By Jeff Goodman
NEW YORK - Jeff Hathaway was sitting a few rows back, watching Missouri pull away from Villanova at Madison Square Garden.
The NCAA men's basketball committee chairman began his season with the game aboard the aircraft carrier in San Diego, was in New York for Coach K's record-setting 903rd victory, went to Kansas City for the CBE Classic, back to Madison Square Garden to the Preseason NIT and was back in New York again on Tuesday.
I joked with him that he should be the best committee chair in the history of the position.
"That's serious pressure," he laughed.
But this is Hathaway's full-time job these days, after basically being forced to resign from his AD duties at UConn. The Big East basically created a position for him -- a consultant to commissioner John Marinatto -- so that he could serve out his spot as committee chair.
"I really wanted to finish my term and my fifth year," Hathaway said. "It's an incredible experience, a labor of love."
"I'm glad and fortunate it all worked out," he added.
Hathaway said he'll watch plenty of games this season, whether it's in-person or at home on DirecTV.
"You can't go to too many games because you can get more done at home watching," he said. "So you have to find a good balance."
Hathaway said he misses being on campus and the interaction with faculty and students -- and his goal is to get another athletic director position in the future.
But for now?
"I'm just focused on this," he said.
My guess is he'll be far more prepared for that Sunday interview in March than Gene Smith was last year.