Rick Herdes and KWC

Apparently, Rick Herdes will not be the next men’s basketball coach at Kentucky Wesleyan College. Cole Claybourn, a sports reporter for the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer, posted on his blog that the former USI head coach was told that KWC was “going in a different direction.” The post is here.

Briefly recall that Herdes was forced out as USI’s coach for various NCAA rules violations in 2009 and USI ended up vacating all the victories from that season, was banned by the GLVC from playing in the postseason for a year and was fined by the NCAA. Herdes also was given what the NCAA calls a “show cause” sanction in February 2011, meaning he would have to undergo ethics training if a school hired him over the next two years — essentially becoming a ban on coaching over that period since just about every school would not dare take a chance on him for fear of running afoul of the NCAA. That sanction ended at the end of this season.

That said, Herdes deserves a second chance. Having to sit out for two four years (that includes the two after he was let go on top of the two years from the show-cause order) was a severe punishment for somebody whose very identity is that of a college coach. I hope he’s learned his lesson, but the only way to find out is to give him another shot at coaching. He certainly showed he can coach before he got in trouble — he posted a 200-59 record over eight years at USI and guided the Eagles to the Division II title game in 2004. Herdes, from my experience, is as intense as any coach I’ve known and he knows his stuff. Some college will be very lucky to hire him. But that hiring might have to be by a school far away from the Evansville area in order to give him a fresh start. Wish him good luck.

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