Sunday, September 23, 2018
Sports

USF basketball's one-way ticket to disaster

Please bring your seat back, folding tray and basketball season to a full, upright and locked position.

It's not as if the 2016-17 USF men's hopeless hoops program needed a laugh track.

But it officially sealed its fate as one of the largest jokes in college sports, never mind the 7-20 record, when it left players Troy Holston and Geno Thorpe asleep in the Houston airport terminal while making a connection back to Tampa from Tulsa. So much for the buddy system.

Forget airplanes.

This program needs a clown car.

Borrow one from the Oscars if you have to.

Oh, and take a final head count before everyone is crammed in.

Hey, mistakes happen.

But Brando did win for The Godfather in '72, right?

And somebody check that Justin Verlander envelope again.

Back to the USF men. As if their season wasn't bad enough, as if the sacking of losing coach Orlando Antigua wasn't enough, as if interim coach Murry Bartow doesn't have just one win since taking over, as if USF athletic director Mark Harlan didn't already have a mess on his hands without Holston's mother slam dunking USF for incompetence for leaving her son behind.

That's right. Let's get Mom mad.

RELATED: Two USF basketball players home safe after being left at airport

Lovely season.

A one-way ticket to disaster.

Window seat.

Bartow called it "an unfortunate circumstance, for which I apologize."

He reportedly briefly considered concealing his identity by adding an 'A' to his first name.

There is no hiding this season.

And that NCAA investigation.

RELATED: Harlan 'not very' concerned over possible NCAA findings

Harlan has his work cut out for him, even after landing Charlie Strong as football coach.

He can't possibly stick with Bartow in the name of continuity. Impossible.

Continue what?

Harlan is approaching Round 3 of "Do you know how to hire a basketball coach?"

His work at other schools says he can.

Not so much here.

At USF, Harlan hired and un-hired Manhattan's Steve Masiello, who lied about having a college diploma.

Then Harlan had to jettison Antigua, who earned an advanced degree in losing.

In Masiello and Antigua's defense, they had perfect records at airports.

Harlan needs a rally here.

He'd better find a good young head coach in the weeds or a rising assistant -— or, you know, Larry Brown.

The latest episode, funny as it is, points to USF men's basketball as a ringing embarrassment for USF athletics.

The boarding door closed a long time ago.

Destination: oblivion.

Contact Martin Fennelly at [email protected] or (813) 731-8029. Follow @mjfennelly.

 
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