Weber: It's been a very difficult day

Weber: It's been a very difficult day

(updated 6 p.m.) CHAMPAIGN — For the third time since November, Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas has fired a high-profile Illinois coach.

The first-year AD announced Bruce Weber's dismissal at an 11 a.m. news conference at Memorial Stadium. Weber's firing was reported earlier today.

"A decision has been made to move in a different direction," Thomas said.

"I did meet with Bruce this morning and informed him of that decision."

Weber's Illini missed the NCAA tournament for the second time in three years. The basketball program has slipped considerably since reaching the NCAA title game in 2005.

Weber was not at the morning press conference, but remained in Champaign-Urbana. Weber met with the media at 3:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium and read a statement. Weber paused to compose himself during his 13 minutes, 20 seconds at the microphone. Weber said he was going to Custard Cup after his talk. He didn't take any questions from the media.

"It's been a very difficult day for me," Weber said. "I haven't slept or ate in 24 hours. It's been very emotional for me and our staff."

Weber said he has received support during the last five weeks from friends and fans, taking calls and receiving text messages.

"This is a bottom line business," Weber said. "We all know it."

Weber thanked Ron Guenther, who hired him away from Southern Illinois to replace Bill Self. He said he leaves the program on solid ground.

Weber praised the work of his assistants: Wayne McClain, Jay Price and Jerrance Howard. And he thanked the basketball support staff.

Many of the Illinois players attended the press conference.

Recruits also weighed in throughout the day Friday.

“It a day every commit and every player just fears,” said Mount Prospect senior Mike LaTulip, who has verbally committed to be a preferred walk-on at Illinois in 2012-13. “I’ve developed relationships with the whole coaching staff, really, really good relationships. You hate to see it happen like this. It’s just a sad thing to see. I can’t say enough about Bruce Weber and the guy he is – just genuine, honest and loyal. I’m blessed to have developed a relationship with him.”

If Illinois receives a bid to the NIT, Weber will not be the coach. Howard has stepped in as interim head coach. Thomas said any decision to keep Howard in the future will be up to the next head coach.

"I'm a big Jerrance Howard fan," Thomas said.

Weber has three years left on his contract and is due $3.9 million.

Thomas said a national search begins immediately. He said there is a "strong possibility" that he will use a search firm.

"I'm excited about the prospects for this program in the future," Thomas said.

Thomas said the decision to fire Weber was not based on this season, but on the body of work. Like he did with the hiring of football coach Tim Beckman, Thomas said the goal is to win championships.

Thomas said he is looking for a coach with the ability "to recruit at a high level." He didn't eliminate the idea of hiring someone who wasn't a head coach.

"Really, the thing that trumps all is that we're going to do things the right way," Thomas said.

Thomas said he hopes Illinois assistants Jay Price and Wayne McClain stay with the team if it receives an NIT bid. Illinois is considered a strong candidate to be in the 32-team field, which will be announced Sunday night. Thomas said the school isn't interested in a CBI or CIT bid.

Weber is reportedly being considered for other college jobs, including Southern Illinois. He remains wildly popular in Carbondale.

"I think somebody would be lucky to have Bruce Weber as their basketball coach," Thomas said.

Thomas said he would like to have stability in all of his programs. He said he didn't take the Illinois job thinking he would have to make major changes in his first year, but it happened.

 

 

 

Comments

News-Gazette.com embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. We reserve the right to remove any comment at our discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments

RPeterE wrote on March 09, 2012 at 10:03 am

Hooray for Mike Thomas! Good Job Mike! Someone finally holding our coaches accountable.

Salukibound wrote on March 09, 2012 at 11:03 am

I have no idea how much you all are paying Mike Thomas, but you basically are paying him 7.1 million dollars on top of his salary and the new coaches he hires. Not very fiscally sound.

Salt Life wrote on March 09, 2012 at 11:03 am
Profile Picture

Actually the poor fiscal decisions were made by Ron Guenther who gave poorly performing coaches long extensions. Thankfully wealthy boosters are covering the buyouts and Illinois isn't paying one cent of these terrible coaches' golden parachutes. Mike Thomas is actually doing his job and removing the cancers and failure that Zook, Weber and Law represented. Thank goodness Mike Thomas isn't a coward.

