More on Wagner and Azzi

Eugene-based KEZI reports that it’s not just the fault of Oregon State Coach LaVonda Wagner that so many players have left of late – it’s on the shoulders of the community:

But another sports fan says it’s more than a coaching issue. Rather, the sport of basketball at OSU isn’t getting the support it needs to flourish.

“The basketball team here is kind of unsupported,” believes Nate Bodie, an OSU student. “I mean, think about Gill Coliseum. It’s a big place and yet, how many seats do we fill in basketball games? Not very many,” Bodie added.

Many others hope the universtiy can get its act together before it affects recruiting efforts for other sports.

“I think it says something bad about OSU, too,” said Bodie. “And, you know, it’s broadcasted. We show that to other people. And other recruiters looking at OSU say, ‘Oh, is this the place for me?’ Not only in basketball, but other sports as well.”

I could have told them that.

In the meantime, one publication is calling for Wagner’s head.

One San Francisco writer remembers Jennifer Azzi getting kicked out of a press conference some years back. I went to an informational fitness seminar of hers in Seattle several years ago. It was thoroughlly boring.

Her friends think Azzi’s crazy.

Mel Greenburg has retired from the Philadelphia Inquirer, but his musings live on.


  1. I just noticed this comment, made by Clay Kalum on Rebkell, about Azzi. His comment was made about a week ago before the hiring was made official.

    "I think Jennifer Azzi would be a big mistake for USF:

    No potential recruits have any idea who she is. They don't remember her as a player, and she has had no contact with high school or club teams that I know of — and she lives in the Bay Area where I do. She was asked to come to a major tournament and hand out awards, and said "Sure, if you pay me $3,000." (The amount might be wrong, but it was a pretty big hit …)"

    Asking for a fee to hand out awards at a HS Tournament? Not a good idea.

    IM in OC

  2. Very interesting that Kallum posted that opinion.

    Asking for a fee to hand out awards at a high school tournament isn't just the height of arrogance – it's an indication of how woefully out of touch she is with high school basketball. Just on that alone, I'd say USF has made a huge mistake.

  3. What astonished me about Azzi's hiring is the mainstream media attention. More than 225 links on Google News. If nothing else, her looks will sell tickets. Hopefully, her assistant coaches will have past experience.

  4. Something from relatively recent past came back to me. Before Wagner was coach, they had a very talented played from Palisades named Nicole Funn, older sister of USC star Jamie Funn. Nicole transferred out of OSU saying essentially, "there are no black people here." This doesn't absolve Wagner of responsibility, since the transfers have been of all colors. However, it does reinforce that coaches have several other issues at hand when dealing with these young girls, especially at schools like OSU or WSU. If you feel out of place in the city only to have a coach screaming at you 24/7, you're not winning and there's no support system in place at the school, I can imagine how difficult the situation must be.