Friday, March 29, 2013

Interviewing a question of semantics

First regarding Marvin Menzies' trip to Lubbock last week. People have reached out to me on Twitter asking did Menzies lie etc. Not sure I would call it a lie. But coaches talking to other schools while they are still employed is a slippery situation but it's fairly common in college athletics — look no further than Tim Floyd's meeting with USC when the Miners were still playing games. Meeting, conversations, consulting, call it whatever you want, but obviously Texas Tech gave Menzies a look but it didn't get further than that according to Menzies on Tuesday.

In looking at Menzies contract closer, there is a section that says the coach must inform the Athletics Director of other opportunities or interest before any discussions or interviews,  however initial contacts are not included in that. McKinley Boston said on Tuesday that Texas Tech hadn't requested to talk to Menzies, but the reality is that aside from a professional courtesy, they weren't required to. On Friday, Boston told me however, that he was indeed aware that Menzies was in Lubbock having a conversation with Tech officials. With three WAC championships in four years, Boston said he wasn't surprised that Menzies is listening to what other schools have to say.

"I am surprised that there has only been one discussion," Boston said. "I thought there would have been more if you look at the full body of work, he has done a credible job building the program."

To my understanding, there isn't a technical definition of an 'official interview' so it basically comes down to how those parties involved decide to describe it publicly. It probably is not the last time Menzies' name turns up officially or otherwise. I think he would certainly be interested in the UCLA or USC job if they came calling, but according to Menzies, at least, he won't be leaving for Texas Tech. Boston said that to date no other schools have contacted him regarding Menzies.

Also looking at Menzies contract, he earned $40,000 in performance incentives this year. There will likely be another $20,000 for academic incentives that will kick in this fall.

WAC Tournament — $10,000 for winning the WAC Tournament
Win total — $10,000 for winning 17 or more games
NCAA Tournament — $20,000 for reaching the NCAA Tournament
Academic bonuses — $10,000 for a multi year APR score above 900 and $10,000 for maintaining the number of at risk athletes to no more than four. At risk athletes are defined as scholarship players who are on academic probation, suspension, or a semester GPA below 2.0.


Anonymous said...

Menzies said: "I have no interest in leaving New Mexico State at this time". Key words "at this time".If it was 2pm when he said "at this time" he can change his mind at 2:01pm.

Anonymous said...

Alford is headed to UCLA

Anonymous said...

eh. Wouldn't be a big loss... I think we are somewhat successful in spite of him, not because of him.

Bring back Neil McCarthy.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Anon 12:17 PM

Anonymous said...

Quote from JG's post: "I am surprised that there has only been one discussion," Boston said. "I thought there would have been more if you look at the full body of work, he has done a credible job building the program." Shocker! Like I've said all along, the clown Boston is totally enamored with "his boy" Menzies. Everyone else in the NCAA basketball world recognizes MM for what he's accomplished at NMSU. Fools gold, and nothing more. Make no mistake about it - if MM was as good as Boston and other MM supporters on this post believe, he would be long gone. But he's still here, and only becasue he has no other options. At least Lobo fans have reason to be optimistic about future NCAA success now that the overpaid Alford is leaving.

Just watched Wichita State make it to the Final Four. When I was at NMSU, they were a MVC NMSU rival. All us NMSU fans only have the pathetic and getting worse WAC championship to look forward to. And some of you, like AD Boston, are content with that. My, how far we've fallen.
-Aggie Glare

Anonymous said...

Oh brother Aggie Glare. What a pitiful post. Not worthy of an intellectual response other than your flat wrong. But yeah, let's bring back the guy that cheated and disgraced NMSU.

Anonymous said...

I see MM gets $20K for making it to the NCAA tourney.
The WAC is HORRIBLE and we will be dancing again next year. Should we change it to, "NCAA Tournament win."

I think we need to take that next step and expect more.


Anonymous said...


I agree. Did you follow the last few comment threads?

I think I figured out what the next 'fair' step is in terms of our expectations.

I think it may still be asking too much for NMSU to win a game in the big dance.

What I think is possible and something we SHOULD expect is that our 'body of work' for a season is 'At Large Bid worthy'

Not because we need an at large bid, because in the WAC ( the What's the name of that school conference), we certainly don't.

The At large tournament bid worthiness test keeps us honest. As the conference gets weaker, it means that our standard of excellence needs to be self-generated on one hand and with checks and balances on the other to make sure we don't start pretending we are good because we beat an Idaho, Texas State and then Arlington.


Anonymous said...

Darn good point - you're on to something with that thought.

Anon 3:25,
Talk about a non-intelligent shallow post, you nailed it! You say my post is not worthy of an intellectual response "other than" I'm flat out wrong. Seriously?? Saying I'm flat out wrong with NO support is intelligent?? If MM is as awesome as Boston thinks, then explain why you agree with that IN LIGHT OF THE FACT that MM is he still at NMSU and has garnered very little interest from other schools. Inquiring minds want to know. As to bringing back McCarthy, I never suggested this in any of my posts. Talk about a dumb idea!! Hopefully that's sarcasm on your part, but impossible to tell since your post is 100% unintellegent.
-Aggie Glare

Anonymous said...

