|Carle's Corner: Retaining Orr was no surprise (03-22-13)|
|Written by JACK CARLE Sentinel Sports Editor|
|Friday, 22 March 2013 09:03|
It was really no surprise Louis Orr was retained as the head men's basketball coach at Bowling Green State University.
When he was hired to replace Dan Dakich, Orr was given a five-year contract. In Orr's second year BG was 19-14 overall and 11-5 in the Mid-American Conference, and he received a two-year contract extension after that season.The Falcons haven't had a winning season since then.
Bowling Green was 13-19 overall and 7-9 in the MAC this season. If you throw out the wins over Lake Erie, Alabama-Huntsville and New Orleans, the Falcons had only 10 wins of note. Bowling Green did beat Detroit, Wright State, Kent State and Western Michigan, but ended the season on a frustrating note with a loss to Miami in the first-round of the Mid-American Conference tournament
Overall, BG is 12 games under .500 in Orr's six years at 89-101. So as a basketball decision, it's difficult to understand why Orr was retained.
As a person, Orr is an accomplished man, who has deep religious beliefs, and a person who can be a positive role model.
In addition the Falcons make academic progress, earn their degrees, and for the most part have stayed out of the blotter.
Those are all positives, but don't outweigh the lack of progress on the court.
I think it comes down to a third factor - money. It would take money to buy out Orr's last season as head coach as well as the staff members who have time left on their contracts.
I doubt there is enough money to pay for two head coaches and additional staff.
Information from the U.S. Department of Education, compiled on bbstate.com (midmajority.com) shows that BG is last in the MAC in spending on men's basketball, in data from 2011. The total expenses for BG in the report is $1,145,144, which is 251st in the nation. Ohio tops the MAC schools at $2,162,046 and Akron is second at $1,924,397.
On the other side of campus, BGSU has been in a belt-tightening mode, including proposed cuts to the faculty.
I don't think it would have been well-received by other BGSU employees that money was going to be spent for two coaching staffs.
And there have been fans who have stated they would not be buying tickets or donating money to the basketball program as long as Orr is the head coach.
I'm not sure how many dollars are involved, but any loss of revenue is difficult to replace.
While the decision to retain Orr may save money in the short-term, the potential loss of revenue caused by fewer donations and the lack of attendance could cause long-term damage to the program.
And next season could be a wasted year that reflects the under-investment in the program as a whole.
I fear it's going to be difficult to reach .500 next year.
Bowling Green will have to replace the scoring of A'uston Calhoun and Jordon Crawford, who combined to average over 30 points per game and were among the conference leaders in minutes played. Both scored over 1,000 points in their Falcon careers.
Cameron Black and Chauncey Orr are the returning starters while Richaun Holmes had the most significant minutes off the bench.
Black and Craig Sealey are the two seniors next season while Orr, Holmes, Jehvon Clarke and Anthony Henderson will have junior eligibility.
Spencer Parker and Josh Gomez, who sat out last season as a transfer from Iona, will have sophomore eligibility.
There are three incoming freshmen - Zach Denny, a 6-foot-2 guard from Valley View High School in Ohio, who was a second-team All-Ohio Division II pick this season; Garret Mayleben, a 6-9 forward from Milford (Ohio) High School; and J.D. Tisdale, a 6-5 guard from Swartz High School in Michigan.
In addition there are two scholarships that can be used and I would target junior college players who could help the program right away.
But with Orr on the final year of his contract, it is going to be difficult to interest potential recruits for the 2014-15 season and beyond.
The lack of recruits will put a new head coach, or Orr if he is retained after the 2013-14 season, in an extremely difficult situation and it could take two or three more years to recover.
Hopefully things can improve, but unfortunately I really don't see if happening in the near future. However, I won't be upset if I am proven wrong.
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