The Chairman’s big night at Jadwin … and the Tigers’ big win

The theme for Saturday night’s visit by the Columbia Lions to Jadwin Gym was “HISTORY.”

The Tiger faithful gathered to celebrate history, honoring at halftime the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 Final Four team, captained by the incomparable Bill Bradley. Sensing the significance of the occasion, Columbia’s Maodo “The Chairman” Lo determined to make a little history of his own. More on that below.

The 1965 Tigers reached the Final Four in an Eastern Regional matchup facing the Providence Friars at their place. The night before the final, the Friars celebrated their win in the semis by cutting down the nets in what remains the most egregious example of early chicken counting in this writer’s memory. (The back-slapping of James Jones and his staff in the last minute at Harvard Friday night is a recent contender.) Stung by the snub, the Tigers thrashed the Friars, 109-69. A request for the previous evening’s nets was declined.

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Penn coach Jerome Allen fired – why the Allen era didn't work

Jerome Allen ultimately couldn
Jerome Allen ultimately couldn”t successfully come full circle as Penn”s head coach after a wildly successful run as a player for the Quakers.(usatoday.com)

As ESPN”s Jeff Goodman first reported, Jerome Allen has been fired from his post as Penn’s head coach, an inevitable, Shakespearean ending to a marriage that saw much more sickness than health over Allen”s tenure. The writing had been on the wall for seasons, and after he coaches on Saturday against Cornell and Tuesday against Princeton, Allen will relieve his post. The Daily Pennsylvanian reports that M. Grace Calhoun informed the coach that he had been relieved of his duties on Monday, following his squad”s third-straight weekend in which the Quakers were swept.

Allen’s time as Penn’s head coach was a tragedy indeed. For starters, on a personal level, anyone who knows Allen personally speaks to his high character, that he is a wonderful person who people trust. And Jerome Allen, the man – who came from a rough part of the Germantown neighborhood of Philadelphia, who has a family and kids – just lost his job after continually coming up short for years, which is never an easy thing to endure for anyone.

But now that the story of Jerome Allen, the coach, has come to its end, he deserves just as much sympathy as he does criticism.

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