Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JU's Scholz Has Himself to Blame

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JU's Scholz Has Himself to Blame

Article excerpt

At what was likely his final practice as Jacksonville

University's basketball coach, George Scholz took off his shirt

in the frigid gymnasium to give his players a lesson in stamina.

And then he lined them up for a drill, braced his body and

ordered them to physically charge into him. He wanted to teach

them toughness.

And, finally, he took the game tapes he'd compiled from the

team's horrible 0-6 start, dropped them in a trash can and set

them on fire. This was his way of showing players that he was

willing to forget the past if they would.

And they would not.

The sadly surreal scene at Thursday's practice session was one

last attempt by a desperate man trying to earn back the respect

and relevance he lost long, long ago. It had come to this: One

player, Aaron Fox, storming off the court in protest. A

shirtless Scholz taking charges from other angry players in a

cold, empty gym. Game tapes ablaze. A coach drowning.

JU Athletic Director Tom Seitz made the only decision he could

yesterday when he took the first steps toward firing the man JU

once hoped would resurrect its sick basketball program. Seitz,

after conferring with mutinous players, temporarily reassigned

Scholz to other duties within the athletic department and turned

over the basketball program to associate head coach Buster

Harvey.

Of course, as you might expect, the Scholz situation was

handled shoddily by JU. The coach had been derelict in his

duties since last year, but it took a near-revolt by players to

force the administration to finally do something about it.

Furthermore, Seitz actually declined to comment on the volatile

situation within his most high-profile program. Instead, JU

announced Scholz's reassignment in a four-sentence press

release, with one of those sentences dedicated to publicizing

JU's home game with Western Kentucky tonight. Tickets, by the

way, are available.

There is an inclination today to feel sorry for George Scholz

simply because I feel sorry for anybody who is on the verge of

being fired. …

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