We'll just go ahead and continue talking about Illini basketball, since this is my damn blog and Mayan Artifact Blogger Mike never talks about his Aggies. Cool with everyone? Cool.
So, Shaka Smart, the head coach of Virginia Commonwealth University's basketball team and the guy Illini fans have all been sexting for the past two weeks, appears to have turned down the ol' Blue and Orange.
One of the attractive things about Smart was that he's a minority. That has some appeal to UofI trustees. I'm not sure I care as much. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big believer in affirmative action, and the idea that some organizations will be better for exposing themselves to a diversity of opinion. But I dunno if I think a college basketball team is one of those organizations. I guess it can help with recruitment- Smart would be able to connect with certain recruits that, say, Bruce Weber couldn't- but I'm not sold. Roy Williams is basically the whitest guy ever, and he doesn't have trouble getting talent. On the other hand, Urbana is a diverse campus, and it'd be nice for the high profile people to reflect that, but I'm not sure how much that's worth.
I guess I fall back to the "if you can play, you can play" mantra. If Smart was the best candidate for the job, then I'd wish he'd have taken it. I think he was, and I do. But on this one, his race or ethnicity just don't interest me much.