There is an uneasy vibe at UB this week after the firing of the popular Reggie Witherspoon by AD Danny White. Word is Reggie is not the only one to go and at least one other change will be announced next week. You can bet all the coaches other than football coach Jeff Quinn are having restless nights.

Danny White is a young Athletic Director with a strong pedigree that includes stops at Ole Miss, a member of the Notre Dame basketball team and a father who is AD at Duke. White’s dismissal of Witherspoon has the basketball community scratching their heads, but my guess is White’s criteria for the right man for the job has something to do with what he has experienced elsewhere. Still, hard to figure what Whitherspoon did wrong to earn his abrupt firing and Reggie may never actually know.

I feel bad for Reggie Witherspoon because he is a class individual whon is respected and well liked by all who have either played for him or know him. Witherspoon is a life long resident of WNY and to continue his career as a Div I basketball coach he will have to relocate. That is not uncommon for any coach in the college ranks, but Reggie has managed to carve out a career that allowed him to raise his family in Buffalo.

Time will tell whether Danny White was justified in releasing Witherspoon. However, with the returning players from this year’s team the new coach already has a great start to a successful run.

The Niagara Purple Eagles found out Tuesday night the difference between the MAAC and the ACC. Maryland let the Eagles hang around for a half before they flexed their muscles and handily took over the game in the 2nd half. I will give Coach Milhalich’s team credit for battling right down to the final buzzer and they too should be loaded for another run at the MAAC title next season.

I’m not a big fan of the Mihalich’s bench coaching and the way he allows his team to free-lance. It’s that undisciplined style that almost always leads to blowouts against better teams in other conferences, like Maryland.

I will however, give Mihalich all the credit in the world for his ability to recruit athletes in the six foot to six foot five range. Niagara has had some excellent athletes and scorers since Mihalich has taken over the job fifteen years ago and his style of play has entertained the loyal on Monteagle Ridge. Look for NU to be one of the top two teams in the MAAC next season and if they can ever recruit a real big man they might someday make a run beyond the first round of the NCAA tourney.


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