ESPN’s Jeff Goodman posted a column today that reveals a lot about the off the court issues surrounding a Georgetown program that is currently struggling to find success on the court. You can find the full column HERE, and below are a few of the revelations in the form of quotes from former players:
- "Everyone knows a change needs to be made," one former player said. "But no one will dare stand up and say it."
- "Loyalty and fear," one told ESPN on why they weren't willing to attach their name to anything. "Fear of Big John and where you stand. You don't mess with him."
- "I love the school, and he's a really, really good man," one former Hoya said of JT3. "But he's just not getting it done."
- "He still tries to recruit high-level guys, regardless of the fit," one player said. "He needs high-skilled guys, not necessarily the top talent. Obviously, some of the guys fit well -- but most of them don't.
- "How many more years are they going to give him of not making the tournament?" asked one former player.
- "Georgetown actually looks like the team the Princeton offense was actually built to beat."
- "It's embarrassing," one former player said. "And something needs to be done."
So to recap, in addition to 1) public displays by the fanbase for JT3 to be fired and 2) a petition by current students for him to be removed, we now have 3) ESPN using quotes from former players in a piece so damning it seems nearly inconceivable at this point how JT3 could be the coach of the Hoyas next season.
Of course, alumni, students and former players will largely have no say in what happens behind closed doors in any meeting that may occur between JT3 and Georgetown President Jack DeGioia, who is the lone individual at Georgetown that will be making the decision as to Thompson’s continued tenure.
However, it is certainly possible that DeGioia will leave this decision to Thompson himself, and while it may have seemed preposterous just weeks ago to think that JT3 would not be on the sideline for next season and perhaps years to come, there are recent signals that he may ultimately decide to fall on his own sword.
“First and foremost, our fans are terrific and have been terrific,” JT3 said in a statement released by the school about his job status. “They’ve experienced some good times with us, and now, with the stretch we are having, I understand their frustration. There is no one more frustrated than I am. We are accustomed to winning. I know that our players and staff are working hard and playing hard. No one cares more about this program and its tradition than I do.”
Given all the noise surrounding his tenure at this point, it would only serve to harm the program should he return in what would essentially amount to be a lame duck role next year. Attendance would continue to decline, recruiting would suffer, and Georgetown would be looking at a lengthy downturn and time spent among the bottom-feeders of the Big East. No one understands this better than Thompson, and it is that very respect he has for the tradition of the school that might ultimately drive a decision to resign after this season.