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Sunday, June 16
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Be careful what you wish for

So you wanted to see Mike Davis take a long walk off a short pier. It didn't look like there was any chance of that happening, so you rubbed your genie lamp with a little extra fervor.\nAnd then "voila!," out popped a genie, and he bore a strange resemblance to Charles Barkley. Wait, it was Sir Charles, who looks rather genie-like already. And he was quoted in the Birmingham News as saying Auburn would be the right fit for Davis.\n"I don't think Mike's ever going to get a fair chance at Indiana. He's not Bob Knight. That's his only flaw," Charles opined.\nAs we still wait for Davis to come out and say he's not interested in leaving, we do know that Auburn is in fact hot for him. Davis-haters may see their wishes come to fruition. But like the ending to some morality tale from Aesop, they may end up regretting what they wished for.\nI know in Monday's column I talked entirely too much about myself and said I was done writing about Hoosier basketball. As it would turn out, news is a beast that never sleeps, and we are dealing with news that is a lot worse than people may realize.\nLet's say Davis does in fact get an offer from Auburn and accepts it. Logically, this seems the equivalent of stepping down from the board of a Fortune 500 company to follow a lucrative career in sanitation engineering. Who the heck would want to take over a program almost certain to be put on probation?\nIf they are someone who doesn't care to be in the limelight, they would jump at it. Think anyone would start a Web site to fire Davis at Auburn? Of course not. Basketball is just a nice event to fill in days between the Iron Bowl. And the success of football gives Auburn additional revenue that could be used to lure Davis if need be.\nSo what would this mean for IU? In the short term, it would mean disaster.\nThe top recruiting class in the nation coming to Bloomington next year? Keep dreaming. Josh Smith is already as good as gone for the NBA in my book, especially if there is any doubt about who will be coaching the team. \nBut there are others, and they might be out the door, too. D.J. White, the power forward from Tuscaloosa, Ala., is not just coming here to play for IU. He's coming to play for Mike Davis. I suspect that he would sit out a year for the chance to meet up with Davis at Auburn if the opportunity presented itself.\nJames Hardy, who is actually signed to a football scholarship, will be here anyway. One would also assume that A.J. Ratliff and Robert Vaden would still be on board. But predicting the actions of 18-year-olds is not something that is easy to do. I don't even know what I'm doing 10 minutes from now, and I'm 22.\nIf Davis were to leave, it would set forth a series of tumbling dominoes like the ones that went off last year when Roy Williams left Kansas for North Carolina. And IU's newest problem would be finding someone to replace Davis.\nThe first name that would probably jump to mind is the prodigal son, Steve Alford. He would at least have full-fledged support. But the cold, hard fact is his Iowa squad has not made it to the Big Dance since beating IU for the Big Ten title in 2001.\nAnother trick in getting Alford or anyone else to coach the Hoosiers is a little thing called money, which is something the IU athletic department doesn't actually have. They are still paying Michael McNeely and, gasp, Cam Cameron. You think a program hemorrhaging in debt can afford to pay Davis and another coach to boot?\nIf you want Mike Davis out of IU basketball, your dreams may come true. But don't be surprised if they turn into nightmares.

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