George Hale’s Perspective: Cindy Blodgett

Updated 3 years ago

THIS HAS NOT BEEN A HAPPY WEEK IN ATHLETICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE.NOT HAPPY FOR CINDY BLODGETT, STEVE ABBOTT OR THE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT.IT HAS NOT BEEN A HAPPY TIME FOR UM SPORTS FANS EITHER.IN MY CAREER IN SPORTS, I HAVE COVERED A LOT OF SITUATIONS WHERE COACHES RESIGN, GET FIRED OR JUST PLAIN GIVE UP.IT’S NEVER PLEASANT.COACHING DIVISION ONE SPORTS IS A HIGH VISABILITY AFFAIR WHICH GENERALLY PAYS WELL BUT CARRIES A HIGH RISK POTENTIAL.I DON’T INTEND TO GET INTO THE NITTY-GRITTY OF WHAT CAME DOWN AT OUR STATE UNIVERSITY.IN ALL THE FUROR OVER THE DISMISSAL OF BLOGETT , BOTH PRO AND CON, ONE THING NEEDS TO BE MENTIONED AS THE CURTAIN COMES DOWN.EVERY BASKETBALL PLAYER, PARTICULARLY GIRLS, OWE CINDY A DEBT OF GRATITUDE.AS A REPORTER AND SPORTS COMMENTATOR I COVERED HER FROM THE TIME SHE WAS A FRESHMAN UNTIL THIS MORNING WHEN I SPOKE TO HER ON RADIO.VERY FEW PEOPLE HAVE EVER HAD THE INFLUENCE ON A SPORT IN AS SHE DID.SHE LIFTED GIRLS AND WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TO A LEVEL IT HAD NEVER SEEN BEFORE.DURING HER PLAYING YEARS NO OTHER ATHLETE IN MY MEMORY HAD THE FOLLOWING AND THE LOYALTY OF MAINE FANS.EVEN TODAY YOUNG PLAYERS KNOW OF HER AND ASPIRE TO BE LIKE HER.WE SHOULD ALWAYS BE THANKFUL FOR HER CLASS AND PASSION FOR THE GAME.BUT THE SITUATION CHANGED IN 2007 WHEN SHE PUT HER NAME INTO THE RUNNING FOR HEAD COACH OF WOMEN’S BASKETBALL AT UM.HER EXPIERIENCE WAS LIMITED AT BOSTON UNIVERSITY AND BROWN AS AN ASSISTANT.THE SELECTION COMMITTEE, HAD A NUMBER OF APPLICANTS, SEVERAL WITH MUCH MORE EXPIERIENCE.FOR REASONS ONLY KNOWN TO THEM THEY PICKED BLODGETT. PERHAPS OUT OF LOYALTY FOR ALL SHE HAD DONE FOR THE SCHOOL.THE JOB WAS TO REJUVINATE A PROGRAM THAT HAD FALLEN INTO DISREPAIR.IN RETROSPECT IT PROBABLY WAS NOT A GREAT FIT FOR SOMEONE WITH THAT BACKGROUND.IN HER YEARS ON THE JOB SHE GAVE IT EVERYTHING SHE HAD BUT FOR A VARIETY OF REASONS IT DIDN’T HAPPEN.RECRUITING, INJURYS, DEFECTIONS BY PLAYERS SEALED HER FATE.SHE IS NOT THE FIRST NOR WILL SHE BE THE LAST WHO COME FACE TO FACE WITH THE REALITY OF WINS AND LOSSES.RIGHT NOW, ACROSS AMERICA THERE ARE MANY OUTSTANDING COACHES BOTH AT MID-MAJOR AND MAJOR INSTITUTIONS WHO ARE DESTINTED TO MOVE UP AND WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS AND BECOME SUCCESSFUL.THERE IS NO REASON THAT GIVEN THE PROPER SET OF CIRCUMSTANCES THAT CINDY BLODGETT CANT BE ONE OF THEM. THERE IS NO GOOD REASON THE UNIVERSITY OF MAINE CAN’T FIND AND SIGN SOMEONE TO LEAD THE PROGRAM BACK TO SUCCESS.FOR TALENTED PEOPLE, WHO KNOW ATHLETICS, THIS IS NOT ROCKET SCIENCE.YOU HAVE TO DO YOUR HOMEWORK AND PUT PEOPLE ON THE SELECTION COMMITTEE WHO KNOW SPORTS AND COACHING.IT’S ALSO IMPERATIVE THAT THE INCOMING COACH BE GIVEN THE MEANS TO SUCCEED.THE MEN’S AND WOMEN’S FINAL GAMES ARE BEING PLAYED.THE COACHES WHO ARE THERE WERE UNKNOWN BY THE MASSES AT SOME POINT.THEY WERE FOUND, MOVED UP AND STARTING WINNING GAMES, WON CONFERENCE TITLES AND NOW ARE LEGENDS.AS CINDY BLOGETT LEAVES THE MAINE SCENE IT’S IMPORTANT TO SAY THANK YOU AND WE WISH YOU WELL.YOU WERE A CLASS ACT.THIS IS GEORGE HALE WITH MY PERSPECTIVE ON SPORTS


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