Yesterday, someone sent me a Snapchat of what appears to be Pat Forde’s inaugural column as the President of the US Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) in “Basketball Times.”
As you may remember, the USBWA named Tony Bennett their Coach of the Year, the only major coaching award John Calipari didn’t receive. In this column, Forde mentions the “less than ideal” timing of the coaching awards, which led to “considerable backlash from one particular fan base that believed its coach was more deserving,” a clear shot at the Big Blue Nation. Here’s the paragraph in full:
Timing of our coach and player awards. As you may know, the release of our 2015 Hank Iba Coach of the Year award was less than ideal–Virginia’s Tony Bennett was honored two days after the Cavaliers were upset in the NCAA Tournament round of 32. This led to considerable backlash from one particular fan base that believed its coach was more deserving, and a fair amount of external media criticism of our organization. We have begun discussions about changing the release date of our award winners so that the announcements more closely coincide with the end of the voting period. Delaying the release two weeks does not seem to help anyone.
Even if the vote was held two weeks before its release–so, March 9 instead of March 23–I still don’t understand how you could have picked Bennett over Calipari. Kentucky had just capped off an undefeated regular season while Virginia was coming off a loss to Louisville. There was a reason the decision was panned by every media member brave enough to speak up. Regardless, leave it to Forde to sneak in a shot at the BBN from the bully pulpit.