And so three years after it began, the Florida International basketball stunt is over.
Because that’s really all this ever was -- a public relations grab. Isiah Thomas was not hired for his coaching acumen, certainly. Nor was he chosen for his deep recruiting resources.
He was hired to turn attention to a school that otherwise was known for a football brawl with Miami.
And it worked.
During Thomas’ first summer at FIU, I spent some time with him in Las Vegas while he dipped his toe into the deep end of recruiting. So did plenty of other people, intrigued by the notion of this millionaire and Hall of Famer trying to make a go of it in college basketball’s hinterlands.
The trouble with stunts: Eventually the smoke clears and you’re left with just the mirrors.
FIU went 26-65 with its part-time coach/full-time PR hire, a direct reflection of both Thomas’ coaching inadequacies and his level of job interest -- or more accurately, disinterest.