Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Either You're In Or You're Out

Is this going to become an annual rite? Will the arrival of spring be marked by blooming flowers, the new baseball season, and Dave Leitao-is-leaving rumors?

Just like last year when Leitao was supposedly interested in the St. John's job before signing a contract extension with DePaul, rumors are afloat that Virginia is looking at Leitao to fill its opening. While all involved parties have given the standard cliches to dismiss the rumors, it seems likely that Leitao has been in contact with the Cavaliers.

Fine. Dandy, It's Leitao's right to talk to whomever he wants and to explore any possibility he wants.

However, it's getting annoying. Highly annoying.

Look, either Leitao wants to honor the contract he signed and continue the fine work he has begun in building up the Demons, or he doesn't. It's not fair to keep the university, his players, and the fans hostage while he decides which way he wants the wind to carry him.

Besides, why Virginia? Leitao is a Big East lifer, making the Demons' upcoming move to the Big East seem a natural fit. And in Chicago he has a riches of high school talent right outside the front door that most schools can only dream of. In fact, the Demons' current lack of Chicago kids is surprising. Tap the local resources and Leitao is sitting on a goldmine, not to mention a city of fans just waiting to offer the exact same frenzied support that the Illini received this year.

Virginia? The Cavs will always be overshadowed by the likes of North Carolina and Duke in the ACC.

DePaul? The upside is monstrous. Revive the days when players like Mark Aguirre and Terry Cummings were staying home to play, and you wake a sleeping giant.


Speaking of the love, it was nice to see more than 20,000 fans come out and offer their appreciation to the Illini yesterday. It was even nicer to hear the chant of "One more year!" for the likes of Deron Williams and Dee Brown.

Sniff. It nearly brings a tear to my eye to think of how close the Illini came. It's a good thing I'm a cold, uncaring fish.


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