Never again will we hear the voice of the Demon Deacons, Stan Cotten, say, "We have John from Winston-Salem on line 1. John, what's your question for Coach Bzdelik?" We also won't get to hear Mr. Cotten do his best Drew Rosenhaus impression and say, "Next question!" That is because as you by now have heard that the Wake Forest athletic department and IMG College decided that they would only respond to voice mail messages and e-mails.
This decision came in response to last week's edition of the "Jeff Bzdelik Show" in which several callers voiced their concerns with the state of the basketball program. Those questions asked were legitimate and reasonable, yet the athletic department made another misstep.
I can't say that I'm terribly surprised by the steps taken this past week. After all, this is an administration that has shown they will hold Jeff Bzdelik's hand for him each and every step of the way. If anyone dare say anything negative about the program, or question a decision, then shame on them. Who are they to question Wake Forest?
This past February Dan Collins, Wake Forest beat writer for the Winston-Salem Journal, asked Ron Wellman if Jeff Bzdelik would be back for the next season. Mr. Wellman's response was "Oh heavens, yes. You'd better believe it." Keep in mind Jeff Bzdelik had a record of 20-39 at the time of the question. It was certainly a reasonable question to ask. He went on to say about Wake's future that he "couldn't be happier" even though earlier in the week Jeff Bzdelik had to apologize to a Miami fan for directing an obscenity at a Miami fan during the Deacs' 74-56 loss to the Hurricanes.
In the post game press conference following the Deacs' 87-76 loss to North Carolina State, Jeff Bzdelik said, "Our radio people told us if you take away those runs, we outscored them by 19." Yet another slant taken by the athletic department that completely distorts the reality of the situation. But somehow we, the fans, are perceived to be the delusional ones for asking tough yet fair questions to our basketball coach. Wake Forest fans who call into a local radio show are accused of "preaching" when they raise legitimate questions about poor rebounding margins or horrendous defensive efficiency statistics.
They say you can relate almost any moment of your life to an episode of my favorite television show, Seinfeld. They are aptly called "Seinfeld Moments." This morning at work it hit me that the Wake Forest athletic department was having their own "Seinfeld Moment," and it's been going on for two and a half years. One of the more popular episodes of the show is entitled, "The Serenity Now." The main theme of the episode is that whenever George Costanza's father, Frank, gets angry he screams "Serenity Now!" instead of discussing his frustrations and attempting to actually solve his problems. This is in an effort to calm down and somehow help with his blood pressure. Ron Wellman has gone Frank Costanza on us. His infamous quotes such as "Oh heavens yes" and "I couldn't be happier" are nothing more than his version of "Serenity Now!"
By shoving everything under the rug, Mr. Wellman is continually ignoring the problem and only allowing the problem to build. The fact of the matter is that our basketball program is in shambles and something must be done about it. By not addressing the serious issues, i.e. head coach, he is only making the problems worse and will ultimately pay for it more in the long run.
The Wake Forest fan base is far from delusional. We know exactly what's going on, and we know what's going on is utterly unacceptable for a basketball program of this caliber. We are a very proud group that loves its basketball program and wants nothing more than for it to succeed. We perceive that the athletic department is attempting to con us, and we don't buy it. We are not delusional. If the athletic department truly believes what they are saying about our basketball program, then they are the delusional ones. Just remember, Mr. Wellman: serenity now, insanity later.
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