OKOMIS wrote on March 09, 2012 at 11:03 am

1st annual Mike Thomas love fest!!


 

Fedupwithstatereps wrote on March 09, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Ditto.

bernies wrote on March 09, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Salt Life says: "Thankfully wealthy boosters are covering the buyouts and Illinois isn't paying one cent of these terrible coaches' golden parachutes."

Seriously? Wealthy boosters have kicked in over $7 million to get rid of these three head coaches? Do you have proof?

Illiniwek11 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Are you that naive or just don't pay attention to the "inside baseball"?  Its a well known fact by people that the boosters gave the go ahead to Thomas to buyout Weber or they would not be donating to the Assembly Hall project.

Illiniwek11 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Are you that naive or just don't pay attention to the "inside baseball"?  Its a well known fact by people that the boosters gave the go ahead to Thomas to buyout Weber or they would not be donating to the Assembly Hall project.

OKOMIS wrote on March 09, 2012 at 11:03 am

 Well thanks Ron Geunther… I’m so grateful we now have an AD who expects excellence.

houstonillini84 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 1:03 pm

haha, he 'expects' it. His expectations plus a buck will get you a cup of coffee. Doesnt matter what people expect, what matters is what they deliver.

PeterE wrote on March 09, 2012 at 1:03 pm

. . . and if they don't deliver, then they get fired from here on out. YEAH!!!!!

houstonillini84 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 1:03 pm

as long as you dont have to pay the remainder of their contracts, right? Easy to talk big when its other people's money paying the bills. Especially in a state that cant pay its own bills.

PeterE wrote on March 09, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Are you totally clueless about everything? The state doesn't pay either the coaches' salaries or buyouts when those occur. The athletic department at Illinois doesn't draw any money from the school (or state). Wealthy boosters have pledged the money for buyouts. It's a business decision and Thomas is the CEO of the athletic department and yes they operate in the black. Not saying NCAA major sport coaching pay is ethical or morally right when it is ten-twenty times or more what a school's top educators earn. That is determined by society which has never been equitable. Average college sports and pro sports fan can't even afford tickets. Wealth is increasingly being more and more concentrated in the hands of a small greedy percentage. But that's the American way and everything today is a bottom line business decision. It's never about the average joe.

pblillini wrote on March 09, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Yes, he is totally clueless.  That is why he has been lobbying for Weber to keep his job for months.

houstonillini84 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 6:03 pm

where have I lobbied for Weber to keep his job? I like the man, but he has lost the faith of much of the fan base, and a change had to be made. I just am not naive enough to think that change is a sure-fire fix.

houstonillini84 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 6:03 pm

ah, I see, its 'wealthy boosters' who have pledged to pay Weber's salary. But oh wait, that 'wealth is increasingly being more and more concentrated in the hands of a small greedy percentage'.

So what you're saying is that this 'small greedy percentage' is so greedy that they are volunteering to pay for Weber's salary. That doesnt sound so greedy to me, it sounds quite generous actually. (Just like when that top 1% of earners pays 40% of the income taxes and pay the way for the bottom 50% who pay a whopping 3% of income taxes.)

Anyway, its always funny when one person does the complaining but someone else is nice enough to come along and pay the bill. So many people on these forums complain about why the school doesnt pay more for a more expensive coach, but do they offer to pay anything? Heck no.

And by the way, I didnt say the state pays the bill for the coaches. Not sure where you got that. I fully realize who pays the bill. My point was that its not whiners on the internet who pay the bill, they just whine and make demands but of course arent willing to fork over their own money. Easy to tell OTHER folks how to spend money.

As far as it not being about the average joe, funny how that refrain comes up every time someone wants someone else to do something for them.

 

Illiniwek11 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Houston Illini-

Don't even try to act all innocent....you were definitely one of the few people on here staunchly defending Weber at the mid-point of the season.  Not only that, but you decried and insulted anyone who dared say that this season would end badly and in shambles.  How's that crow taste?

And I will go back and pull out text from the Live Updates and articles where you commented during the season just to prove you wrong.

PeterE wrote on March 10, 2012 at 12:03 am

Houston has been blasting anyone critical of Weber all season. Even now when his boy has been fired by his employer for unacceptably poor performance he still insults others for being critical and not adoring Weber..

