The Monday Melange 02.14.11 (Valentine’s Day Edition): Paul Hewitt

–File this in the Repulsive Corporate Weasels department here at Everyone’s Entitled to Joe’s Opinion:  After working everyone to death the week before the [deleted by order of the National Football League] in Dallas, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram announced massive staff cuts just two days afterward.  It appears that these staff cuts may have been made to free up money so that the Fort Worth Star-Telegram could offer one of their star columnists a hefty raise to keep him from defecting to ESPN Dallas.  Which makes the whole thing even more repulsive.

–Definition of brain freeze:  The Quebec government is spending $400 million to build a hockey arena with no guarantee of ever getting an NHL team.

The Catholic Church now has a confession app for your iPhone or iPad.  Great.  Now all they need is an app that can go out and do the sinning for you.

–I do not normally comment on Georgia Tech basketball, for reasons which should be obvious to those of you who have been tracking with me for any significant length of time.  But the state of that program nowadays is so laughably pathetic that I just cannot help myself.

Several years ago Georgia Tech went all the way to the championship game of the NCAA Tournament.  In the wake of this, then-athletic director Dave Braine signed coach Paul Hewitt to what was essentially a lifetime contract:  six years, an automatic rollover, a $7 million buyout, and if for whatever reason the contract fails to roll over then it becomes null and void and the buyout becomes payable in full.

In the years since then, Paul Hewitt’s program became comatose.  Last year Georgia Tech underachieved massively with Derrick Favors and Gani Lawal; this year Georgia Tech lost both players and went into freefall.

Conventional wisdom holds that Georgia Tech cannot afford to fire Hewitt; after all, how does a small-ish, strongly academic school with a cash-strapped athletic budget come up with $7 million to fire its head coach?  But given Georgia Tech’s present circumstances, they can’t afford to NOT fire Hewitt.

The situation becomes even more poignant when you consider this:  Next year Georgia Tech starts into a massive renovation of Alexander Memorial Coliseum, formerly known as the Thrillerdome.  All next season Georgia Tech will play its home games at Philips and the Arena at Gwinnett.  Imagine what it would be like for Georgia Tech if they spend all that money to upgrade Alexander Memorial Coliseum and can’t get anybody into the seats.  Not a good situation.

In light of all of that, it seems that as little as Georgia Tech can afford to fire Paul Hewitt, they can afford even less to NOT fire him.