April Fool's Day was Thursday. When I first heard former Marshall basketball coach Donnie Jones was being mentioned for, then flirting with, then interviewing for, then accepting the UCF job - well, I thought it could be a pre-mature gag associated with the faux-holiday.
The only chuckles I heard came from Herd hoops player Dago Pena after a team meeting Monday afternoon in which Jones broke the news to his players.
Pena smiled and laughed, as he obliged the media's request for a few words on Jones' departure.
It wasn't that he was happy.
Have you ever been having a bad day and think you've hit bottom, only to tear open a ketchup packet and squirt the condiment down your clean white shirt?
The laugh comes before the expletive.
Ketchup will wash out.
That's the word I've heard most often this week - betrayal. Jones is a turncoat, they said, a regular Benedict Donald.
Those feelings only worsened Tuesday when he was introduced as Knights coach.
He gave the "Why not us? Why not now?" speech. He thanked God for the opportunity. He rhapsodized about an end-to-end style of play that had to have prompted UCF fans to come up with a name for the high-flying offense and frenetic, pressing defense.
If a pick-up line works in a bar once, you'll use it again, right?
Seriously now, I don't blame Jones for the move. I've seen UCF's arena, the facilities in general, the campus area, etc. If he can lure Hassan Whiteside and DeAndre Kane and Pena to Huntington, he'll get those kids to Orlando. He'll win games, make more money and won't have to eat Thunderdogs.
But Marshall Athletic Director Mike Hamrick is in Indianapolis right now. He's talking to head coaches and assistant coaches and any number of athletic department officials from across the country trying to find the Herd's next head coach.
He'll up the compensation package a few ticks, hype up the Henderson Center's upgrades and enhancements, and snag a qualified coach to replace Jones.
The successor might even be an upgrade himself.
And like Jones, the new coach will have left behind a good job for what he deems a better one. He'll gush about his new opportunity at his introductory news conference on Marshall's campus. He will be a breath of fresh air for fans.
Nothing washes away the stains of yesterday like the promise of a better tomorrow.
It's a shame April Fool's has already passed. I have a good one.
Marshall will win a lot of basketball games next season. The Herd will - finally - beat a team it shouldn't with its new coach. And someday, probably later than sooner, Jones will regret leaving his home state.
Wait, that's no joke.
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