OKOMIS wrote on March 09, 2012 at 4:03 pm

no.... expects it at least gets you a chance, no guarentee, but at least a chance..... putting up with year after year year of mediocricy, and that's a generous word for this B1G season, guarentees no shot!!!!

Illini1973 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 11:03 am
Profile Picture

Somewhat surprised we're making the announcement when B10 tourney games are being played.  Would have thought we've had done it before gametime.  We're still part of the B10, right?

RPeterE wrote on March 09, 2012 at 11:03 am

Jerrance Howard was named interim coach to lead us in NIT should that be offered. Mike Thomas says Illinois would definitely be interested in playing further in the NIT. Thomas also said he has very high regard for Jerrance Howard but that it's up to next coach whether Jerrance will be retained. I hope the next coach does keep him, almost a no-brainer.

Oak Park Illini wrote on March 09, 2012 at 11:03 am

Agreed. IMHO Jerrance should be retained; he'd help the new coach adjust to the players' strengths and weaknesses.

houstonillini84 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 1:03 pm

keeping VK in football was a no-brainer too. How did that work out? The issue isnt if we want JH, the issue is if JH wants us. If we lose JH we are losing all of our continuity with our recruiting efforts and inroads; basically, we would be starting over, just like when Bruce got here. It might be in JH's best interests to leave and get a fresh start somewhere else, which would be good for him but a disaster for us.

PeterE wrote on March 09, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Jerrance has already been quoted as saying he does want to stay at Illinois.

houstonillini84 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 1:03 pm

oh well, if he said it, thats pretty much a guarantee he wont leave. Gotcha.

Talk is cheap. Lets wait and see see what actually happens, not just what people say, and judge then.

PeterE wrote on March 09, 2012 at 2:03 pm

I have no reason to not believe Jerrance Howard. I believe he is being sincere about wanting to be at Illinois and understandably does have a special affinity for his alma mater. Don't demean him when you don't know.

houstonillini84 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 6:03 pm

any employee, when asked 'do you like your job', is an idiot if they say no... until they have another job all lined up and are ready to leave. Its not demeaning anyone to admit that basic fact, that employees dont often come out and say they are looking for a new job before they have one. Duh.

Talk is cheap. Lets see what happens. If University of Kentucky comes offering double what we will pay, and JH can go to an elite program with tons of publicity, we'll see what he does. JH's goal isnt to be an assistant at Illinois, its to be a head coach, and its not clear to me why staying at UI helps him do that more than going somewhere else.

PeterE wrote on March 10, 2012 at 9:03 am

Jerrance wasn't asked, he volunteered this. "This is where I want to be. This is where my wife (Jessica) wants to be," Howard said earlier in the week. "I would be lying if I said I wanted to go somewhere else." Go ahead and say or imply Jerrance is a liar and as phony as you. Some people just don't get it that former players, and alumni genuinely bleed orange and blue.

Oak Park Illini wrote on March 09, 2012 at 11:03 am

The fact that Mike Thomas mentioned that there was an attendance drop the last couple of years tells me that there are lots of alums/fans dissatisfied with the direction of the program. Football and men's basketball are the two sports that produce the most revenues for the entire athletic program, and when there are constantly empty seats at Memorial Stadium and Assembly Hall, it's time for changes. Again, kudos to Mike Thomas for refusing to accept mediocrity.

DaisyJ wrote on March 09, 2012 at 11:03 am

He was disliked SO BAD that Illinois ate 3.9 MILLION AND DID NOT WANT HIM COACHING IN A frickin NIT GAME.  That is how bad they wanted him out of there...Think about it.  Thank you

Thomas.

Putting Jerance in at the top says a lot. Says that there was division in the coaching ranks and Webers close coaches were too much like him.

aaeismacgychel wrote on March 09, 2012 at 12:03 pm

I didn't get that from the statement Thomas made in regards to Howard.  It's all a staged game, same as it was with Koenning.  The reason why Howard was chosen as interim coach was so the gullible boosters and fanbase wouldn't get on him for just letting him walk.  You make the guy who the fanbase likes and favors interim head coach while saying right afterwards that there's no chance they'll be offered the head coaching job, and it'll be up to the new hire whether he'll keep you are bring in guys he's familiar with.  It's how AD's dismiss people as it makes them look good in most fans eyes while keeping them in the dark about their true motives.


