COMMENTARY: NCAA snub blessing in disguise for ISU?

  • Home
  • COMMENTARY: NCAA snub blessing in disguise for ISU?

COMMENTARY: NCAA snub blessing in disguise for ISU?

Photo by Travis David | Indiana State coach Josh Schertz talks with his players during the Sycamores' practice inside Hinkle Fieldhouse on Wednesday. ISU wraps up its historic season Thursday night in the NIT championship game against Seton Hall.
[email protected]



For the last three weeks, the big news surrounding the Indiana State men’s basketball team — outside of the court — has been the future of head coach Josh Shertz. Just like Indiana native Dusty May stole headlines last year while guiding Florida Atlantic University to a surprising run to the NCAA Tournament Final Four, Schertz has been the talk of the nation for the last month or two of the season.


It’s no secret the Sycamores’ bench boss is the No. 1 priority of Saint Louis University. In recent reports (WTHI sports director Rick Semmler), Schertz has also turned down lucrative contract offers from Louisville and his alma mater, FAU. 


But the million dollar question, literally, is will he also turn down the SLU job offer and return to the sidelines in Terre Haute?


Since the first reports of the SLU job surfaced following the Sycamores Missouri Valley Conference tournament championship loss to Drake, Schertz has said he will not make his decision until after the Sycamore season is officially over.


We now know that the historic season will come to a close on Thursday night for the Sycamores.


I do not claim to have any insider information on the upcoming decision.


Here is what I do know or at least what I think with an educated guess …


These last couple of weeks in the NIT have made his decision even more arduous. 


I believe Schertz current contract with the Sycamore is roughly just under $400,000 per year. It is believed that ISU has raised funds which could significantly increase his contract and has also raised funds to increase NIL money to help keep the core group of players from testing the waters in the transfer portal.


It’s also no secret that these increased funds will still fall short of what the highly coveted coach and talented players can earn elsewhere.


It’s also not always about the dollars.


Again, I have no inside information about what the coach and players are thinking or leaning towards. I have not covered nor been around them enough to confidently say they are not the type to take the money and run.


But again, what I do know is what I have seen over the last couple of weeks and what I have heard each of them say when asked about the support of the community.


Numerous times, multiple players — Robbie Avila and Jayson Kent to name two — have made statements that these wins are “for more than just us (ISU), but they are for the entire community.” They all have stated that they “feel blessed to play in front of these types of crowds.” 


Coach Schertz has also echoed the same sentiments during each press conference. Following the Sycamore’s walkthrough practice inside Hinkle Fieldhouse Wednesday afternoon, I asked coach Schertz about the ISU faithful.


“They have been unbelievable and it’s amazing to be able to share this journey with all of them,” the coach said. “There are a lot of die-hards that love this program for a long time and they bleed blue so to be able to share this with them makes it so much cooler.”


At the start of the season, crowds at the Hulman Center struggled to reach 4,000. Those totals have more than doubled in the second half of the season.


Everyone loves a winning product. But this team has shown they are more than just about what they do for 40 minutes on any given game night. They have reciprocated the same type of love and support from the fans.


To me, that means something.


It should also mean something to the ISU administration to do whatever it takes to keep this team en tact. Because the one thing I do know is if this coach heads west or somewhere else, players are going to follow.


And these sellout crowds at the Hulman Center will be no longer.


So, as I sit here inside Hinkle Fieldhouse watching the Sycamores prepare for Thursday night’s NIT championship game, I still don’t know what will happen come Friday or over the weekend.


Not to sound cheesy, but I do think that “love” will prevail. That love being the love affair that has been on display during this magical run. A run that would not have been possible if the NCAA tournament committee would have used its eyes and selected the Sycamores to be part of the 68-team dance.


Sometimes suffering heartache is indeed a blessing in disguise. 


Win or lose Thursday night, let’s just hope the next heartache is experienced in St. Louis, not Terredise. 



TRAVIS DAVID is the publisher of PressBox812 Sports and can be reached via email at [email protected]. Follow on X (Twitter) @Tdavid_21. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Verified by MonsterInsights