PantherU

Jeter shows his true colors

In one short day, we’ve gone from the uneasy feelings from a legitimate threat to steal our coach all the way back to jubilation.  The rumors of Bradley offering as much at $700,000 to coach Jeter will never be public; from those I’ve talked to, I think that’s the price, but we can never be positive.

If he indeed did turn down that amount, it was nearly $300,000 more than he’s making as the head coach of our Milwaukee Panthers.  The Braves play in front of 9,000 on a consistent basis, they’re the only game in town, and they have a dedicated albeit geriatric fan base.

Testing the waters, finding it more than appealing, and returning nonetheless?  That’s loyalty, Black and Gold. Rob Jeter showed today that he’s got tons of it.

Now what, you ask?  It’s time to reward that loyalty.

It needs to start small – we can’t just dive right into the new arena until we’re ready for it, although I hope we get cracking on that for realz soon.

I mean really small.  We need to make sure that the coaching staff is fitted with the proper gear.  I’m not talking about team clothes or anything, Adidas does just fine there.  I mean cell phones, ones that aren’t bottom of the barrel – the kind that Rob Jeter and the coaches can Tweet from, because Twitter and Facebook are the kinds of things that they can use to promote the program without sweating through their suits and whipping packs of tickets at students.

And the cell phones can’t be the only thing.  The last time I was in the office, I couldn’t get a signal.  No one can.  So the coaching staff, that spends the majority of their day in their offices and the film room, probably can’t get texts and calls to their cell phones from recruits.  Not a good idea.  Boosting the signal is a one-time deal of a couple hundred bucks, and if that doesn’t work, I guess we’re just gonna have to build them new offices between the new practice facility and the new arena (hey, I can dream, can’t I?).

Perhaps the biggest problem is the one that comes from preparation; it’s well-documented that the Panthers’ practice situation is an absolute disgrace.  Not only do they share the Klotsche arena with several other teams (I’ve been there when up to 6 varsity sports are practicing at once), but they have a hard time getting time on the court to practice because they share the big court with women’s basketball and volleyball.  It would be one thing if Engelmann Hall weren’t on the other side of campus, but it’s not; it’s too far, and the basketball team needs space to practice where it isn’t bothered by other teams.  Is it exclusivity?  Damn right it is.  This is men’s basketball, not men’s archery.

This is a low-major situation.  It’s a wonder that Bo Ryan and Bruce Pearl did what they did with all the crap that they had to deal with, and it hasn’t changed all that much since coach Jeter took over.

These are things that can be taken care of on the cheap and with very little effort.  It’s kind of like the name situation; are we UWM? Are we Milwaukee?  Neither, we’re too nervous to go the whole way and commit to Milwaukee.

So let’s shed this low-major mind set and commit to Milwaukee Basketball.  Because the coaching staff just committed to us in a BIG way.

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