Iowa St. pushes Eustachy closer to the nearest exit

Monday, May 5, 2003

Larry Eustachy has until today to formally contest the move for his dismissal from athletic director Bruce Van De Velde. The move, if there is one by Eustachy, would come exactly one week after the Des Moines Register published the infamous photos of his party in Columbia, Mo.

One week is all that Iowa State University required to formally show Eustachy the door. ISU kicked an alcoholic of 25 years to the curb in less than one week.

Van De Velde said he moved for Eustachy's firing because the coach had "exercised very poor judgment that has resulted in profound embarrassment ... to the Cyclone family."

Hundreds of Eustachy supporters turned out for each of the three rallies last week in protest of Van De Velde's decision.

Eustachy made a poor judgment call and did not conduct himself in a manner fitting to his prominent position. If the university wants to fire him, they could based on contractual obligation. But what would that prove? That ISU doesn't condone Eustachy's behavior? It also would prove that it does not stand by anyone, nor is it willing to help anyone with personal problems, like a disease called alcoholism.

"The Cyclone family" could have saved face by standing by Eustachy instead of immediately (in less than seven days) turning its back.

Eustachy said in his news conference that this will be his last coaching job one way or the other. It would be a shame if it had to be this way.

There is no shame in taking a sneak peak into your week ahead:

Today

Bobblehead Mania is always on Mondays at Auto Zone Park. You should know that. What you don't know is that it's Edgar Renteria Bobblehead Night, and the Sacramento River Cats are in Memphis at 7:05 p.m.

The semifinals of the SEMO Conference Tournament start at 5 p.m. at Capaha Field. Some people think the tournament isn't significant. A fellow sportswriter told me "it's no big deal. It's not like it's districts or something." Trust me, if it's in The Week Ahead, it's a big deal.

Tuesday

Central and Jackson will renew their rivalry in girls soccer on Tuesday. Central has had trouble scoring goals all year, but they've been stingy on defense as well. In every game but two, Central has shut out its opponent or it's been shut out by their opponent. Jackson goalie Whitney Werner has 12 shutouts this year, including a 1-0 win over Central. "Any time you put Cape and Jackson together, they're going to play their hearts out. They want nothing more than to come in and get a win," Jackson coach Zack Walton said about the rivalry. Jackson hosts at 7 p.m.

Friday

The NASCAR Busch Series comes back to metro St. Louis for the Gateway 250. The qualifying and final practice is at 4:35 p.m. at Gateway International Raceway (in Madison, Ill.), but the big festivities are in the next paragraph.

Saturday

The main gates open at 11 a.m., but the race doesn't start until 2. Not to worry, there will be plenty to do in the meantime. There will be booths with clowns, face painting and interactive games near the infield tunnel after the gates open. Then, at 11:30 Beyond Measure, a Christian rock band, will perform. Joe Gibbs (yes, that Joe Gibbs) will follow with a testimony to the crowd. And after the 200 lap race, Lonestar will perform at 4:45 on the drag strip.

Sunday

I can't think of a better way to spend my Sunday afternoon than at a ballgame, and since the Cardinals are out of town for the week, the next choice is Southeast Missouri hosting Morehead State, a team clinging to hopes of making the OVC Tournament. First pitch is 1 p.m.

David Wilson is a sportswriter for the Southeast Missourian and a student at Central high school. His column "The Week Ahead" appears every Monday.

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