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Did Outburst Cost Crean Top Coaching Honor?

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:

IndyStar

ESPN

Bob Kravitz

NBC Sports

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

Comiskey joined the magazine in 2006, shortly after completing an MA in journalism at Indiana University. During graduate school, he served as arts & culture editor of the Indiana Alumni Magazine and wrote for newspapers throughout the state. Comiskey’s long-form features have won a number of Society of Professional Journalists Awards, and have taken him inside sperm banks, across the country in a semi, and to the home of the world’s smallest books. He lives in Zionsville with his wife and three children.

Email him at [email protected]
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