Men’s basketball column: Firing at George Washington may change NCAA coaching culture

(Photo Credit: Dan Rich/GW Hatchet)

By Chuckie Maggio @chuckiemaggio

When the story of George Washington firing men’s basketball coach Mike Lonergan for “conduct inconsistent with the university’s values”¬†first broke on Friday evening, it was easy to think about the Atlantic 10 ramifications first. The 50-year-old led the Colonials to three postseason appearances and a National Invitation Tournament (NIT) Championship in five years in D.C., making him difficult to replace, especially with practice starting on Oct. 1.

The pink slip, which may become a very expensive one since GW has to buy out Lonergan’s contract and faces a wrongful termination lawsuit, doesn’t just shift a part of the A-10 landscape, however; the entire NCAA coaching culture continues to be affected as well.

A 74-32 record over the past three seasons should be enough to garner contract offers from power five conference schools, let alone job security at your current position. But the fact that 13 players transferred over Lonergan’s tenure was hard to ignore, and the allegations of verbal abuse were even tougher to excuse.

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