Facing the Facts with Ron Everhart

By Steve DiMiceli

Duquesne fans will remember March 20, 2012 for some time and at least in the short run it will be looked at as an  infamous day. After all, we lost a native son, a star player, one of the best we've had in a long time and a fan favorite. We also lost his back up and the starting lineup for next year now has two massive holes.

At the same time, the latest straw may have broken the camel's back. Ardent supporters of Ron Everhart now are flipping due to the latest round of turnover and  really they have a great argument He has coached two A-10 freshman of the year. They've played a combined total of three seasons for him. In his first three recruiting classes, Ron has graduated only five of the four-year players from the thirteen who arrived on campus. Ron has had three star players leave early and he has failed to recruit and develop a true go to player. Five of six years, his team has faded down the stretch keeping us trapped in mediocrity.  His record in games decided by fewer than six points and rematch games is abysmal over the course of his Duquesne career and he failed to win a single game in either category this year.

Ready to fire him now? You're probably out of luck. Ron has two years left on his contract and I find it very difficult to believe the athletic department will pony up at least two million dollars to buy out Everhart and pay his replacement between $500,000 and $650,000 next year in order to upgrade. This means Ron Everhart has one more year and too avoid having a lame duck coach, another chance to keep his job.

 In my book, Everhart should be gone. I'm off the bandwagon already, but I have enough business acumen to understand that you can't just write off over 15% from a budget already in the red over two seasons unless it's going to completely destroy you. One more year of Ron will not kill Duquesne. Don't get me wrong, it's not my money and if they want make a move the timing would be great. Not a lot of BCS openings and a fair number of quality candidates would put Duquesne in prime position to get a hot, up and coming coach. Still it probably won't happen.

The competitor in Ron will prevent him from loofing and just accepting my disapproval. So what can he do to get me back on his side? I was planning on setting a minimum expectations for wins at 19 for next year. That would be a place to begin. It would also make me very happy if a returning player or recruit demonstrates the ability or the potential to be "the guy" or an 18-20 point scorer who could take over games.  I'm of the opinion that my expectations would take a small miracle to happen at this point, but if he gets there he deserves to keep his job. At the same time, my expectations were high for next year. I don't think it's fair for me to set them any lower because our coach can't keep talent happy. There is a fine line between being a straight hard ass and being successful. When the people working for you aren't getting paid or can easily get the same benefits elsewhere, the line gets even finer. We've let Everhart off the hook too many times with the "it's a young team" excuse. After 6 years, a young team is his problem not ours.

If the program needs to turn over it's coach in order to get better, maybe March 20, 2012 will not be looked at with scorn but rather a day a lot of people opened their eyes. A fan base has been divided on a low ceiling coach like Everhart for some time, but we're not nearly as divided on March 21st.