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Thursday, December 13, 2012
Jeff Bzdelik's radio show not going well

By Eamonn Brennan

Let's face it: The coach-hosted radio call-in show — the coach's show — is an anachronism. This in an age in which access to coaches and players is protected like Vice President Walden an important political figure on a television show that actually makes sense, and the same age in which your best chance of seeing what's going on with your team's coach comes 140 characters at a time. The idea of letting just anyone call up to the radio station and say whatever they want to a college basketball coach on the air — when you think about it, it's kind of surprising these things still exist.

And I'm glad they do. I hope the coach's show lives forever. I don't see why it shouldn't.

Wake Forest radio host Stan Cotten, producers IMG College, and athletic director Ron Wellman apparently disagree.

Per the Winston-Salem Journal, Wake Forest coach Jeff Bzdelik will no longer take listener questions on the air, a practice that began during a substitute show Wednesday night. Questions must be "recorded or submitted through electronic messaging" for the first time in the 17 years Cotten has been on the job. From the paper:
But the format of taking direct questions was changed after a particularly contentious show last Thursday, when several callers were especially pointed in their criticism or long-winded, or both. Cotten said the decision was made by he and others at IMG College …
“More and more schools have eliminated the call-in, because callers tend to get on and, rather than asking a question, they preach,” Wellman said. “And this is our show. This is an opportunity to talk about Wake Forest basketball, the direction we’re going. And if the fans want to ask a question, we’ll respond to a question."

Let's translate:

Hey, immensely proud and hungry fan base. What's up? Look, I know you're frustrated. I know we won five ACC games in our first two seasons. I know we're 4-5 this season. I know we're ranked No. 210 in adjusted efficiency, and I know we're playing some of the worst per-possession defense in the country. I know the coach I hired to replace Dino Gaudio (who never missed the NCAA tournament, mind you) after three seasons has only ever left a school with a winning record once (Air Force), and yes, I know, even at the time this hire looked ridiculous, and I know it's so bad I've got robot YouTube videos ethering me … but could you please not yell at us so much?

Actually, you know what? Just cut their mic.

Soft, dude. Baby powder soft. Softer than the newborn kittens Drake buys and puts in matching sweaters and sends to ex-girlfriends as Christmas cards.

I understand the impulse not to allow fans to call up and berate your head coach for an hour, but they do that everywhere if the team isn't winning. Ask Roy Williams. Pre-screening questions to make sure nobody looks bad only makes everybody look even worse.

And hey, maybe those fans have some decent ideas on the 2-3 zone! When you're 25-47 in three years, you should take all the advice you can get.