CBS Sports college basketball writers Gary Parrish and Matt Norlander spent the July evaluation period at NCAA-sanctioned events, where they talked with coaches from all levels. They asked for honest opinions on players, coaches and issues in the sport. They'll be sharing those opinions over a three-week period.

You can't go through a day, these days, without bumping into a conversation about our nation's upcoming presidential election. Every day and every night, there's talk about the right and the left, about walls and emails, about Benghazi and tax returns and it really never stops. Thus, we decided it would be appropriate to conclude this year's Candid Coaches series with a topic everybody is discussing. So we asked more than 100 college basketball coaches the following question:

Clinton or Trump?


Hillary Clinton 71 percent
Donald Trump 13 percent
Gary Johnson 3 percent
Declined to answer 13 percent


  • "I hate that one of these two people is going to be the President of the United States. I don't care for either of them. But I'll vote for Clinton because the thought of Trump in The White House is crazy."
  • "You think it's bad now? Let a guy with no political experience run the most powerful country on Earth."
  • "I don't know how anyone could watch (this clip on Last Week Tonight with Jon Oliver) and vote for Trump.
  • "I don't love Clinton but I really believe in many of her policies. I am for giving more of my money to help the less fortunate. I am for a woman's right to choose. I am for universal health care. I am for immigration reform. I am for Wall Street regulation. I also think that smart people who have the respect of their colleagues end up typically being good at things. And everything I've read is that Clinton is very prepared for this impossible job, and that sentiment comes from both Democrats and Republicans. The Trump phenomenon is scary to me. It scares me to my core. While I am scared of him actually becoming President and his bigoted hate policies becoming who we are, I am actually more scared by the fact that he has become so popular. The hate speech and bigotry that he espouses, and the popularity of him, says a lot about where our country is at. Even if you can't stand Clinton or hate the establishment politics of Washington ... voting for Trump is not a vote against Washington, it's a vote for racism and hate. If you are really against Washington, then get involved in your local politics and inform yourself to vote in off-year Senate and House elections."
  • "President Obama isn't looking so bad anymore, is he?"

    Yeah, the results were overwhelming. And what's interesting is that the easy win for Hillary Clinton doesn't seem to be much about her at all. Put another way, she didn't win here because these coaches love her or are inspired by her. She won here because, well, because the main person running against her seems unfit and unqualified to be President of the United States.

    That's the opinion of college basketball coaches, at least.

    And, keep in mind, when we talk to college basketball coaches we are, by definition, talking to college graduates, which is worth noting because college graduates in general prefer Clinton to Trump, according to recent polls. Also: a decent percentage of the coaches we spoke with are African-American. And, polls show, roughly 90 percent of African-Americans prefer Clinton to Trump.

    (For what it's worth, not a single African-American coach I spoke with said he'd vote for Trump -- although my colleague, Matt Norlander, did get one Trump vote from an African-American coach.)

    Bottom line, this isn't 2008 -- when a fresh-faced and brilliant public speaker rallied millions with talk of hope and went on to become the first African-American President in United States history. Barack Obama won that election, and the subsequent election, because he inspired people. But the majority of people don't seem to love either candidate here, and it's not hyperbole when some suggest Clinton and Trump might be the two most unlikable major party nominees ever.

    The best thing working for Clinton isn't her experience as Secretary of State.

    Or the two-term President to whom she's married.

    Or her stances on any major issues.

    The best thing working for Clinton, best I can tell, is that the only real alternative to her being our next President is Trump being our next President. And polls -- both our poll and polls in general -- seem to suggest the idea of Trump becoming President isn't ideal to most people. Consequently, Clinton wins easily. That's the way it went here. And it's the way most projections have it going Nov. 8.