CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In the wake of Mark Downey's resignation as the University of Charleston men's basketball coach last month, Dr. Ed Welch had a conundrum.
The UC president, who is entering his 25th year at the school, briefly considered the virtues of an interim head hoops coach who could steady the program through one season and into calm waters. Then, with ample time next offseason, Welch could conduct a national search for Downey's successor.
"I had ethical qualms about asking someone to switch jobs this late in the year because of what that does to the other school," said Welch, who was left with a premium coaching vacancy to fill when Downey departed July 19.
"It puts them through what we're experiencing, but on the other hand my compensation is to do what's best for the University of Charleston and our student-athletes."
Welch said he was "pleased at this late date to have the quality and quantity of candidates" vying for the men's basketball gig. Dwaine Osborne, a West Virginia native and former Glenville coach, was introduced Aug. 5 -- two weeks ago today.
The choppy waters haven't necessarily ceased, although at no fault of Osborne, who has been busy finding players to fill what Welch said is "quite of bit of aid available."
Questions were raised about Downey, who took the West Alabama job less than three months after three of his top four returning scorers were arrested and booted from the program.
Could Downey, who went 60-29 in three seasons at UC, have been coerced into staying with more job security?
"It never came up," Welch said. "In the three conversations we had, there was only one request he made and that was a very modest request and I said 'that's fine.' There were no issues or any 'I wish you would do this' or 'I wish you would do that.'"
All UC coaches are on year-to-year contracts and there were rumblings that Downey didn't feel secure in his position after his recruits shined a negative light on UC in the spring.
That ordeal was challenging for Welch, a man who cringes at technical fouls on the court and red cards on the pitch. And even though the three jettisoned players were transfers, Welch isn't going to insist his coaches only recruit first-time college entrants.
Primarily, yes. Exclusively, no.