NCAA basketball coaching changes: Roberts fired for following the rules

St. Johns' basketball coach Norm Roberts got fired because he didn't bend the rules. He's one of the few NCAA basketball coaching changes so far.

Frank Franklin II/AP/File
St. John's head coach Norm Roberts (shown during an NCAA college basketball game against West Virginia in February) was fired after six seasons, only two of them with a winning record. Following the rules meant he couldn't get a certain caliber of players.

The NCAA men's basketball season is winding down, so the annual shuffle in head coaches is heating up. A few odds and ends from the early market action:

1.St. Johns's coach fired for NOT cheating. Welcome to the sausage making factory, hoops fans. Former St. John's coach Norm Roberts was unable to sign big name recruits from the Big Apple. Why? He played by the rules. Some of the quotes in this article are shocking. "You got to hustle here, bend some rules or do something...” Russel Smith, a coach with the New York Gauchos, a prominent NYC AAU team. “At St. John’s, they’re not getting certain types of players because they’re doing things the right way.”Kenny Wilcox, head coach at a junior college in Brooklyn.

2.St. John's thought they could hire Billy Donovan away from Florida. Donovan currently makes $3.5 million as the head coach of Florida, where he has won two national championships. So St. John's offers him $3 million a year to rebuild a stagnant program that was last a dominant power in the 1980s. Doesn't the St. John's administration understand that you generally have to offer a coach a raise to move? Or am I underestimating the compensating differential generated by living in NYC?

3. Tom Penders wins CUSA Tourney, makes NCAAs, gets fired.I'm not sure what the expectations are like at Houston these days, but Phi Slama Jama was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.

4.DePaul thinks they can hire Jamie Dixon away from Pitt.I am not sure what is going on at small private universities in big cities these days, but they have big aspirations, I'll give them that. DePaul, last relevant in college basketball in the 1980s, is willing to pony up "at least one million dollars" in salary for its next head coach (why do I hear Dr. Evil from Austin Powers in my head when I read that?). Unfortunately, Dixon, National Coach of the year last year, currently makes " in excess of $1.5 million" at Pitt, where he is under contract until 2016. Paging Dr. Tony Krautmann! Please provide the DePaul AD with a brief summary of how labor markets work, stat!

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