Week 1 in the search for Cal’s new basketball coach has passed and no one seems to know when the Bears will announce their new man. Or who it will be.
A campus source told me, “They’re trying to hit a home run,” but added, “If anybody tells you they know anything, they’re lying.”
That’s because it’s believed that perhaps only two people — athletic director Sandy Barbour and chancellor Nicholas Dirks – will be involved in the selection process. And they’re not talking.
The “home run” would be snagging an A-list candidate such as Harvard’s Tommy Amaker, VCU’s Shaka Smart or Dayton’s Archie Miller. By all accounts, Cal has gotten nowhere with any of them.
Why is that?
“Cal is not as good a job as it looks,” my source said.
He pointed out the lack of a dedicated practice facility, the need to share practice time at Haas Pavilion, the rising academic demands, even the lack of parking.
“There’s no land (to build a practice gym or add parking),” he said. “There’s no way to park and just to class.”
Admission to Cal is becoming tougher, just as the athletic department ramps up the pressure for its football and basketball teams to perform better in the classroom.
“Academics is getting harder and harder,” the source said. “Whoever they hire, better be a miracle worker.”
Unless it’s someone who understands how Cal works.
“It’s not an easy place. This is a difficult place. Nothing moves easily. Ask Sonny (Dykes),” the source said, referring to the learning curve the Bears’ second-year football coach is tackling. “These people (at Cal) invented bureaucracy.”
The wrong hire, my source suggested, could cause the Bears to lose their incoming recruiting class and perhaps key players off the current roster.
The latest name to surface is former Warriors head coach Eric Musselman, who on Monday left his job as assistant coach at Arizona State to seek other opportunities.
Musselman, 49, still owns a home in the East Bay. He has extensive experience on various professional levels, but a very limited college resume. It’s unclear how well he knows the recruiting scene or key AAU coaches.
How much longer we wait for the announcement may depend on how stubborn Barbour and Dirks are about hitting one out of the park.
But we’re a week into baseball season — and the search process — and sometimes it feels like the Bears are still at first base,