Look at the facts:
- Howard named interim coach for NIT games
- Howard will not even be considered for head coaching position
- New coach coming in, hired over Jerrance will determine if he stays
- Thomas a "fan of Jerrance" but offers no job security for next season


I'm telling you right now, this is the textbook way to get rid of someone while making it seem like it was their decision.  I can guarantee you there is a less than 1% chance Jerrance is on the coaching staff next year.  My guess is that John Calipari reoffers Jerrance the head recruiting position at Kentucky thereby making inroads to Chicago to swoop in and steal Jabari Parker away from a drooling Duke.

DaisyJ wrote on March 09, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Lets just say two things. Howard was taken cause he is closest to the kids that still count. I know

Howard, and lets just say, being a rah rah guy that can befriend the recruits is the extent of his ability. I would be surprised if he was ever a head coach in anything but D2 or D3. He can make more money as an assistant buddy to the teammates.

houstonillini84 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Yeah, sadly, there is a good chance of it playing out that way. Ugh.

Oak Park Illini wrote on March 09, 2012 at 11:03 am

Only thing I'm disappointed in is that Thomas said that the Illini would accept a NIT bid. I still believe that there needs to be a total fresh start with no additional games played this season. The players look like they're exhausted and need a break.

pitch9 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 11:03 am

I may be the lone voice of dissent here, but I absolutely do not understand the necessity of making this move before the NIT tournament.  Maybe there is something I don't know about this, but I think anyone deserves a little more consideration than that.

Furthermore, why is Jerrance Howard absolved of all responsibility for the failings of this team?

He's a great guy, but so are the other coaches.  If we don't have players as good as the rest of the competition is that a credit to his recruiting efforts?  What has prepared him to be the head coach for the NIT tournament?  I have serious concerns about the judgement and the professional ethics of the athletic director.  I have yet to be convinced that this was the right way to make this coaching change.  I'll stay tuned for more information with an open mind.

I think there is plenty of blame to go around for what happened this season and it should fall on  the AD, the media, the fans ourselves, the players, and all of the coaching staff.  Unfortunately, the guy who takes the big hit is Bruce Weber.  Yes, he will be collecting a nice paycheck for the balance of his contract, but I have a feeling he would trade most of it for an NCAA berth at this point.

Best wishes to Bruce Weber.  As Dan Dakich said last night, whatever school is smart enough to hire him will be getting a great coach who wil lead them to considerable success.  I will be rooting for them.  It may take me awhile to lend that same support to the current AD.

 

 

mikeyp232323 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 12:03 pm

The reason to make the move now is beneficial to Coach Weber and the school. We are going 

nowhere this season, if there is any left. This was a merciful move in my eyes because Coach 

Weber and the kids both look to be worn out. Weber might even get a bit more color back in 

his hair. Waiting till after the NIT served neither side any purpose.

 

GO ILLINI

illinifaningeorgia wrote on March 09, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Bruce Weber will do a fine job at another program, a mid-major program.  He was in over his head playing with the big boys.

Col.Jessup wrote on March 09, 2012 at 11:03 am

I nominate Mike Thomas for Governor.

mikeyp232323 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Don't do that, they just end up in prison.

We need a good AD, they need to get Guenther to pay part of these buyouts. That dumb SOB put us in this $ hole.

jules61 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 4:03 pm

I nominate u for head moron.  He is not all that.

CincinnatiIllini wrote on March 09, 2012 at 12:03 pm
Profile Picture

Illini fans need to give Mike Thomas some slack until they see how well his personnel decisions play out. He had a very good track record at the University of Cincinnati in both football and basketball. In the latter, he inherited a complete mess then selected a young coach who has rebuilt a storied program to the point it plays in the Big East semi finals tonight.


On the other hand, all of us should be appalled with the sad state of affairs Thomas inherited from Ron Guenther. Not only does Thomas have to fire the head coaches of the two revenue producing sports within months of taking over, he has to eat long term contracts Guenther gave them after years of mediocre performance. Good thing Illinois has lots of new facilities to show for Guenther's twenty years at the helm because there is precious little else in his legacy.

tunacommander wrote on March 09, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Thomas has a chance to redeem himself from what most experts agree, was a horrible football hire at head coach. Take that wimp form Butler off your lists, he is a recluse and not going anywhere. Number One should be Fran Martin and after him Shaka Smart. Otherwise he should have let Weber stay and get Bruce Pearl once his 3 year penalty is over.

