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Thursday News:

There's a full page advertisement in this week's Sports Illustrated highlighting the work of Gabe Lewullis with Our Future Stars. Lewullis can be seen on CBS this weekend at 3:30 pm ET for Buick's "Human Highlight Reel" - a piece that focuses on his current career as well as past basketball success.

Chris Young ended his spring happy with his health.

President Barack Obama gave a speech at Georgetown yesterday about America's energy security. Here's a photo of him being greeted by a familiar face.

As for the Fairfield job, all I have learned is that this is more of a real consideration than I had expected. There's a lot of message board chatter out there and it is impossible to tell what's true or not but it appears based on what I have heard that this coaching change is not an impossibility.

David Lewis said,

March 31, 2011 @ 9:19 pm

The fact that Sydney Johnson is even thinking about a coaching job at Fairfield is a sad commentary on Princeton University athletics. The only reason SJ would consider such a sub-lateral move is for more money. Princeton has more money than any university in the country. If they cannot afford to keep a guy like SJ happy, they deserve to be mediocre.

Steven Postrel said,

April 1, 2011 @ 4:04 am

David Lewis +10

George Clark said,

April 1, 2011 @ 8:32 am

Where is the message board chatter? Any comment from SJ? Can the issue be $$$? OMG What is happening here?

Jon Solomon said,

April 1, 2011 @ 9:54 am

Well, this all started gaining momentum with a blurb on NJ Hoops Haven, but Coach Johnson's name was also mentioned by a few Connecticut sports writers - See here and here.

There is no comment from Johnson, nor should there be.

Fairfield's Scout page had reports that Johnson was seen on their campus recently. Given the low post count (2) of this anonymous individual who first shared the information and the description provided ("big dude") I didn't give this much credence until similar information was posted on the Twitter feed of an actual reporter out of Bridgeport.

HoopDirt had a blurb matching what was said on this forum.

Don't be stunned other schools are interested in Sydney. That being said, the fact this has proceeded beyond feelers does surprise me.

I would like him to stay for a many reasons. At the very least, Princeton needs to break the cycle of a new coach every four years (three with Joe Scott) since 1996! If the school's not willing to match the "fair market value" similar programs are offering, this cycle may not have an end.

We'll be right back here in 2015.

With today being April 1st, be careful about anything you read.

I don't know for sure if Coach Johnson is down in Texas or not, but most coaches/assistants from all around college basketball are in Houston for the Final Four this weekend. It is a big time for moving/shaking/wheeling/dealing.


TigerHeel said,

April 1, 2011 @ 11:23 am

I can't understate how disappointed I would be if the University let Fairfield steal Coach Johnson by not offering fair market value.

Matt Walter said,

April 1, 2011 @ 11:51 am

The third rail here could be recruiting and the Princeton admissions office. While I certainly hope that Princeton can and will offer SJ FMV (in fact, I think SJ should be given an contract extension that guarantees he will be the highest paid coach in the Ivy League), if the admissions office (and I have no knowledge of this whatsoever) is not admitting recruits who meet AI requirements, SJ may feel like he's facing a tough road to keep up with Harvard. Just another angle I thought worth mentioning.

Matt Walter said,

April 1, 2011 @ 11:52 am

Btw, I do not take it as a good sign that Jon has yet to post "Friday News" as of 11:52am east coast time.

Jon Solomon said,

April 1, 2011 @ 12:17 pm


PLEASE don't read anything into the lack of Friday News beyond the fact that two+ weeks after the end of the season there just aren't enough worthwhile links today for a post worth sharing.

I have a couple pieces of original content pending but I felt a "nothing to see here today" blurb would do more harm than good.


Matt Walter said,

April 1, 2011 @ 2:01 pm


You have put me at ease in so far as your daily news is concerned. Thank you.
I am holding out hope for the opposite of an April Fool's Day joke, something like "Johnson given a contract extention that makes him the highest paid coach in the Ivy league, and, oh by the way, Desmond Hubert has committed to Princeton." Maybe that story can run tomorrow. :-)

Jon Solomon said,

April 1, 2011 @ 2:08 pm


The only thing I can tell you about Desmond Hubert is that he is in Houston for a high school all star game this weekend.

Everything revolves around Space City these next three days.


Jon Greenwald said,

April 1, 2011 @ 5:38 pm

There is no one who wants Sydney to stay at Princeton more than I do. But before we criticize the university for possibly not being willing to pay market value, fair value or fair market value to retain him, whether this year or at some point in the future, we should consider this. At Princeton and throughout the Ivy League we are rightfully proud that athletics are a part of our commitment to education and excellence within the academic experience. Basketball is not a semi-professional, money venture or an advertisement required to attract the attention of prospective private donors or state legislatures that control budgets.

So I hope and anticipate that Princeton will pay and be prepared to continue to pay Sydney as an outstanding, very respected, senior member of the faculty should be paid. That may not be the equivalent of the extraordinary compensation that many schools are prepared to pay successful athletic coaches. If that gap opens up this year or at some future time for Sydney, he would have to decide how much money means to him and his family in their specific circumstances. We do not know those circumstances, and we cannot judge what weight Sydney would give the various factors. But I for one would not want Princeton to decide that a wonderful basketball coach is deserving of substantially higher compensation than other wonderful members of the faculty. To do so might keep a coach but it would let down the university's commitment to athletic excellence within but not above our educational mission. That would be too high a price to pay, though I very much hope that the issue does not have to faced.

Brian Martin said,

April 1, 2011 @ 7:22 pm

Princeton pays professors according to where it expects to place in the academic market. The university has to pay what is necessary to compete with other elite universities. It also has to grant professors occasional sabbaticals, lighter course loads, and other accommodations for their research, publishing, consulting, guest lecturing, and all the other side projects that provide them additional income and prestige, which also benefits the university's prestige. Professors also can receive tenure, much more job security than any coach could ever have.

If we are going to compete in NCAA Division I sports, we have to pay competitively for coaches, facilities, recruiting budgets, and all the rest, in relation to where we expect to compete in each sport. We are not going to be an elite program paying what UCLA or Kentucky or Duke pay, but we can't be paying only half of what Fairfield pays and expect to have a good basketball program.

Steven Postrel said,

April 1, 2011 @ 9:31 pm

Brian is correct with respect to competitive academic salary and benefit packages. No one is saying we should break the bank and pay Syd like Calipari or Self. But the Fairfields of the world are not that desirable and don't have that much money to spend. Losing a black-and-orange bleeder like SJ to a place like Fairfield is simply unacceptable--penny-wise and pound foolish.

Eventually basketball ambition and the opportunity to make high-major money may well cause any successful coach to leave Princeton, and that's to be expected. But we have to stay ahead of the mid-majors and low-majors in equal-to-inferior conferences with mediocre-to-bad-programs. Richmond got Chris Mooney, but he'd only been a D1 head for one year and was a big gamble. Syd is well past that point.

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