As Grambling hiring process drags, letter of support circulates for interim

Current Grambling basketball players are circulating a letter around the campus in support of interim coach Bobby Washington.

The school’s search to replace Rick Duckett has now extended past National Signing Day, with interviews taking place over the phone last week — including, reportedly, former NBA player Nick Van Exel, now an assistant at Southwestern Athletic Conference foe Texas Southern.

Washington has continued to bring prospects on campus, even into last weekend, hoping one imagines to restock after a season that ended on a high note with Grambling’s first win in the SWAC Tournament in a decade.

But Washington’s three commitments — and others he’s approached about joining the Black and Gold — have apparently held off on signing, as the school continues to drag its feet on the hire.

Word on campus continues to focus Van Exel, a second round pick out of Cincinnati in 1993 who played his first five seasons with the los Angeles Lakers. Van Exel was traded to Denver in 1998, where he had his best statistical year (17.7 ppg and 8.5 apg) in 2000-01, and made stops with Dallas, Golden State, Portland and then San Antonio before retiring in 2006.

After enjoying prep and junior college hall of fame inductions in 2009 at Wisconsin’s St. Joseph High and Texas’ Henderson County JC, Van Exel was hired as an assistant at Texas Southern and is serving under Tony Harvey.

TSU (17-16 overall; 11-7 in SWAC) topped Washington’s Grambling squad 60-57 this season in the semifinals of the season-ending basketball tournament at Bossier, before falling to Arkansas-Pine Bluff in the championship match.

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6 comments

  1. Why are they dragging their feet? Personally I feel the job should go to Coach Washington. He did a very good job with so little. Give him a chance.

  2. I think the athletic director should take the blame. I would like to see someone give Dawson a Greyhound ticket out of town, a plane ticket would be too nice for him. Why wait this long to hire a coach knowing the signing date was near. Nick Van Exel? A man with no experience as a head coach and a short career as an assistant. Please, someone give Dawson his medication so he can get Van Exel off his list and hire Coach Washington. He's has to be tired of the shape the program is in and want to see our favorite school do better.

  3. Why are they dragging their feet? Personally I feel the job should go to Coach Washington. He did a very good job with so little. Give him a chance.

  4. I think the athletic director should take the blame. I would like to see someone give Dawson a Greyhound ticket out of town, a plane ticket would be too nice for him. Why wait this long to hire a coach knowing the signing date was near. Nick Van Exel? A man with no experience as a head coach and a short career as an assistant. Please, someone give Dawson his medication so he can get Van Exel off his list and hire Coach Washington. He’s has to be tired of the shape the program is in and want to see our favorite school do better.

  5. I think the AD is in a situation of making a business($money$)move versus a coaching move. Whether we feel coach should get the job or not, I think they are looking toward fund raising and other connections that Nick Van Exel may have that Coach Washington may not have at this point. Coach Washington gets all my respect for taking a program with a scar on it for the the detah of one of its players and keeping them together and finishing out on a high note! But once again my fellow Gramblingnites, we are getting a front row seat on seeing how the $Business$ of college sports influences on who gets the head coaching job. Think about it!

  6. I think the AD is in a situation of making a business($money$)move versus a coaching move. Whether we feel coach should get the job or not, I think they are looking toward fund raising and other connections that Nick Van Exel may have that Coach Washington may not have at this point. Coach Washington gets all my respect for taking a program with a scar on it for the the detah of one of its players and keeping them together and finishing out on a high note! But once again my fellow Gramblingnites, we are getting a front row seat on seeing how the $Business$ of college sports influences on who gets the head coaching job. Think about it!


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