StLIllini11 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 1:03 pm

You have to be joking about the Bruce Pearl thing right???

Bear8287 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 1:03 pm

... and get Bruce Pearl once his 3 year penalty is over.

Seriously? Who are you? Do you know anything about Illinois basketball?

bumpin99 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Thank you. You guys beat be to it. 

Fedupwithstatereps wrote on March 09, 2012 at 1:03 pm

...get Bruce Pearl once his 3 year penalty is over.  You can't be serious?  NEVER!!!!!  You are obviously too young to remember that Illinois HATES Bruce Pearl and why.

Dann001 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Relax......consider the source of this ridiculous comment. Tuna never brings anything of substance to these forums!

Col.Jessup wrote on March 10, 2012 at 9:03 am

I agree wholeheartedly.  Great perspective.   Jules61, are you listening to this man??

OrangeBlewAndU wrote on March 09, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Hopefully, MT's not getting intoxicated swinging the ax.  He might have Donald Trump syndrome.

Jam wrote on March 09, 2012 at 12:03 pm

I am for getting the NIT bid with Interim Coach Jerrance Howard leading them to the title game and championship.  Then Jerrance should be considered for Head Coach?

tunacommander wrote on March 09, 2012 at 12:03 pm

What are you smokin JAM? Terrance Howard is a recruiter. He doesn't know anything about X's and O's. John Calipari even said Howard "isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer" but is one hell of a recruiter. It is numbskulls like you that make Illinois look bad. 

OKOMIS wrote on March 09, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Actually Terrance Howard is an actor… Jerrance Howard is a great recruiter. anyway, Mike Thomas is God!


 

Bear8287 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Would you really expect that someone who even suggests that Bruce Pearl should be considered for the Illini head coaching position to know the difference between Terrance Howard and Jerrance Howard?

OKOMIS wrote on March 09, 2012 at 2:03 pm

 Good point…. At least he didn’t say Don Cheadle… how great of a day is today??

jules61 wrote on March 10, 2012 at 12:03 am

I am sure the True God is not too thrilled with that comment.

cats kradle wrote on March 09, 2012 at 1:03 pm

John Calipari? You're quoting John Calipari? 

Dann001 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 2:03 pm

See what I mean? What a FOOL!

Concerned_Guy wrote on March 09, 2012 at 12:03 pm

A few players need to have their scholarships revoked or better yet, hit the road!

tunacommander wrote on March 09, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Jerrance Howard knows that Peoria is on I-74. The new guy not only will keep him but give him another nice raise.

Dano in Houston wrote on March 09, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Let's hope Mike Thomas is as good at pickin' coaches as he is at firin' 'em!

bumpin99 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Bye Leonard. Nice seeing you. 

 

I wonder what Mid-Major coach Thomas is going to bring to Illinois this time?

Mike Cloyd wrote on March 09, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Before all of you who have commented on Mike Thomas and put him on the God pedestal you better have a wait and see attitude!!! Remember that Beckman was a third choice for a coach. The first two candidates refused the job because they stated that the program was broken. Hmmm interesting so where does that leave the Illini with another unproven small time coach with a unproven record which Thomas more that doubled his salary sound familiar well it should since everyone commented on  Guenther at throwing away money...I'm like every other Illini fan I hunger for success and a consistant top 15 team in both basketball and football. I want nothing but success here at this great University so when does the alumini and the fans get a say so since were made to suffer with mediocrity in two major money making sports. When will we spend the money were buying out of contracts on coaches with short life spans and get coaches for the long term. The coaching merry go round has to stop in order for us to build solid programs for our alumni and fans to appreciate for years to come.

OKOMIS wrote on March 09, 2012 at 2:03 pm

 And who broke it??? Certainly not him!! Thank GOD the disaster of an AD we had is long gone…

cats kradle wrote on March 09, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Spare Jerrance Howard the paperwork. Forget the NIT. The only thing the head coach will be doing with what's left of this season is checking in uniforms. 

Keith Hays wrote on March 09, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Why would Webber want to go through the trauma of coaching anywhere?  $3.9 Million is a very handsome retirement plan - unless, of course, you are Mitt Romney...

