Did Outburst Cost Crean Top Coaching Honor?

The Big Ten opts to award the title to Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan, prompting a little head-scratching.


Of all the curious selections announced last night by the Big Ten Conference during its annual awards show, perhaps the most puzzling was the pick for Coach of the Year: Wisconsin’s Bo Ryan. Sure, Hoosier fans were hoping Victor Oladipo would edge out Michigan’s Trey Burke for Player of the Year (Trey got the nod). But Tom Crean seemed a lock to repeat as the best coach, with IU finishing the regular season as outright champions of the conference just a few years removed from the disasterous situation he inherited. Ryan only managed to lead his Badgers to fourth place.

Now, the Wisconsin coach’s supporters will point to the fact that he made the most with what he had—his starting point guard Josh Gasser tore his ACL at the beginning of the season and missed all of it. But one has to wonder if Crean’s unsportsmanlike outburst at the conclusion of Sunday’s Michigan game had something to do with the decision.

In case you missed it, here’s some of what has been written on Crean’s meltdown:



Bob Kravitz

NBC Sports

So, was Ryan preordained? Or is the conference making an example of Crean for his admittedly bad behavior?

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  • MFer

    Interesting theory. I can’t believe Crean lost out. I read the ESPN column you linked to, and the columnist talked about why coaches can’t act like this anymore – for one, because the incidents dominate the headlines, taking the focus away from the good stuff that happened in the game. But the columnist chose to write about the fracas (never mind that it seemed minor to me – or maybe we’re just used to a lot worse at IU). Sure, the Internet will blow up about stuff like this when it happens, but the sports media is supposed to know better.