Josh Pastner is a beloved figure in the city of Tucson. He was a member of the 1997 national championship team, and then went on to serve as an assistant coach under Lute Olson from 2000 to 2008. He left for the University of Memphis to become an associate head coach after the 2008 season before eventually becoming the head coach once John Calipari departed in 2009.
For all intents and purposes, it was believed Pastner thoroughly enjoyed his time with the Arizona Wildcats. He left UA for a step up on the coaching ladder, which was more than understandable. Some have even wondered if he could become the head coach at Arizona one day.
So when an interview with Pastner from The Sporting News was released on Thursday, it was a bit of a surprise when he had this to say about Memphis and his former school:
Pastner told Sporting News recently that one of his biggest selling points in recruiting is the Memphis fan base.
"You know what's different? You lose at Arizona, everybody's going out to dinner, there are parties going on, the college kids are still going to the bars. Memphis you take an ‘L,' people are devastated. They're sick to their stomach. They take it like a coach. That's the big difference. There are very few programs that are similar to here, the investment that they have to the team."
It makes sense for Pastner to promote Memphis. After all, it's his job on the line if the team doesn't perform up to expectations. This isn't where I take issue with the statement.
What I do not understand is the quip at the Wildcats fan base. For a school that has led the Pac-10/12 in attendance for the last two decades with nearly 14,000 a night, you would sure think they are dedicated and loyal. There are plenty of fans who are upset after a loss. That comes with any relevant basketball program in the nation.
And what's wrong with going out to dinner or a bar after the game? Is a fan looked at in a lesser light if he or she goes to Applebee's after losing? Is a student less of a fan if they party on a Saturday night following a loss? I just don't see a need for these remarks at all.
What do you think of Pastner's comments? Is he in the wrong, or was his statement completely justifiable? Let us know in the comments section below.