 

illinifaningeorgia wrote on March 09, 2012 at 2:03 pm

The fiscal irresponsibility is on that idiot, Guenther!!!  To extend contracts on coaches doing only mediocre work is bad enough.  That both of those coaches were no threat to go elsewhere, makes it doubly ridiculous.

Dudesickle wrote on March 09, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Someone in this thread said that Beckman was a 3rd choice and others turned down Illinois because they said the progran was "broken". Thanks god we got a coach up to the challenge.


I would not want a basketball coach that was unwilling to accept that kind of a challenge. Anyone remember Lou Henson? All he ever did was repair "broken" programs (Hardin -Simmons, New Mexico State ((twice)), and Illinois). Hope we get another one just like him.

Sid Saltfork wrote on March 09, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Wonder what the Board of Trustees will recommend regarding the next coach?  Another chore on Hogan's list probably.

yates wrote on March 09, 2012 at 3:03 pm

The hanging judge just hung another one and it seems he may leave the rope up as a warning.

illinifaningeorgia wrote on March 09, 2012 at 3:03 pm

And this is bad in some way?

Moonpie wrote on March 09, 2012 at 3:03 pm

Just wait for the Moses Tate column crucifying fans for daring to express views different than his.

bernies wrote on March 09, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Mike Thomas will make another "what the...??" head coach selection like he did in football. Only time will tell if Thomas is a genius or a failure at picking coaches. So I guess we have to wait and see...

jules61 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 4:03 pm

I say again, Bruce is a  nice guy.  WHy the visceral response?? Yes he should have been let go, but I will not ever agree to JH being head coach.  The whole staff is part of the problem. Although Jerrance much less so.  He is not experienced enough to be a head coach. He should be the only one left from this staff if the new coach keeps anyone.  But I am torn between keeping him and whatever asssets he has and jut starting new.... I felt for the players and his family at the news conference.  the entire thing is just sad.  Mostly because you want to see the stand up guys succeed.  We may never know where most of the blame lays. But I suspect that, as i have said before, that there is enough to go around.  Good luck bruce and God bless u in all you do.

Dann001 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Anyone listen to Tom Izzo's take on this situation? He makes a very good point about the AD pulling the rug out from under Weber in January when we had a winning record. After that everything went south. Thomas needs to take a share of the blame for the team's failure too!

houstonillini84 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 6:03 pm

and some fans too. Some folks have never liked bruce and have done everything they could to undermine him and criticize him. They started as soon as he was hired, took a breather during 2004-5, but have been back ever since. Seemed like Bruce was trying to plug holes the moment he got here. He got blamed for Jamar, blamed for Richmond, blamed for yelling (even when those same people praise Matta who is also a yeller), blamed for being honest, blamed for not playing different schemes (how many man-to-mans has Boeheim's teams played?). Anyway, the haters got their wish, Weber is gone, and now lets hope the haters are right and we start going to sweet 16s every year. If not, well, theyll have someone else to hate, sooner rather than later I bet.

Frozenfan wrote on March 09, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Regardless of what you think of the firing, Illinois has lost a good man.  He did everything by the book and is leaving no slush fund or anything unethical in the program.  This is hard to do as re cruiting is very difficult.  Who ever in the administration started all the vicious talk in January should be fired also.  This person undermined the basketball program and was really the unethical one in this saga.  I hope Bruce Weber's new team come back and whips the Illini. 

If I were a high profile coach, I would not come to Illinois.  Too many back stabbers.

What if this were you?  What if you were fired because someone was talking behind your back?

I can sympathise because I lost a job for the same reasons. 

I for  one am tired of all you backstabbers.  Put yourself in the coaches shoes.

Tired of it all.

 

houstonillini84 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 6:03 pm

I hope you're not right, but it wouldnt surprise me if you were.

lebloom wrote on March 09, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Watch out!, who's next?  The Terminators looking for you!  I don't know if this guy knows what he's doing.  I'd send him packing before he just fires the whole UI.

Myers wrote on March 09, 2012 at 6:03 pm

My apologies if I don't take the same pleasure in the demise of an upstanding guy as the rest of you do.

I get it.  We live in a "text" world.  TV on demand.  DVR at your fingertips.  You want, you get. 

But what I want is a program that doesn't violate regulations, plays hard, plays as a team, puts the other guys first, AND wins.

