Jimmy Patsos: Shades of Ricky ByrdsongPosted by rtmsf on November 20th, 2008
Amidst the rancor of all the games last night, we missed what might have been the most bizarre incident of the evening, and quite possibly, the new season. During Loyola (MD)’s game with Cornell, Loyola head coach Jimmy Patsos got into a dispute with referee John Gaffney and earned himself a tech. Later in the game, Patsos claimed that he was attempting to avoid a second technical foul when the following occurred. From the AP report:
Gaffney then “yelled at me and my assistants,” Patsos said. Patsos had no idea how to react. “I didn’t want to get tossed out. I had my hands up in the surrender position,” he said. Patsos said video of the scene shows Loyola athletic director Joe Boylan in the stands, placing his hands on his head in astonishment. Seconds later, Patsos climbed about two rows into the seats to sit behind Boylan and ask for some advice. “I didn’t want to hurt the school or the program, but at that point I really didn’t know what to do,” Patsos said.
Photo Credit: examiner.com
Didn’t know what to do? This may be way out on a limb, but how about… continuing to coach your team without regard to the referee? You said that you didn’t want to get thrown out, but weren’t you effectively throwing yourself out with this maneuver? Patsos eventually came back down from the stands and sat with his team on the bench, but he let his assistant continue to call the plays. Apparently, this was just one of several bizarre decisions that Patsos made during the game (according to Jeff Goodman). Cornell, incidentally, won the game 82-72.
We old-timers immediately recalled when then-Northwestern coach Ricky Byrdsong pulled a similar stunt in a 1994 game with Minnesota. This led to a 12-day, four game absence for Byrdsong (and persistent questions about his sanity prior to his death in 1999) and we wonder if Patsos is heading down the same path in dealing with the stresses of coaching. To his credit, he’s rebuilt the Loyola (MD) program from a 1-27 disaster in the year prior to his arrival to three consecutive winning seasons. We just hope that this incident was an isolated one and not a signal that larger issues are facing Patsos than simply how to beat a zone press.