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USD and Billy Grier leaning towards a parting of ways?

The storm clouds have been gathering for a while now over USD basketball. It could be that after an exciting NCAA tournament run in 2008 the Torreros have had multiple losing records. It could be because of the point shaving scandal. No matter the cause, the end result is there are not enough people in the stands. The 2014-2015 season is the last straw for Billy Grier to make "progress". A major contributing factor is that after this upcoming season, the option to fire Grier gets much cheaper. Because the contract is not public, it is only possible to guess at the exact amount.

Breaking down Grier's tenure to understand the situation is important. In Grier's first season, he took a plucky group of guys past the round of 64 and nearly succeeded in advancing to the next round. Gonzaga fans at the time were generally happy for the former GU assistant's success despite beating the Zags in the WCC tourney. The buzz surrounding the program dropped quickly as many players graduated and a key piece of the team was out for the year due to injury. The season was ultimately a disaster and so was the one after it. Players transferred out. More players transferred out, like Rob Jones to St. Mary's. The program submitted a 6-24 record. Then the point shaving scandal broke and things got worse. The FBI was around. Bad publicity and an uncertain future of the program made things a very trying time for the Torreros.

After going through all the suck, the program made some strides this past season including a win over GU. The team earned a record of 18-17, the first winning record in a long time. The worst looks to be past, which means of course it is time to hire a new coach. Generally, coaches have a short shelf life to produce. Grier's arguably was extended because of the point shaving scandal when it would have been near impossible to get a new long term coach to be interested in the position. Now that the dust has settled on the issue, and the price tag of a new coach will drop it is likely only a NCAA tournament berth will be able to secure Grier's spot for a couple more seasons. Anything less, and it will be likely that the USD athletic department will want to move in a different direction.

This post does not reflect the views of the blog authors or SB Nation.

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