Make no mistake, Binghamton head coach Kevin Broadus deserves some blame.
Probably even most of the blame.
Broadus decided to bet his career on the slim chance that he could use a bunch of trouble, but talented players to earn Binghamton's first trip to the NCAA tournament.
The first part of that plan worked out fine. Binghamton won 23 games last season and made the NCAA tournament. But the heartwarming stories in newspapers and magazines that usually follow a season like that never came. Partly due to Broadus' questionable recruiting tactics. And then things got worse last week, when star player Emmanuel Mayben was arrested on cocaine distribution charges and dismissed from the team. Then, on Friday, five more players were released including the America East's best player, D.J. Rivera.
Binghamton is now in house-clearing mode, and has been ever since the arrest. But, they have turned on Kevin Broadus for .... doing his job?
Again, Broadus deserves some blame .... probably even most of the blame.
What is not mentioned in the papers, the magazines or on the internet, is what President Lois B. DeFleur and Athletic Director Joel Thirer did. They hired Broadus from Georgetown despite his questionable recruiting history, they allowed Broadus to enroll all of his players. Players including the likes of Theo Davis, who was charged with marijuana possession at Gonzaga before transferring to Binghamtonn, Rivera, who sat out a semester at St. Joes because of academic problems, Malik Alvin, who transferred from UTEP in part because of academic problems, and who was later arrested for stealing condoms from Wal-Mart and assaulting a 66-year old woman, and it was DeFleur and Thirer who allowed Broadus to enroll Mayben, who was originally signed with Syracuse but never played for them because of academic problems.
That is not all DeFleur and Thirer did.
They gave Broadus a contract extension in June through 2014.
AND they recently fired a professor. A lecturer in Human Development, Sally Dear, who had been at the University for 11 years. Under what grounds? She accused the athletic department of giving preferential treatment to men's basketball players and pressuring her to change her grades.
This is not at all surprising. The fact that Broadus' questionable recruits ended up in trouble is what many would have predicted for the young players. But how can an Athletic Director and university President publicly criticize their coach for doing exactly what he was hired to do? They wanted wins, and they got them, by enrolling at-risk prospects. They could have stopped him at any time, for any reason. But they did not.
Basically, DeFleur and Thirer were fine with Broadus. Until last week.
Now they want to "clean up" their program. Right.
It seems to me that this is just a typical case of athletic and school administrators trying to cover their own behinds throughout a mess that was caused right under their watch. Broadus was their hire, and they allowed everything to happen. Now they want to try and eliminate some of the negative press that they contributed to. Not quite damage control.
Thirer and DeFleur might as well keep quiet at this point. Quiet like when they hired Kevin Broadus to build their basketball program.