Tag:Dennis Felton
Posted on: January 29, 2009 10:19 am
Edited on: January 29, 2009 10:20 am

Georgia fires Felton

Georgia has scheduled a Thursday press conference to announce the firing of Dennis Felton, a source close to the coach confirmed to CBSSports.com.

The decision comes after the Bulldogs lost 83-57 to Florida on Wednesday night.

It was their seventh consecutive defeat.

Georgia is 0-5 in the SEC.

The reality is that this move would've been made last season had Felton not led Georgia to an improbable run through the SEC tournament, which led to an automatic berth in the NCAA tournament and a vote of confidence from Georgia athletic director Damon Evans. Short of that, Felton would've never even started this season, and because multiple sources have told CBSSports.com that VCU's Anthony Grant would've been the top target last March -- one prominent industry source went to so far as to say "it was done," meaning he believed Grant would've accepted a fair offer -- you can rest assured the Billy Donovan protégé will also be at or near the top of Georgia's wish-list again.

This development means two SEC jobs are now open.

Alabama is the other.

Grant's name has been mentioned there, too.

Posted on: December 2, 2008 2:23 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2008 2:26 pm

Next up for WKU: Former WKU coach Dennis Felton

Thank God Ken McDonald has an unlimited text plan on his cell phone.

"Everybody was excited," McDonald said after his upset of Louisville. "I got more texts than I did when I got hired."

Among those congratulatory texts was one from Georgia coach Dennis Felton.

That's McDonald's old boss.

Not to mention the man McDonald will coach against late Tuesday when Georgia visits Western Kentucky for a non-league match-up, and it should be wild considering the Hilltoppers are coming off Sunday's win over Louisville, and that Felton used to coach Western Kentucky back when McDonald was on his staff as an assistant.

"It's going to be fun," McDonald said by phone. "It'll be different, but it'll be fun. And the crowd should be great."

WKU enters 3-2 with nice victories over Southern Illinois and Louisville, plus a new-found confidence. That's the result of success, after all, and it's crucial for McDonald, a rookie coach who, like all rookie coaches, needed something tangible to show his players to make them believe in him and what he's doing, because that's usually the battle for first-year coaches, trying to make players another man recruited believe in someone for whom they didn't plan to play.

"With a new staff, at some point the players have to kind of believe in what you're doing," McDonald said. "And this helps with that, and it helps get your guys to believe and understand that if we play hard we can win. But what you don't want to happen is for them to think we've arrived, because we've got a long way to go. We've won a couple of good games. But we have a long way to go."

Posted on: November 18, 2008 2:16 pm
Edited on: November 18, 2008 4:57 pm

Dear Gary (on the hot seat)

Here's Tuesday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: How hot is that seat now for Dennis Felton?

-- Billy

Hotter than it was at this time yesterday, I assure you.

Of course, Billy is talking about Georgia's 74-53 loss to Loyola of Chicago, which was not a good development Monday for a man who by all accounts would've been removed after last season if not for an improbable run that resulted in an SEC tournament title. A week in, it looks like the SEC is going to be down (and not nearly as good as I initially thought). But a Georgia team that can't handle Loyola of Chicago is a Georgia team that likely won't be able to win many games even in a weak SEC, which could get the Anthony Grant-to-Georgia rumors flying sometime around January.

On this subject, it should be pointed out that four of the 10 men I referenced in the Coaches on the hot seat column already have losses to inferior opponents. In addition to Felton, Tom Penders (at Houston) opened with a loss to Georgia Southern, Ernie Kent (at Oregon) took a loss against Oakland and Mark Gottfried (at Alabama) opened with a loss to Mercer. That's no way to settle a skeptical fan base, which is why all four would be wise to get things turned around ASAP.

Posted on: March 6, 2008 11:00 pm

More thoughts on Dennis Felton

The response to my column about Dennis Felton has been back and forth with some saying Georgia would be showing a lack of class to remove him given the circumstances while others claim that bigtime college basketball is a bottom line business where winners stay employed and losers get fired. Honestly, I understand both points. But one thing I felt compelled to address is the notion that Felton shouldn't be given a pass for dismissing Mike Mercer and Takais Brown because they were his recruits, meaning if Felton would have been a better judge of character in the recruiting stage he never would've had to dismiss anybody.

Technically, that's true.

But what people need to understand is that Mercer and Brown weren't out robbing banks, starting riots, driving drunk or hitting girls. You can say they were bad guys if you want. But it's important to remember they weren't any worse than many of the guys playing at most colleges right now, and they certainly had less problems. In other words, Felton didn't recruit bad guys any more than Tennessee and Pittsburgh and New Mexico State and Memphis recruited bad guys. The only difference is that when Felton got his guys to campus he -- and Georgia, in general -- tried to hold them to a higher standard, and Mercer and Brown couldn't meet that standard. So they were dismissed. But make no mistake, if Mercer and Brown played at Tennessee, Pitt, New Mexico State, Memphis or most other colleges they'd still be playing today the same way Duke Crews, Levance Fields, Herb Pope and Jeff Robinson are still playing today.

And Felton's job wouldn't be in jeopardy if Mercer and Brown were still playing today.

That's the reality of the situation.

As it is, his job is in serious jeopardy -- but not because he recruited bad kids. Rather, because he tried to hold typical kids to a standard most programs don't even strive to meet. And it'll be sad if that's what gets Felton fired because it'll send a clear message to the next coach that he better be willing to compromise his integrity if he wants to remain employed.
Category: NCAAB
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