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STATEMENT: Georgetown Issues Statement about Patrick Ewing

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Lee Reed and GU issue a statement in support of the 0-17 head coach

Press conference introducing former Hoyas star Patrick Ewing as the new coach of the team. Photo by Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post via Getty Images

With two games left in the season, and no conference wins to date (6-22, 0-17), Georgetown Athletics and its Director Lee Reed have issued a statement in support of Men’s Basketball Head Coach Patrick Ewing.

The statement says:

A Statement from Georgetown Director of Athletics Lee Reed

As a university with high standards and expectations for both academic and athletic excellence, we all share the disappointment of a difficult season.

In this ever evolving landscape of college athletics we are committed to Coach Ewing, and we are working with him to evaluate every aspect of the men's basketball program and to make the necessary changes for him to put us back on the path to success for next year.

Coach Ewing’s dedication as well as his success in last year’s BIG EAST Tournament is a testament to his leadership. This gives us confidence that he can strengthen our program going forward. I wish to thank all of our supporters and season ticket holders for their ongoing commitment and express my appreciation to the members of our team for their hard work.

Georgetown is playing in their penultimate game tonight, Wednesday, at Seton Hall with a visit to Xavier on Saturday March 5th, prior to playing as the last seed in the BIG EAST Tournament on Wednesday, March 9th at Madison Square Garden.

This statement may have been prompted by a recent grassroots letter writing campaign with text of anonymous letters shared on Twitter. Please remember to at all times be respectful and do not harass anyone involved with the university or the program.

The speculation of Patrick Ewing stepping away (or being fired) has been seriously discussed by several media outlets since January. Myron Medcalf of ESPN noted that “It’s fair to wonder, however, how long Ewing will stay at Georgetown” and “John Thompson III was fired for less, proving that an appetite for struggles is conditional, even with a coach who has close ties to Big John.” The Washington Post suggested that Georgetown no longer resembles the program of Big John’s Hoyas. Zach Braziller of the New York Post wrote “I doubt Georgetown would outright fire the legendary player, especially after giving him a contract extension last April” and that “an amicable parting ways would be the best thing for both parties” before coming on Kente Korner and elaborating.

Casual Hoya did post a statement weeks ago identifying numerous ways in which the Patrick Ewing-led Georgetown basketball program is failing and reiterating the uncomfortable truth that it’s time for Patrick Ewing to step down to save Georgetown Basketball. Recently, contributions to this blog about potential candidates for head coach, should the position open up, have been posted.

The contributors at Casual Hoyas have also taken a look at some of the financial questions about the head coaching position, and relayed the feelings that—in spite of a record-smashing losing streak and historically unfathomable defensive ratings—Ewing was not showing signs of nearing the end of his Georgetown tenure.

Since then, other media outlets have led the “hot seat” discussion, including the The Washington Post, the New York Post, ESPN, NJ.com, Bleacher Report, 24/7 Sports, and more.

On Twitter—perhaps feeling a premonition of a statement coming—Casual Hoya offered a poll where 3.5 times as many people (in a 1,200+ voter result) chose a “new head coach [and] news staff” over “same head coach [and] new staff.”

There’s still a lot to unpack in the GU-issued statement. What does “we are working with him to evaluate every aspect of the men’s basketball program and to make the necessary changes for him to put us back on the path to success for next year” actually mean? Will there be internal structure changes? Will the staff remain? Will a Thompson still be involved?

And does this statement truly mean anything long term? How many times have college sports fans seen a statement like this right before an end-of-the-year sacking? Well, with the notoriously loyal Georgetown, it’s probably different. But anything can change and Ewing may even decide for himself in April that his family time might be more precious than climbing this BIG EAST mountain again. Who knows.

For now, we see Georgetown standing by Patrick Ewing. The fans will certainly support the players whole-heartedly these last few games. Whether the Hoya Faithful will stand by Pat and the Georgetown Men’s Basketball program beyond March, is to be determined.