It's taken me a day to digest what I read Wednesday about former UB coach Tim Cohane still arguing his 1999 firing all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court -- and actually getting the Court to agree that his case should still be heard!
I covered Cohane's entire career at UB from 1993-1999 and was in the thick of those tumultuous days in the fall and early winter of '99 when trouble surfaced and the school eventually fired Cohane (it foolishly insisted he resigned) to prevent a player walkout on a sold-out game at Alumni Arena against North Carolina. The team had lost faith in Cohane and he had not proven he could coach or recruit in the MAC after some decent success in the Mid-Continent Conference. It was time for him to go even though I still feel UB should have pulled the trigger before the season ever started.
Cohane's career started well and his 1994-95 team that won 18 games with the likes of Modie Cox, Myron Banks and Kelvin Robinson is still one of the most important teams in UB athletic history. That's because it was the first time a mainstream program at the school won big in the modern era of Division I.
But as time went on, Cohane became one of the most bizarre characters in the Big 4. A self-made millionaire from his days on Wall Street, UB officials were stunned to find a pile of his paychecks -- uncashed -- in a desk drawer one day. Some days he was affable, some days he was an egomaniac. Almost always, he was eccentric. For a reporter, that was a good thing because Cohane would often speak his mind and not edit his thoughts before he aired them.
Strike me down here but the NCAA is right on this one. Cohane, who reportedly finished his law degree after his firing at UB, is going completely off the deep end here. Cohane's lawsuit should not have been allowed to go on this long. He broke NCAA rules (refresh yourself on the case, including offseason tryouts and practices, by reading the synopsis of the NCAA report here). But that's far from the only reason he was fired.
For him to think UB and the NCAA would take the time to collude to prevent him from future employment is absurd. Coaches with violations on their record get hired ALL THE TIME. Cohane never got another Division I job because his record on the court wasn't good enough and neither were his skills off of it. Since his show-cause order was dropped in Oct. 2001, any Division I school could have hired him. No one ever has.
It's ridiculous this case is still going on. I'm betting UB fans out there are as surprised as I am that this thing popped up again.