Staff Editorial: Fire Hobbs

Correction appended

For seniors watching the GWork Web site for job openings, a new post may be popping up soon – one with a six-figure salary. After two catastrophic years, it may be time for men’s basketball coach Karl Hobbs and GW to part ways.

Saturday night’s game, which was the last game for all graduating seniors, was the fitting end to a painful season, a 10-point loss to Temple University. This year will be the second in a row that GW men won’t be making it to the Atlantic 10 conference, where 12 of the 14 teams are included.

Fans that used to bow down to Hobbs when he entered the court ended this weekend’s game chanting “Fire Hobbs.” While listening to a fan base’s every whim would not be sound practice, they just may be on to something this time.

GW pours about $5 million a year into each of the basketball programs, and while one disastrous year or two mediocre seasons are excusable, two years a row of being in the very bottom of our division is just indefensible.

Hobbs has no one else to blame for such a poor showing. He is responsible for recruiting his team and for coaching them both in and out of game, and yet, he has always adamantly refused blame. Hobbs may have lucked out with some especially talented players in 2005-2006 when the team had an undefeated record in the Atlantic 10, but past accomplishments don’t diminish the failures of the last two years.

Clearly, something isn’t working and what is to say that next year will prove any different? Three of our four current best players will be graduating this spring – next year simply does not look very promising.

Apart from our disappointing record, Hobbs’ general demeanor is another letdown. During games he embarrasses players on the court, loses his temper and is generally unprofessional. In the past year, four players have left the team for various reasons.

Firing Hobbs would cost the University a fair amount – since he is under contract until 2012, breaching the contract would mean paying Hobbs what could be upwards of a million dollars.

Nonetheless, it may be best to cut our losses now and possibly recruit a coach from a lower-level school, who would be able to work with each unique group of players to bring some credibility and stability back into our men’s basketball program.

Readers can visit the Forum to comment on this editorial.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction: (March 9, 2009)

The Hatchet incorrectly reported that the men’s basketball team made it to the Sweet Sixteen in the 2005-2006 season. They lost in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

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