Jack Aubry, a seasoned political reporter who apparently played hoops at Queen's in his day, had a
"... There's already been a bit of craziness off the court that has left serious Canadian basketball fans shaking their heads in wonderment."No, not really; anyone who follows university sports for more than two weeks out of the year (Final 8 and the week of the Vanier Cup) is numb to rather enigmatic award choices. Remember when the Hec Crighton went to a quarterback (McMaster's Ben Chapdelaine in 2001) with more interceptions than touchdown passes that season?
Sorry, you exaggerated. Yes, it's silly to synch up OUA and CIS awards when the two best candidates might be in the same division. And Smart is the Canadian game's answer to Wooden (although Wooden didn't win coach of the year during all 10 of UCLA's national championship seasons -- he only won seven times).
"... Dave Smart, the Johnny Wooden of Canadian basketball, will not be receiving the national coach of the year award for 2007-2008."
"I don't want to exaggerate, but in the world of awards, it's akin to denying Albert Einstein the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. Or telling Wayne Gretzky that he wouldn't receive the Art Ross Trophy for scoring in 1985-86 even though he broke the NHL record for most points in one season with 215."
A poorly designed system that will invariably produce confusing outcomes. There's no need to draw analogies even the most hyperbolizing sportswriter wouldn't commit to print, especially when it's apples and oranges.
YOU DON'T KNOW, JACK?
The Nobel Prize is for accomplishments that have stood up to a test of time. Einstein was honoured in 1921 for scientific proofs he had come up with more than a decade earlier. In hockey, the Art Ross Trophy is a straight stats award. If the coach-of-the-year award just went to the coach whose team won the most games, yeah, it would be a totally valid analogy. (Guess what, in that 1985-86 season, Gretzky's peers in the players' union didn't select him as the winner of the Lester B. Pearson Award as the NHL's outstanding player. They honoured Mario Lemieux instead. )
"There should be blood over this."No, there shouldn't be. It's amateur sports, for pity's sake. It's the ultimate tribute to Carleton's coaches and players that Smart wasn't the OUA East coach of the year during an unbeaten season. (It went to Toronto's Mike Katz.) They have reached that level where it almost seems redundant to honour them. They make a difficult game look simple. Let's appreciate that instead of being a bunch of homers.
Like any serious Canadian basketball fans need Smart to win an award to recognize his accomplishments and his abilities. The proof is in how hard his teams get after it on the court.
(There's a very good rebuttal up at cishoops.ca. The basic point is this is getting silly -- and it appears the Carleton student paper has shown more accountability and perspective than a Parliament Hill reporter.)