Fittingly, COW court will bear Moore’s name

Fittingly, COW court will bear Moore’s name

A few thoughts from the week in sports …

The College of Wooster got it right.

Naming the court in Timken Gymnasium “Steve Moore Court” was a fitting gesture to honor a man who was a winner on and off the court.

Moore proved the old saying “nice guys finish last” is a bunch of hogwash. Although Moore was a fierce competitor, he was always a class act on and off the court.

After retiring following the 2019-20 school year, Moore’s final resume included these amazing feats:

—867-253 combined mark over 39 seasons at Muehlenberg and Wooster.

—780-188 record in 33 seasons leading the Fighting Scots’ program.

—867 career wins still rank No. 2 all-time for NCAA Division III men’s basketball coaching victories and 12th across all divisions of NCAA.

—Wooster made 28 appearances in the NCAA Div. III Tournament under Moore, headlined by advancing to the 2011 national championship game and the national semifinals in 2003 and 2007.

—Wooster qualified for the NCAA Div. III Tournament in each of Moore’s final 18 seasons on the bench, ranking as the longest streak in Div. III history and seventh-longest all-time among all divisions of NCAA men’s basketball.

—Wooster became the winningest NCAA men’s basketball team of the 2000s for much of this century. The Scots currently rank third overall and still hold the distinction of being the winningest NCAA Div. III team this century.

The Timken floor was decorated with the lettering “Steve Moore Court” this summer when the court was refinished. A formal dedication will take place during the season at a game that’s yet to be determined. (My vote would go to the Wittenberg game against Moore’s alma mater and arch rival).

“It is an honor to have your name on a court,” Moore said in a release provided by The COW. “When a coach is honored, it is due to the accomplishments of the players.

“I wish the names of all of our players could be on the court because the players won the games and championships. Many other people including our entire coaching staff, our administration, the players’ families and our fans have been instrumental in the success and culture of our program. It is a very good feeling to know that our players and others wanted this to happen.”

I spoke with Wooster head coach Doug Cline, who played for Moore and spent 27 seasons as his assistant coach, about the honor bestowed upon his mentor.

“There’s not a guy who deserves it more than him,” Cline said. “Coach Moore was a tremendous coach.

“The players and the alumni, they love him. He won a lot of games, but more important than that, he’s a better person. Coach Moore doesn’t take credit for anything, but he’s done so much for The College of Wooster, and it’s a great way to honor his career.”

The Steve Moore Endowment has been set up for people to donate to help ensure the court, gym and student-athletes at The COW are supported in the years to come. Call The COW Office of Advancement at 330-263-2697 for more information.

More on Moore

Moore is a member of The College of Wooster W Association Hall of Fame, Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame, Wittenberg University Hall of Honor, Wayne Sports HOF and Monroeville High School HOF. The court at Monroeville High School also is dedicated in Moore’s honor.

This past winter I wrote about Moore helping to coach his grandson’s Upward youth team.

Cline said he could think of only one other court in the NCAC named after a coach: Mac Petty Court at Wabash.

“It’s not an honor given out often, and that’s how it should be,” Cline said.

On a personal note, I’d like to thank coach Moore for always being a class act with me since I started reporting on his teams in 1997. I’ve covered some of his biggest wins and toughest losses, but he was always respectful. Congrats on a truly fitting, well-deserved honor.

The Big Sellout

The Big Ten announced recently that Oregon and Washington will join the league in 2024.

That means that starting in the 2024-25 academic year, the Big Ten will have 18 teams, with the Ducks and Huskies joining USC and UCLA from the West Coast.

Continuing to call this once proud Midwestern outfit the Big Ten seems more absurd than ever in light of these recent additions.

The Big Sellout would be a more apt name. Don’t ever let the college presidents tell you again that it’s about the student-athlete. This was a move driven by football and money.

It won’t be quite so bad for the football teams with their multi-million-dollar budgets, which will allow them to take charter flights all over the country. Basketball budgets also may cover charters.

Nothing says Big Ten like Rutgers or Penn State traveling all the way across the country to play a “conference” game in Los Angeles or Seattle.

The league presidents and athletic directors showed almost no respect for other sports such as soccer or swimming, baseball or softball. Those nonrevenue sports don’t have big budgets and will likely have to fly commercially with layovers.

What about missed classes and mental health strains for students trying to play their sport and also get good grades?

Athletes who also are legitimately trying to be students could spend 15 hours a week just traveling — from commuting to airports, riding on planes, getting luggage out of baggage, and shuttling to and from hotels — with these expanded schedules. And that’s if everything goes on schedule.

Look at Columbus, where our state’s beloved Buckeyes hail from. Columbus is not exactly a destination airport, meaning Buckeyes going to games or opponents coming into town will likely have layover flights adding to the travel time.

Lots of people are suggesting the Big Ten is not done expanding and will go from 18-20 teams. Maybe they’ll eventually call it the Big Twenty.

The once proud PAC 12 is on the verge of extinction, as there are only four remaining schools: California, Stanford, Oregon State and Washington State.

Stanford and Cal have great traditions in nonfootball sports but struggled on the gridiron recently, and no other conferences have asked them to dance.

When is enough money enough? I guess in college football there’s never enough.

It’s become the Wild West for these Power Five conferences, which seem to have more power than the actual NCAA governing body and less consideration than ever for student-athletes.

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