Having a bonus for making the tournament is not mutually exclusive of having one for winning a game there.

Anonymous said...


you bring up an interesting point. when I read: "I am surprised that there has only been one discussion," Boston said. "I thought there would have been more if you look at the full body of work, he has done a credible job building the program."

I laughed out loud and remembered someone who once said to me: you know, denial is not a river in Egypt.

To me, this is the issue.

But admittedly, its hard to know with Boston. I sat near him at the Saint Louis game and he was just as critical of some curious substitution patterns as I was. And yet when the game was over, he all too quickly threw the point guards under the if we did any better with the previous point guard...or the one previous to that!

I think he is conflicted on the subject internally, and he needs to present a front in position,

and it is true that it is HARD to argue with 20+ wins, tournament championships and moments of glory in the week leading up to our eventual dismissal from the tournament. You, me and few others have been trying hard to argue that MM is not that good and people just don't want to see it.

What we can do and maybe need to do is to mount a campaign to create a clear new standard of what successful aggie basketball should look like. It can be done. Public opinion is powerful.

But maybe if we created some groundswell around my at large bid worthiness test of success, then we can start looking at how well things are going in a more honest way.

And then the conversation around MM will be around something more tangible and less fuzzy.

Your thoughts?


Anonymous said...

Hey Glare,

One other thing...if I were you, I wouldn't waste time answering inane personal attacks.

Lets raise the level of conversation!


Anonymous said...

Reggie Theus had a bonus for Sweet 16, final four and Natl. Champioship game.

Why can't we expect the same from MM?

Winning the WAC:
Conference is a given. Demand more


Anonymous said...

Who is going to do as good as job as mm at his salary. Answer that and I'll lead the crusade to replace him.

Anonymous said...

I think its misguided to crusade for getting rid of MM at this point, even though I am sure we could find a better alternative for the same or even less money. Maybe without even leaving the cruces city limits.

The sad fact, and we have seen it in these posts again and again as well as comments made by Boston, MM, and others in the media this past month is that It is too easy to deny the issues and on top of that, there is too much at stake for the stake holders.

It is just too easy for the deaf, dumb and blind to say he is doing a great know what I mean?

To get an idea of what we are up against whenever we want to have an honest look at the quality of coaching, this is what we hear again and again: wins, champions, tournament appearances, wins, champions, tournament appearances, wins, champions, tournament appearances.

This is undeniable (even though several among us easily discount the above as fools gold, several here also emotionally seem to feel it is real success and its coming to us at a discount! and who are we to want better...

Then comes someone like Jesus (nothing personal, Jesus, but you were the one who suggested this) and he claims that all this irrational 'MM bashing' might be race related....oye yoy yoy!

So you see there is no way to deal directly with the quality of MM the coach at this point.

Our first step to having an objective conversation, an apples to apples conversation about how he is doing as a coach and we are doing as a program is to change the definition of success.

To really openly evaluate MM, we need a new metric. One that is not based on our opinions only, but those of the ENTIRE basketball nation outside las cruces. We need a metric that measures:

How NMSU basketball is seen currently across the country. How was the year regarded in terms of who we played, where we played them and who we beat, who beat us, etc.

Fortunately, there is a group who will do this evaluation for us, free of charge every year. The selection committee has a bubble watch and it puts teams on either side of the bubble whether or not it looks like they are going to get an automatic know, just in case they don't. We need to see where we are on this list.

This is the evaluation that really smart authorities

In addition, I also agree with Jefe and like the idea of changing the bonus system to reward movement towards the final four and not merely getting on the plane that takes you to your 1st round slaughter destination....

I, for one, am a realist and hope somebody out there somewhere gets desperate enough to forget to look under the hood of all those wins and tournament appearances, and hires MM away from us.

But in the meantime....lets crusade a better standard!


Anonymous said...

You know Alan - I think you are well-meaning with trying to introduce new at-large berth standard, but it really isn't a fair metric. You've mentioned Middle Tennessee as comparison several times, since they produced a resume this year that was worthy of an at-large bid. But Kermit Davis was in his 11th (ELEVENTH!!!) season as head coach there before breaking through this season. He had ZERO NCAA appearances in his previous 10 seasons. MM is batting 50% in NCAA appearances and although I grant you that we haven't put together an at-large season yet, I'd take his resume over Kermit Davis's any day. I think wanting to get rid of MM is a knee-jerk reaction to people wanting to be where we were in the days of yore. It probably took NMSU a decade to really recover from the damage that McCarthy did. Re-building a program takes time. MM is doing this in deliberate, responsible way. We are lucky. Patience, my fellow Aggies.
Again - I think 100% of our energy should be focused on calling out the LC fanbase. Pack the pan-am, every game - that should be our mantra. As fans we actually have the power to speed up our rise by making our house a scary place to come and play. This would definitely give our players some added swagger that I think would serve them well.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:55,

Finally someone has addressed my idea! Thanks!

