Is Duquesne ready for life after Ron Everhart?

By Steven DiMiceli
Discuss Here on Yuku

As we sit on the edge of our seats waiting for word to trickle in on whether or not Ron Everhart will be moving to Happy Valley, I think there is a genuine collective concern amongst Duquesne fans. Some common questions I'm seeing over and over again. Who will the Dukes be able to find this late in the coaching cycle? Will TJ follow Ron? Is Greg Amodio stupid enough to hire Dino Gaudio?

Does everyone have their panic button placed directly in front of them? Good, but don't push it just yet.

First off, Ron is just interviewing. I'm pretty sure he will get an offer, but that is no absolute reason for concern. We have no idea what his intentions are. He could be using this job to leverage more money from Duquesne. Penn St could absolutely afford to trump Ron's Duquesne salary a number of times over, but they likely won't offer that much. Penn St is expected to pay their basketball coach somewhere in the million dollar per year range, a figure that I believe Duquesne could approach but certainly couldn't match. When you factor in the intangibles, however, Duquesne might have some advantages that help level salary playing field. For one, Ron is comfortable in Pittsburgh. From everything, I've heard he enjoys it here and might have great reservations about moving his family for anything but a truly life changing offer. Second, Duquesne returns a better team and looks more promising into the future. Penn St. has a few good players coming back, but not nearly the volume of the Dukes. I don't know if you guys have heard, but we have a young team. At Duquesne, Ron also has the full attention of the administration. This is of course a good thing and a bad thing, but knowing that the majority of your school's athletic resources and focus will be directed your way has to count for something. Football is king and with wrestling's success and with men's hockey joining the new Big Ten league, basketball keeps drifting further down the list. If Ron signs with Penn St, the shine will wear off by the time the season starts. Speaking as a Penn St football fan, their fans have absurd expectations and nothing is ever good enough for most of their hillbilly supporters. This is the same group who wants to run Joe Paterno out of Beaver Stadium  after every 9 win season. Can you imagine what they'll do to Ron when his team loses 8 of the final 10 and misses the NIT when they looked like an NCAA team 2/3's of the way through the season? Keep in mind Duquesne would also be more likely to give Ron a longer contract. I can't see Penn St going longer than 3 years.   If PSU comes at Ron with $1,000,000 over 3 and Duquesne counters with $750,000 over 6, it's a difficult choice, but the Duquesne contract is safe money and comfortable environment. If it comes down to that, I think he stays.

As to whether or not Duquesne will be able to attract a coach this late in the recruiting season, the answer is a resounding yes. They will find someone, but their pool to choose from will likely be thinner than it would've been in April. Keep in mind Duquesne will offer a greater boost in terms of money and prestige than Ron would get by moving to State College. There are ambitious coaches out there and they will come out for the job if the time comes. Assistants will have nothing to lose knowing that a bigger job won't come along this off season. Problem is, do we really want an assistant since they won't be bringing any recruits with them? Recruiting will be a bear for anyone without tag - a - longs.  Head coaches will be a tougher sell, but I think we could certainly lure away a coach from the OVC, Am East  or Big South  and maybe even the Horizon or MAC.

TJ following Ron is a coin flip in my opinion. On one hand, you have a Pittsburgh kid who could really be a big fish in a small pond close to his extended family and at the same school where his aunt is employed. On the other hand, you have a school that will presumably offer you a greater chance at the national spotlight that happens to be the alma mater of that same aunt. Personally, I think TJ will be a national star by the time his college career is said and done with no matter where he plays. Everhart would be insane not to try his hardest to take him along where ever he goes. I think TJ's decision would depend on a couple of things; how settled he is here and where he feels more comfortable. Maybe even where he has a better chance of winning. I personally think that might be Duquesne.

Finally, Colin Dunlap seems to think that Dino Gaudio would be the most likely replacement for Everhart. I guess we'll find out whether or not Duquesne is run by professionals who will hire the best candidate or by the backwards bumbling idiots many think run the athletic department who would allow nepotism to get in the way of making the best hire. I personally think it's the former by a long shot. Rewind, 6 years. If Dino Gaudio was going to get the Duquesne job because of his friendship with Greg Amodio, I believe he would've gotten consideration for the opening when Everhart was hired. I believe Amodio will hire the person who he feels will fit the program not his buddy. Remember, Greg has a career to advance too. While it's nice to help a friend in need, it's sometimes nicer to help yourself.

Still want to push that panic button? Hopefully not as much as you did before. I wouldn't store it away in the attic just yet, but I think you can at least put it in a drawer for now.