Thank you, Coach Majerus. SLU basketball is now different. We didn’t used to matter. We used to be an afterthought, a pushover, a parenthetical. We aren’t anymore. I remember the last time we mattered; it was our last NCAA Tournament appearance in 2000. It took the magic of Marque Perry, the enthusiasm of Lorenzo Romar and the broken leg of Kenyan Martin just to lead us to a 1st round loss… to a Rick-Majerus-led Utah squad.
It wasn’t until sometime in the middle of last season that I realized SLU is now different; that SLU had different expectations. SLU was losing a game that, frankly, we shouldn’t have been losing. I was sitting at my kitchen counter, watching the game on my Ipad (because the A-10 television contract is awful) and I got angry that we were losing. Angry, upset and disappointed. I didn’t used to feel that way. I used to acknowledge our futility. I used to accept our inferiority. Not anymore.
Fr. Biondi takes a lot of flak. Some is well deserved, some isn’t. Five years ago he hired Rick Majerus. I understand that Coach Majerus doesn’t always make it easy on the administration. But can he coach basketball. Coach Majerus is going to miss this season with medical issues. He has no contract beyond this year. Fr. Biondi, if Coach Majerus is physically able to coach again, bring him back. Your school now matters. My school now matters. SLU basketball now matters – in large part because of Coach Majerus and your decision to hire him.
Coach Majerus’ health issues must be a priority. If he is ever going to coach at SLU again he must get better. I send my thoughts and prayers to Coach Majerus and hope that he gets better. SLU is slowly pushing the boulder up the hill in what has been a Sisyphean attempt to get the basketball program over the hump. We’re almost there, on the precipice of pushing the boulder over the hill into mainstream, long term basketball relevance. It is in large part due to Coach Majerus, and for that he deserves our thanks. However, if he is able to come back from his medical issues and the administration fails to bring him back I fear that the boulder will roll back down the hill and again settle at the bottom, no different than the depths of 9-21 in 2004-2005.
I pray that Coach Majerus returns to health. I hope that if and when he is able to return that Fr. Biondi makes the right decision for the long-term health of SLU basketball and brings him back.