Let's leave aside the MM conversation for the moment and widen the focus to the basketball program...that way, you can understand my real concern...

you mention these tournament appearances we have had in the last 4 years as if they are great accomplishments. At least that is how read it.

I tell you that the WAC we won this year is not the same one we won the year before that. And NONE of them are CLOSE to the WAC Reggie won.

In that WAC, I bet there were at least 6 teams that would dominate, win or come close to winning the 2013 WAC tournament.

And we have beaten it into the ground that next year it will be even worse.

So, how do we stay objective about what success is? I am sorry...getting to the tournament doesn't cut it.

It just doesn't. It is a trap. The saying, a rising tide lifts all ships, can be said in the opposite too. A lowering tide drops all ships. And if we are not careful, because we feel so good about our little candy bar called one and done, we won't even notice how the quality of our competitiveness has declined.

And, going back to MM, you and I cannot even have an objective conversation about his coaching quality, because we don't currently agree on what success is.

I am fine saying At Large Worthiness is just too much for MM after 6 years...but at least meet me half way. Lets quit talking the fairy tale nonesense that these tournament berths signal success and come up with something else.

How about a certain RPI. I like that too. Something like 35 RPI or maybe 40. Nothing lower than that though.

But really, I do think we should have an At Large Worthy team year after year or at least once every two or three years. That seems reasonable and it also keeps us honest about how we are doing.

Your thoughts?


Anonymous said...

College basketball success is strongly correlated with resource expenditure.

Look at this list and tell me how and why the school that spends the 113th most in D1 is supposed to consistently be in the top 40 for on court performance.

Anonymous said...

As usual, Alan and I are on the same page here. I would even be satisfied with a tourney win as long as we're in the WAC, because that would likely mean we beat a 3 or 4 seed - a team that obviously had a highly respectful season. NMSU should occasionally be able to compete in the NCAA tourney, and an "At Large Worthy" certainly suggests a similar thing. As Alan points out, the WAC Reggie won compared to the last two won by MM is night and day. And yet, it gets even worse next year.

As for the LC fan base mentioned by anon 7:55, NMSU has to give the school and LC a reason to get excited about the program. The lack of success against our rivals and an otherwise soft non-conference schedule, all of which occur early in the season, are both counter productive to generating interest. Our program needs a change in leadership. Unfortunately, WAC championships and a "look the other way" Boston will preclude it from happening. I only envision two scenarios where MM leaves: (1) Boston is replaced as AD, or (2) MM has a legitimate contender that competes in the NCAA tourney, and some other school gives him a shot. Needless to say, pigs will fly before the latter happens.

I honestly hope I"m wrong, as I want nothing but success for NMSU hoops. But MM's history leads me to this opinion.
-Aggie Glare

Anonymous said...


I can absolutely agree with your take on what our goals should be as a program. Higher RPI, better non-conference wins, and of course with the idea that all of these things lead us to a resume (at least semi-regularly) that makes us a school that is at least on the bubble, regardless of where we might finish in our conference.

I also agree with you that WAC is nothing compared to what it was 20, 10, or even one year ago, and looks to continue to degrade. This overall decline in quality is probably the major reason why it's difficult to keep these numbers up. I think most of the things that are keeping our numbers down are beyond the control of MM, and are the fault of our situation (and who's the blame there, Coture for inaction during the realignment? our rivals who are blocking our entrance to better conferences? the change in the college basketball landscape with a premium on media markets, etc?).

I can totally grant you that our current one-and-done appearances should not be our final definition of success, but I do think they are a real indicator of us moving in the right direction, despite the headwinds we've faced. They are also CRUCIAL to prospective recruits. MM gets to look every kid in they eye and say he's made the NCAAs at a clip of 50%. Success begets success. I think that is my overall take of where our program is: Not where we want it to be, but I do think we are trending in the right direction, rather than the wrong one. I guess I just look our declining situation and think that MM has helped us despite this, rather than contributed to it.

I think given the current landscape, MM and co have done a fantastic job of maintaining our profile by making tourney appearances - and if we're weighing the impact of achievements on our program viability (nationally) I would rank our goals as follows: 1) NCAA tourney win, 2) NCAA tourney appearance, 3)RPI/SOS, 4) winning our conference outright, 5)beating our rivals. Our basketball program is probably the brightest spot athletically for our institution. Despite the lowering tide we've faced, we've managed to keep our ship afloat, and then some.

I don't think hiring a new coach will improve our situation, and the likely instability it would bring might be fairly damaging. I also think our basketball program is positioning itself to start to meet some of these goals you've set forth. Our team was very young this year. I think the returning players and their experience + cohesiveness will position us avoid these crappy starts that have definitely hurt us. I think the culture MM is developing is taking root, and I'm hopeful this will lead to a better season in '13/14. I think the program we are developing needs strong fan support first and foremost. I think they've earned it.

Anonymous said...

I'm failing to see how getting to the NCAA Tournament is not indicative of success. We can only play who is put in front of us in March. We beat them we move on. I surely don't see this season as unsuccessful, do you? Considering what we lost from the 2011-2012 team.