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For Georgetown Basketball to Move Forward, It’s Time to Start From Scratch

NCAA Basketball: Georgetown at Providence Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

Time to start from scratch.

This is what pretty much any other program would do at this point. Just recognize that the current leadership has failed, and start over. Even if that means taking a few steps back (e.g. losing some talented players/committed recruits who bolt because the coach who recruited them is leaving). This happens all the time in pretty much every other program in the country. It really is not a big deal, it is a perfectly normal part of the life of just about any college basketball program at some point in time.

But our unique Thompson-based program is not remotely normal. That has been a good thing in many ways for many years, but it is a really bad thing right now. Georgetown will stick with JTIII until he decides that it is time for him to go. Or until JT Jr. decides that it is time for his son to go, which might be the more accurate way of looking at this whole situation. That is of course where the hopelessness comes in. We are highly unlikely to take that "step back in order to move forward", because the institution is so bound to the Thompsons.

The thing that is the real kicker for me (and probably for plenty of us): right now it is hard not to be frustrated with the Thompsons. But both Big John and JTIII have done so much for the hoops program and for the University (and let’s be fair to JTIII, he had a good coaching run until the last few seasons even with the post season struggles, and has always been a great rep for/member of the campus community) that it makes me sick to think of them negatively. The way the program has devolved (especially over the last 2 seasons) has made me feel badly about the Thompsons on some level, and I absolutely hate feeling that way about two men who have dedicated much of their lives to Georgetown in ways that have been really great for the University.

This last element makes the whole thing almost spiritually unsettling – I think about this conflict constantly as I am yelling at the coach and the team in frustrated disappointment during every game. Just a deeply lousy fan experience, and I am sure that Big John and JTIII feel infinitely worse about all this than we do. But at least they have been incredibly well compensated financially for feeling lousy about the state of the basketball program!! We just have to live with the sick feeling in our stomachs as we watch the program devolve into further seemingly irretrievable irrelevance with each passing game – while paying for the experience. The big salary part actually does not bother me that much (although it probably should). The sinking, sad reality of the program’s present and likely future is more than enough to depress me without even needing to think about how much money the University is spending for this mess.