By Dan Bernstein–
CBSChicago.com senior columnist
(CBS) Steve Alford regularly loses in the NCAA Tournament, but the timing of the latest defeat for his UCLA team allowed for a false narrative to continue, one that just assumed his alma mater wanted him to coach there. Indiana didn’t want him, and it wasn’t holding the position open for him to make any decision. Alford was never under consideration despite mounting reports to the contrary, according to sources close to the situation.
Indiana was well down the road in negotiations with Dayton’s Archie Miller to replace the fired Tom Crean, and the timing of Alford’s professed desire to remain at UCLA was coincidental. Indiana athletic director Fred Glass decided to make his lone offer to Miller after consultation with other university officials revealed strong opposition to Alford, due primarily to his misbehavior regarding Pierre Pierce and sexual assault cases when at Iowa.
Some were unnerved by the prospect of dealing with further attention to the ugly story under the auspices of Indiana basketball, some genuinely aghast at his protection of a criminal and bullying of a victim, some questioned his actual coaching chops and others were simply ready to move away from any Bob Knight connections rather than try to live in a bygone era. It all added up to no interest.
Alford and his media surrogates still trapped in the past have to confront the truth that Indiana didn’t want him back.