USC women's basketball coach Dawn Staley is scheduled to interview with Ohio St. early next week. She is among three candidates for the Buckeyes' opening.
Staley would be replacing Jim Foster. In a surprise move, Ohio St. fired Foster after a subpar season, despite an overall record of success in Columbus. OSU had a .722 winning percentage under Foster, as well as several Big Ten titles and ten-straight NCAAT appearances prior to this year. The knock on Foster was that his team had never advanced beyond the Sweet 16, a hurdle the program wants to clear.
To say nothing of the chance to coach at a premier athletics department, scuttlebutt is that Staley is unhappy with the NAACP-backed NCAA boycott of the state of South Carolina as a site for postseason basketball games. The NCAA has vowed not to use the state as a host site until it removes the Confederate Flag. The ban, needless to say, creates problems for Staley's program and is likely the source of a great deal of negative recruiting.
For those of us who support women's basketball, the good news is that Ray Tanner has vowed to do what he can to keep Staley on board. As well he should; although traditionally not a strong sport at USC, women's basketball is a revenue sport and a source of positive exposure for universities with strong programs. Look at the coverage it's getting right now on ESPN. USC is currently on the brink of becoming a premier program, and it would be a shame to see the progress we've made under Coach Staley fall by the wayside.
Particularly if it really does happen over "that dang, damn Confederate flag."