Petraw firing good for nobody | NevadaAppeal.com

Petraw firing good for nobody

Petraw firing good for nobody

BY DARRELL MOODY

Appeal Sports Writer

It’s been a couple of weeks since Terri Patraw resigned, tried to rescind her resignation and then was fired by Cary Groth, Nevada athletic director, three days before the season-opening game.

The timing sucked to be sure. Nevada is off to an 0-3 start, and much of it has to do with the timing of Patraw’s dismissal. I can only imagine the mental disposition of the team. It can’t be really good.

I attended the second home match of the season, a 2-1 loss to Portland State. Patraw attended the game, sitting with some of the team’s parents during the match. After the game, four or five Nevada’s players came up to her, tears in their eyes, and they talked for several minutes with her.

Patraw has been silent since her dismissal. Rumors are swirling, however, that she is contemplating legal action against the university.

Again, the timing of the whole thing stinks.

According to published reports, Groth and Patraw were in the middle of contract negotiations when something went awry. I’m not a big believer in doing negotiations once a team has started practicing. Get it done before practice starts or take care of it after the season.

Patraw turned what was probably the worst program on campus into one of the best in three short years. She took the team to a Western Athletic Conference championship last season, and the school’s first-ever NCAA appearance in soccer. By all accounts, she ran a clean program.

Only a couple of people really know what happened here, and they aren’t talking right now. The school claims philosophical differences. That’s an easy out for a lot of things – in particular, jobs and marriage.

It’s hard to say if the marriage between Patraw and Nevada is over, yet. One thing I would hate to see is litigation. If that happens, it keeps this situation in the news for a while, and that’s not a good thing. Litigation hurts all parties plus members of the Nevada soccer team. They are innocent victims in this incident.

At 0-3, the Wolf Pack’s season certainly isn’t over, but the more nonconference games you lose, the tougher it is to make the postseason if you don’t win the conference tournament.

Stay tuned and we’ll see how this plays out. Inquiring minds want to know.

• According to WAC officials, bids are being accepted for the 2009 and 2010 conference basketball championships.

New Mexico State is in the final year of its two-year run, and last year’s tournament was a success with great crowds, especially when New Mexico State played.

The coaches would like to explore a neutral-court option, but I’m not sure if that would be a money maker for the schools.

Boise State coach Greg Graham said a neutral site would have to be near an existing school. I agree, and that’s why I think the four most viable off-campus sites would be Arco Arena in Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and somewhere in the Bay Area (Oakland or San Jose).

The WAC seems to have adopted the policy of moving conference championships around, but that may just be the case for non-sponsored championships, and not ‘bid’ championships.

Nevada officials low-balled things in the last bid process, and NMSU, with the monetary help of state government officials, came in with a much higher bid. Hopefully Nevada will put another bid in. I think Nevada may have to re-tool a bit this year, but could be strong in the 2008-09 season, and the homecourt advantage is always helpful.

• Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com, or by calling (775) 881-1281