Tag:Fran McCaffery
Posted on: February 13, 2012 12:42 pm
Edited on: February 13, 2012 12:46 pm

Damaged MSU chair sells for thousands at auction

The Spartans' seat got the John Hancock of Fran McCaffery and sold for big bucks. (via Matt Weitzel)
By Matt Norlander

The best way to get good PR out of a bad situation, if possible, is to alter course and turn bad to better by infusing a charitable donation into the mishap.

After Fran McCaffery got needlessly angry a month ago by awkwardly and violently throwing a chair in the team huddle, the coach and the program did good. They sold the abused seat at an auction Sunday night in Tiffin, Iowa. It went for $2,100, according to Iowa basketball and baseball sports information director Matt Weitzel.

The chair was up for grabs at the Iowa Steak Fry, a fundraising event for the Iowa baseball team that's taken place the past three years. Other items up for auction included a framed/autographed Jay Cutler jersey, a Chicago Cubs "dream package" to attend Wrigley Field (photo ops and meetings with players on the field included), an autographed Ron Santo poster, signed Iowa football memorabilia and more.

But was the chair you see there truly the one that felt the ire of McCaffery? Ah-ha. That is the catch; the answer is unknown. The brainchild behind this particular auction item was not anyone with the basketball program. Iowa's baseball coach, Jack Dahm, thought the chair could be a huge seller at the Steak Fry. He was right.

Dahm reached out to Michigan State baseball coach Jake Boss, Jr. last week and inquired about the chair.

"We're not 100 percent sure it's the same chair," Weitzel said.

Regardless, Boss got over to the Breslin Center and made sure a chair was taken. Iowa paid for the shipping and it was in Tiffin by Saturday. What do you think, has that chair seem some rough days? Of course it has. It's likely been sat on by Draymond Green dozens of times.

Cool of Iowa to do this and it's nice to see McCaffery still embraces his antics, even if they can be over the top in the moment.
Posted on: January 13, 2012 10:39 am
Edited on: January 13, 2012 10:48 am

McCaffery makes chair-throwing display worse

McCaffery could have apologized for losing his cool. Instead, he praised his behavior. (AP)

By Matt Norlander

I’ve met Fran McCaffery a couple of times. He’s a pleasant interview, even following a loss, which as you can imagine is not always the case with coaches. It speaks well of a man when he can be civil and even show measured human emotion to reporters after a group of 19-year-olds fail to accomplish a task he stressed about over the previous 72 hours.

Nowadays I don’t know what McCaffery’s thinking. The Iowa coach took out his anger on a Michigan State chair Tuesday night, and so that turned into a thing. It was a featured segment on dinnertime ESPN programming, and a number of mainstream blogs vultured the video as soon as it entered YouTube’s orbit.

McCaffery held a press conference in Iowa City Thursday, primarily to discuss Saturday’s upcoming game against Michigan, but he was of course also asked about the chair-hate incident. Surprisingly, the 52-year-old coach said he had no regret over the spectacle that made him look like a belligerent maniac, equal parts ridiculously out of control and out of touch. Modern coaches don’t motivate by chucking inanimate objects in the vicinity of their players. This is not 1982. McCaffery looked outdated. In that moment, he became a caricature, a reminder of how silly old-school coaching mentality can be.

Here’s how McCaffery made himself look even worse when asked if he had regrets about his temper tantrum.

“No, not at all.  If anybody thinks I'm going to sit there with my hands crossed when we're down by 40, they got the wrong guy, OK. I was brought in here to change the culture.”

Let’s stop right there. Change the culture? Damaging opposing teams’ property -- floor and seat -- by power-bombing a folding chair is a good culture change? That’s the kind of behavior a 17-year-old wants to see when he’s choosing between Iowa, Iowa State, Creighton, Minnesota or Nebraska? How does reacting the way you did improve the look and culture of Iowa basketball?

“I'm going to coach with passion, and my players know that,” McCaffery continued. “They also know I'm going to fight for them. So as far as that's concerned, a lot of people like to infer what was going on or what was being said. Nobody knows what I was saying. Nobody knows what we were discussing during that timeout except for me and my players.”

The discussion definitely seemed civil. An Algonquin meeting on the hardwood. Fact is, I really don’t care what McCaffery was saying; it’s of no relevance. What we saw was enough. It’s a bad, bad look for coaches and for the sport. Bob Knight is just as remembered for playing discus with a flimsy chair as he is for winning three national titles and 902 games. Watch the video again. Iowa's players give a resounding non-reaction, like this red-faced berating has become the norm.

“I have no regrets, I have no apologies, none whatsoever,” McCaffery said. “I'm going to continue to coach the same way, and we're going to keep working, improving, and battling, and fighting until we're up by 40.”

You can’t chair-chuck your way to 40-point wins. The longer McCaffery talked, the more laughable the defense became, saying his outburst was “toward the players to take care of what was happening in the game.” When McCaffery felt the need to show his players how they could turn that ship around by bodyslamming that poor chair, Iowa trailed by 28. It never closed the gap after that, not even to 27. Ultimately, the Hawkeyes lost by 34, the worst loss Iowa's suffered since McCaffery came on board in 2010. The coach’s defenseless defense continued when he was asked if he heard from the Big Ten about the incident, he said, “No, nor should I have.”

And this is why Brad Stevens was in the past two national title games and McCaffery won’t get to a Final Four so long as he’s acting like a 9-year-old who just got told he can’t have a dessert that was promised to him. I’m not opposed to coaches getting fired up, yelling during timeouts and even slamming a clipboard out of frustration. But to actually take the time to make a demonstration of lifting up a vacated chair and tossing it to the ground, like that’s going to do anything, is an embarrassment to what McCaffery strives to achieve.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com