Paradigm Shifts: Women's College Basketball Edition
NC2A Division I women's college basketball is at the Elite 8 stage. Yet that's not the big story. The big story is coaching changes, starting with Rene Portland being required by Penn State to resign. Portland's team had fallen below its powerhouse status of late, and that was finally enough to wedge the anti-lesbian bully out of her job, since having to settle discrimination lawsuits by players Portland allegedly misidentified as gay, and then kicked off the team purely because she perceived them as homosexual, did not give the university cause to dismiss Portland, who practiced defiance of the anti-discrimination policies while refusing to comment for years.
And LSU is looking for a new head coach because Pokey Chatman, the former player and assistant coach who stepped up for the legendary Sue Gunter, apparently had improper relations with one or more of her players during their tenure on her squad. The university was informed by one of Chatman's assistants (and rumor has it that this assistant was either jilted, jealous, or both).
Ironically enough, the changes at other powerhouses really do seem to be more about team performance:
Florida wants to find a coach to help add a WCBB national championship to its recently expanded collection (MCBB, Football); Texas wants to get back into the championship hunt, now that Jody Conradt -- a classy and legendary wcbb coach who literally helped build the sport up from nothing in the Lone Star State's capital over the last 31 years -- has retired in the face of missing the tournament two consecutive years.
Conradt called this unacceptable, and a failure to meet the standards of Texas, in her brief retirement statement. Rumors run rife that Gail Goestenkors, of the recently-bounced Duke dynasty where trip after trip to the Sweet 16 isn't enough to fill the home gym on game days, will be swapping her Blue Devil colors for Burnt Orange soon. Duke's Athletic Director seems to be wishing Goestenkors bon voyage.
And Arkansas has filled its HC opening this week, with Tom Collen.
Washington fired June Daughtery after 11 years.
But the best change may be at Iowa State, where Bill Fennelly, the Mad Scientist whose junk defenses and three-point-shooters' prowess has bedeviled opponents all ten years of the league's existence, signed a 12-year contract this week for $10.6 million dollars -- ISU's way of rewarding a coach whose team had a solid run in the NC2As. It also brings women's college basketball coaching salaries solidly into the sphere previously reserved for football coaches!
Stay tuned -- it's not just on the hardwood where the paradigms are changing!