Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Time to End Chaney’s Crazy Antics

Rules are not made to be broken.

They’re made to keep basketball players from breaking each other’s arms. They’re made to keep high-schoolers from head-butting refs. And they’re made to keep John Chaney from doing what John Chaney does best.

And what John Chaney does best – what he’s always done best – is break rules.

Chaney is the often-controversial Temple men’s basketball head coach who, last week in a game against St. Joseph’s, put pine-rider Nehemiah Ingram on the floor with the express intention of hacking St. Joes’ players.

Chaney’s also a media feline. Time and time again, Chaney has been skinned by the media for his inflammatory remarks and actions – yet time and time again, this cat has come right back.

It’s time for the fans, the media and the Athletic Department at Temple to allow it no more. Not for the Atlantic-10 Conference Tournament, not for the NIT, not even for the NCAA Tournament, should Temple sneak in. No more Chaney.

In 1984, Chaney put his hands around the neck of George Washington coach Gerry Gimelstob. But a public outcry was hushed by the reactions of sports writers everywhere. “That’s just John being John,” they said.

In 1994, at a post-game press conference, Chaney threatened to kill then-coach of UMass, John Calipari. The threat was captured on video, but again, that was just “John being John.”

In January, Chaney hijacked a speaking opportunity at the Philadelphia sports writers’ dinner. Journalists who had come to honor Chaney’s 700th career victory were instead treated to a litany against George W. Bush. Again, “John being John.”

And when the audience began to jeer Chaney’s politics, he challenged one of them to step outside. “John being John.”

Of course, Chaney didn’t choke Gimelstob. He didn’t kill Calipari. And he didn’t throw down against a Philadelphia sports writer. What he did do was much worse.

Chaney was angered by screens set by St. Joseph’s players that he felt were illegal. He said in an Atlantic-10 Conference conference call prior to the game that, if officials continued to let the screens slide, he would send in a “goon” to “send a message.”

And send, he did – in the form of Ingram, who averages less than a full point per game and rarely sees action. Ingram knew what his purpose was when he checked in at the scorers’ table a week ago.

He fouled out in just four minutes, laying a flagrant mid-air blow to St. Joes’ senior forward John Bryant that sent him sprawling – and to the hospital with a career-ending broken arm.

Now Ingram and Chaney both have to live with the results of their actions. Ingram broke the rules, and in doing so, broke an opponent’s arm. Chaney broke a lot more than that. He broke the bond of trust and respect that every player – from starter to scrub – should have with his coach.

Chaney immediately suspended himself for a game, and when the RI came back showing that Bryant’s arm was broken, Temple suspended him for the team’s three remaining regular-season games.

But that’s not enough. It’s time for Temple to say that, after 24 years, they’ve had enough of “John being John.”

Two weeks ago in South Dakota, a basketball player threw an elbow that left an opponent with a concussion and 14 stitches. According to the state’s attorney, Valley City State’s att Klabo will be charged as early as this week with simple assault for the flagrant elbow he threw to the face of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology senior forward Korey Kirschenmann. Like so many of Chaney’s offenses, Klabo’s attack was caught on tape.

Two weeks ago in Hawaii, a high school basketball player who had been ejected from the game, head-butted a referee. Again, the attack was caught on a home video camera. Within a week, a bill was before the State Senate that would upgrade attacking an official to a felony offense. Already, 21 states impose felony punishment for attacking a sporting official. If a state government can so efficiently propose a solution to the problem of violence in sports, so can Temple.

And in case Temple can’t efficiently propose a solution, here’s one for them: fire John Chaney.

Violence in sports will always be a problem. But when it escalates to the level of these examples, someone needs to be made an example of. Just as South Dakota and Hawaii made the right decisions to punish the offenders – they made rules that they won’t stand to see broken.

Temple needs to finally do the same in the case of John Chaney.

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