New GW men’s basketball head coach Karl Hobbs suspended Attila Cosby July 5 for “failing to meet his academic obligations.” Hobbs’s action brings welcome accountability to a program that has by many accounts lost its way in recent years.
The decision to suspend Cosby comes unprompted by the NCAA – a strong statement that the new Colonials coach is taking necessary measures on his own to hold academic priorities above athletic ones. The NCAA reviews player records in the fall to determine their eligibility.
Strong leadership from Hobbs will be paramount to turn around a team with an off-court reputation that precedes any competitive successes.
The team reached highlight clips on ESPN last year not for any great wins but a fight with University of Tennessee in the Rainbow Classic. Four players last spring confessed to phone fraud after using a coach’s long distance code to make hundreds of dollars worth of calls. Cosby stands trial this week stemming from an incident with a 46-year-old crack-cocaine user he brought to his residence hall room last summer. Team members were linked to a shooting on F Street after a game. And the list goes on.
Former head coach Tom Penders resigned in the spring after off-court problems continued with his players. Penders was ineffective in controlling his players’ behavior, but GW has new hope in Hobbs.
Coach Hobbs obviously has his work cut out for him, but taking steps to suspend troubled players until they straighten out the problems they face is a welcome change from the lack of accountability seen under Penders.
The only improvement Hobbs could offer, though, would be to publicize his plan to clean up the GW men’s basketball team. He should broadcast the standards he will hold his team to both on and off court. In light of the team’s past troubles, candor and decisive action, like that shown in Cosby’s suspension, are the remedy GW men’s basketball so sorely needs.