Weber did the first part... but not the last (recently)... but the part in the middle is what troubles me most.  He did not get that out of his guys this year, or really the last few years. 

There were issues w/in his control.  For one, his offense didn't play to the strengths of his team.

BUT he isn't the guy that doesn't understand basic principles such as help defense.  That's something you learn in high school.  He isn't the guy that can't make decent post passes, or the guy that doesn't put himself in good position to recieve one.  He's also not the guy that plays TERRIBLE perimeter defense.

The players deserve a pass?  These guys will flourish under different guidance?  When they do will you say "see I told you so"?  And if that's the case, will you go back and change your stance as to what Weber did with "someone else's recruits"?

My point is this.

Weber being let go is fine.  It's a business decision and I am an Illini fan who will hope upon hope that the next coach is great and does great things.

But I'm NOT a person who celebrates when someone who has more than earned our respect is shown the door, uncerimoniously.  I don't celebrate the punishments and pain of those who have done their best to provide a winning and clean program for me to enjoy.

I wish Illinois the best.  But I also wish Bruce Weber the best.

He didn't leave for greener pastures (like some before), he was simply put out to one.

Please.  Continue your celebration.

IlliniGator14 wrote on March 10, 2012 at 2:03 am
Profile Picture

DITTO

JDG613 wrote on March 10, 2012 at 2:03 pm

Great comment!!  Very well-said, logical, and inarguable....  Good to see that some people understand that even if it was time for a coaching change, the change itself is not always a cause for celebration as much as it is an unfortunate necessity.

WyomingIllini wrote on March 09, 2012 at 7:03 pm

 

Today will be know as the day the University of Illinois athletic programed crashed and burned. No coach with any ethics will want to come to Illinois. The coaching community is totally disgusted with the Illinois athletic director and the administration as a whole. There is infighting within the University and there is no leadership.  

Here is what every coach in the nation is going to hear. I hope everyone is happy. http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/998262/TomIzzoOnBruceWeber.mp3

The University of Illinois is now a classless institution and sadly so is the majority of its fan base. 

Illiniwek11 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 7:03 pm

I'd rather have a coach with no ethics who wins, then an all-ethical coach who loses to UIC.

Quit being so damn naive.  Every other coach in the nation skirts the NCAA rules and wins.  Coach K is about as dirty as they come but the NCAA will never hammer him.  We just want a coach who can pull the strings and not get caught like every other coach in the nation.

JDG613 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 8:03 pm

SERIOUSLY???  You would take W's over someone who does things the right way?  And you're defending your position because "everybody else does it"??

I am sickened by your appalling lack of ethics and integrity.  Doing things with only the results in mind is what got this entire state's government in such a dismal state of affairs. 

I totally, and adamantly disagree with you.  We do NOT want a coach who can pull strings and not get caught.  We want a coach who doesn't get caught because he did nothing wrong in the FIRST place.

Please tell me where you work, because I will make it a point to NEVER do any business there.  I know I'd just get cheated, even though I couldn't catch you at it.

Disgusting.  Totally disgusting.

illini7074 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Houston Illini says,"basically, we would be starting over, just like when Bruce got here."

As I recall, Bruce inherited a pretty fair bunch of players named, Williams, Brown, Augustine, and Powell, to name a few.

Dann001 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Powell?  Powell??  Need to replace that with "Head"!

JDG613 wrote on March 09, 2012 at 8:03 pm

You don't remember Roger Powell being a big part of that team??

mahillinois wrote on March 09, 2012 at 7:03 pm

Tom Izzo is biased but he makes a really good point. Thomas had a really good opportunity to inject leadership and support in to the season at a key moment and he failed. I hope he doesn't make this mistake with "his guys" in the future given a repeat scenario.

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/campusrivalry/post/2012/03/tom-izzo-rips-illinois-bruce-weber-firing/1

abuck wrote on March 09, 2012 at 9:03 pm

 Izzo has helped many a former big ten coach to lose his job, it's his best buddy come on Tom grow up be a big boy you know how it works win and you get to cash that 40k a week check lose and it's over. 

Jam wrote on March 09, 2012 at 8:03 pm

Coach Weber should take his wife and family on a extended vacation.  They all have earned it. This really has to relieve the stress level in that house and family.