It's About That Time We Stop Treating Coaches' Halftime Interviews As If They Are Anything Other Than Empty Air-Filler
I'm chalking up this ridiculously inconsequential disagreement between Buster Olney and an otherwise unknown college basketball recruiting analyst to miscommunication. Not to suggest that someone who makes their living covering baseball is speaking an entirely different language as someone who keeps close tabs on what matters to most to prospective college basketball players, but - at the very least - they are working in very different dialects.
Buster Olney is entitled to his opinion, but I just have a hard time believing that it's not highly influenced by what he's encountered in his own field. For one, almost everyone is guilty of applying personal experience to their point of view. More importantly, however, communicating with Managers whose lack of a second-to-second emotional investment in a slow, methodical chess match of a sport allows them open up to analysts between the chewing of sunflower seeds mid-game is the only thing that explains his lack of sympathy to Chris Mack's circumstance. Surely Louisville's coach could've, and admittedly should've, given a more gracious answer to a sideline reporter who was put in the impossible and unforgiving position of squeezing water out of rock...
However, to not take into account the anxiety/adrenaline build-up that comes as a result of the constant and closely supervised back-and-forth of a college basketball game, never mind one played against another nationally ranked team, reeks of being biased by baseball.
To Buster Olney's point, whether it's John Calipari generously breaking down the performance of each one of his NBA-caliber talents or Chris Mack being curt in cutting off to the locker room, no one really gives a damn about the inherently rushed and unproductive practice of giving mid-game interviews to those who have more important things on their mind. Not me, not you, and most certainly not 17-18 year olds who are in the process of making the potential life-changing decision of where to best further their basketball career. Chris Mack was guilty of being a bit of a dick, but he wasn't guilty of ruining his program's reputation or wrecking his recruiting pitch by running off to the locker room to...god forbid...actually coach his players.