Mike Deane Straps In To Coach
"Knowing my habits of the previous 21 years, I thought it would be prudent to keep myself out of harm's way. "I didn't want to do anything to hurt what I thought was a pretty good basketball team."
Coach Deane knew what he was talking about. The Seahawks are off to their best start in the programs 40 year history at 12-4 and a 5-0 mark in Northeastern Conference play.
Coach Deane has stuck to his seat belt in all 16 games this season, including bringing the chair on the road with him. When the ball is thrown up for the tip off, Coach Deane buckles himself into his chair. He leans forward and sits up to see the action on the court, yell things to his players, and yes, still work the officials. When time outs are called, Coach Deane unbuckles from his chair and joins his team in the huddle to draw up plays and coach his kids up.
Coach Deane originally thought the the new rules would lead to more and more technical fouls since officials enforcing the new "zero-tolerance" policy would be given a better chance to officiate NCAA Tournament games, but as he has found out that is not the case.
"The NCAA put a bounty out on coaches by saying [the bench rule] is a point of emphasis. They are going to reward referees with preferential post season placement who enforce it the most. As it turns out, it hasn't been interpreted as zero tolerance and there really hasn't been all that much change."
So far this season Coach Deane has picked up his 400th win and only 1 technical foul, but don't count on the seat belt chair to catch on anytime soon. Rick Pitino had this to say, not directly about Deane, but about the Bench Rule:
"I'm perfectly capable of containing myself. I don't think most coaches need a belt. We've all refereed games in camps coming up, and we know you cannot work a game with someone in your ear."
Wagner has played very well this season and put itself in contention for an NCAA Tournament berth. When asked if he would bring his seat belt chair with him to the Big Dance, Coach Deane said that he would lose the chair and see if had any effect on altering his behavior.
Strapped in: Wagner's Deane stages an unconventional protest [SI.com]
Coach buckles up, curbs T addiction [The Salt Lake Tribune]