especially if he can replicate the immediate success he pieced together at Washington State.  Bennett may very well be the Dennis Erickson of the hardwood.

As a Husky fan, even I realize that this is the ultimate betrayal.  The news that has come crashing down on Coug fans is probably not unlike the news that rattled Sonics fans the day we found out our team was leaving town.  It’s an absolute shock to find out that Tony Bennett is departing Pullman.  From that perspective, I’m sorry.

As a rival, however, I’m glad to see Bennett go.  He became a thorn in the side of Husky Nation and won’t plague us anymore.  Plus, for all those Cougar fans who adamantly defended the loyalty of their coach, it’s nice to say, “We told you so.”  You had to understand that this man was living in Pullman, of all places, and one can only do that for so long before throwing in the towel (even most Cougs, I would imagine, couldn’t do it for much longer than the required four years).

In the end, all you can do is shake your head.  Just a strange, strange move by an odd little man.  Maybe they have a shop that sells ties near the Virginia campus….

20 thoughts on “Tony Bennett screws WSU, heads to Virginia”

  1. what does wsu expect? An I told you so may be harsh but realistic! Hopefully the ACC will gobble him up and spit him out!

  2. Let’s be a little more specific and hate ANYONE with the name Tony Bennett, after all there are a lot of really nice Bennetts out there.

  3. Yes, Tony has become The Douche of Wazzu, he’s the true example that words are just words and they don’t mean sh*t. Hope his wife thinks twice next he says “I love you.” When I got the text this morning that he was leaving, I was like “April Fools is two days away bitches,” then checked ESPN.com, CNNSI.com, Seattle Times and realized that that nobody at WSU is good enough to pull off a prank like that. I feel like Jerry McGuire when I found out that Cush just signed with Bob Sugar when I was downstairs in the lobby with the black fella. This truly sucks, but I can’t blame him, after all it’s UVA. When you think of ACC basketball, you think of UNC, Duke, Wake, Maryland and yes, of course, UVA! Just to let UVA fans know, the only time he played an ACC team we lost by 21 and shot 38% and that was with his best team. Enjoy!

    So Coug Nation what good can come of this? Well, maybe Tony will take his 8 minute scoring droughts with him to UVA and his offense that at times looks like a 7th grade girls j.v. squad. We can higher Ken Bone, who will make things truly interesting with WSU and UW meet up and make Akita’s boy Curtis Allen our recruiting cordinator. If that happens, let the games begin UW!

  4. If you guys managed to pull Curt, Bone, or even Dollar, I think I speak for all Huskies when I say we would have some identity crises going on. I don’t hate the Cougs, so it wouldn’t be that bad for me, but think of a guy like Softy, whose head would likely explode. It would be like when Doc Brown was trying to explain the time continuum to Marty and ultimately said that the manipulation of events in two separate places at the same time could cause the destruction of the entire universe.

  5. Yeah, real head scratcher. How did he go from a 3rd-rate state school bordering Idaho to one of the best public universities in the country, founded by Thomas Jefferson, with one of the nicest stadiums in college basketball, to play in the ACC where, by the way, UVA was a consensus last-place pick this year and they’re currently 5-3 in league play.

  6. I guess he left the 8 minute scoring droughts behind when he went to a school where he could recruit talent.

  7. I forgot that both Washington and Washington State existed, and so did the rest of America.

    Go Hoos!

  8. This article is as hilarious to read now as it was 5 years ago. When I see folks from the West Coast whine about East Coast bias, I am reminded of moments like this where the lack of perspective and knowledge reveal themselves with such clarity. Enjoy your mediocrity, Washingtonians.

  9. This gets funnier every year. I didn’t realize the huskies had a college basketball team. Really I didn’t.

  10. Ha! Stick is up your ass, baby! It wasn’t a lifetime contract. Just because he turned down Indiana didn’t mean he was pledging his eternal presence in Washington.

    Enjoy irrelevance, Washington schools!

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