THE STRIKE ZONE
Sometimes Sports, Sometimes Sportsmanship
Back in January, an incident of unsportsmanlike conduct that occurred in a Division I basketball game rose to a level of ridiculousness that questions whether a coach even has a soul.
The background: during the 2015-16 season, New Mexico assistant coach Terrence Rencher was trash-talking during a game between New Mexico and Colorado State. The comments were directed at Colorado State forward Emmanuel Omogbo for unknown reasons.
Fast-forward to 2017 when the two teams met again. Rencher picked up right where he left off, aiming derogatory and racially charged language at Omogbo during pregame warmups. During the game, a skirmish erupted after a clean play was interpreted as dirty, especially since the game itself was somewhat tense and chippy. Rencher and New Mexico assistant coach Chris Harriman were both ejected from the game for leaving the bench area during the skirmish. (Harriman later apologized to Colorado State head coach Larry Eustachy for the incident.)
Following the game, Omogbo and Eustachy were walking from the arena to their cars and happened to pass by the New Mexico team bus where Rencher was standing. Rencher picked up where he had left off, this time adding to his repertoire by rubbing the loss in Omogbo's face, which caused Omogbo to lose his temper and require restraint from Eustachy.
Following the departure of Omogbo and Eustachy to prevent things from escalating, Eustachy's wife, Lana, stepped in and reminded Rencher of the hardship Omogbo has experienced last year when his parents and two other family members were killed in a house fire.
What did Rencher do? He laughed.
New Mexico head coach Craig Neal was asked about the incident, in which he defended Rencher via text message, claiming he did nothing wrong.
For the record, Rencher has a Bachelor's in Education with a focus on youth and community studies. Rencher and his wife have two daughters. Apparently, these credentials and the thought of having others treat his kids this way were not enough to stop him from acting in a way that only Satan would approve.
Baseball player, umpire, coach, fan; professional musician; founder, President & CEO of The OSIP Foundation, Inc.