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Per Jeff Goodman of CBSSports.com, Hofstra University has fired head basketball coach Mo Cassara.
The only thing odd about this firing is that it wasn’t announced immediately at season’s end. We all know a coach can be fired for losing games, and Hofstra did that recently, losing 47 games in the two seasons since super-stud Charles Jenkins graduated and left the Pride.
Cassara might have survived even that if he had been given another year, but Hofstra administrators could not ignore the off-court turmoil that engulfed the program this season. The first bombshell hit at the beginning of the season, when sophomore Shaquille Stokes and three freshmen accomplices were arrested for stealing over $10,000 worth of laptop computers.
Cassara might have breathed a sigh of relief, as the rest of his season was relatively quiet on the crime front, but then came a nice little package of flaming poo to end the season, as UConn transfer Jamal Coombs-McDaniel was arrested for marijuana possession. Coombs-McDaniel was pulled over and cited for not wearing his seatbelt, and, coincidentally, for having several blunts sitting in the cup-holder of his vehicle.
Hofstra AD Jeff Hathaway saw Cassara off with the usual platitudes in a Friday morning press release:
“We are very thankful to Mo Cassara for his hard work and dedication to the Hofstra Basketball program over the last three years,” commented Hathaway. “Mo is a tireless worker and has tremendous passion for the game and the students that he coached. I personally want to thank him for his commitment to Hofstra Athletics and the University community during his tenure. We wish him the very best.”
So, Hofstra parts ways with Mo Cassara, in a way that seems almost pre-ordained. After all, Cassara got his chance when the school’s original choice for a new head coach, Tim Welsh, was arrested for driving under the influence shortly after being hired to replace Tom Pecora in 2010.
For a knowledgeable fan response to the firing, read this article by Defiantly Dutch.
Eric Angevine is the editor of Storming the Floor. He tweets @stfhoops.