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Tom Crean’s postgame dustup with Jeff Meyer is a good thing for all of us

Mar 11, 2013, 1:16 PM EDT

Indiana v Michigan Getty Images

We see it time and time again: in the age of social media and youtube and viral videos, it’s common to see a relatively unimportant occurrence blow up into a full-blown ‘scandal’, with judgements and reactions dominating Facebook newsfeeds and twitter timelines.

Sometimes it’s funny, as evidenced by the great responses to Deandre Jordan’s brutal posterization of Brandon Knight last night.

Other times, it’s more a nuisance and unnecessary, which is precisely what this tweet from Dan Wetzel generated. Tom Crean and Michigan assistant Jeff Meyer got into a bit of a yelling match after last night’s game, and after Wetzel tweeted about it, the twitterosphere’s eyes turned towards the video of the confrontation. Crean was asked about it in his press conference after the game. He was also asked about it on today’s Big Ten conference call, as was Michigan head coach John Beilein.

Crean tried to downplay it, saying that he apologized to Meyer before getting on his flight home. Beilein was less than thrilled to have to comment on it.

“Jeff and I discussed it afterwards,” Beilein said. “I’m not going to comment on another coach or another university. I will say Michigan is always going to win with class and lose with class,” he said. “I am really proud of the way Jeff showed great poise in the aftermath of that loss.”

Frankly, everyone is making a big deal out of nothing. The two coaching staffs don’t like each other? Good! That should make for some intense, entertaining games in the future. It will make for must-see TV moments, like the handshake line in Michigan beats Indiana in the Big Ten tournament. It will create intrigue and drama. There will be a buzz of twitter and the folks on Sportscenter will be talking about it. More attention on what could turn into one of the great rivalries in our sport of the next decade is a good thing.

What’s more, it’s almost a breath of fresh air. Too often, the interaction between public figures in sports and the media is all about political correctness, keeping true feelings hidden. Michigan and Indiana compete for everything in hoops: Big Ten titles, Final Fours, McDonalds All-Americans. They go head-to-head quite often. No one wants to lose.

Crean and Meyer shouldn’t have to pretend to like each other if they don’t.

Crean and Beilein have to pretend to like each other if they don’t.

They’re human beings. Competitive, intense human beings. They don’t like each other, and they’re going to react.

In fact, the only reason that I think Crean made a mistake here is that it has deflected the attention of Indiana’s achievement away from the players. Cody Zeller and Victor Oladipo should be splashed across the headlines for their play last night. Jordy Hulls and Christian Watford should be getting praised for turning the Indiana program back around. I shouldn’t be writing my second post of the day about a screaming match between two grown men that don’t like each other.

You can wring your hands from atop your soapbox all you want.

I’m going to hope that Michigan and Indiana will play in the Big Ten semis.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

  1. jcmeyer10 - Mar 11, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    As a Jeff Meyer myself. I always laugh when I see stuff like this. A pro snowboarder and an assistant for Michigan BBall.

    Need to pick up some slack here.

  2. packhawk04 - Mar 11, 2013 at 1:57 PM

    Tom crean is a classless piece of garbage. In other breaking news, world war 2 is over.

    • metalhead65 - Mar 11, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      and in other news michigan is not the big ten champs deal with it! this classless coach beat your team twice so regardless what happens in the useless tourney suck on that!

    • MyTeamsAllStink - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:26 PM

      Classless,a bully and the head basketball coach at Indiana………….where have we heard this before?

  3. raiderufan - Mar 11, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    I don’t mind the desire to what he did. The execution? Can’t say I’m a fan.

  4. ukraiders - Mar 11, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    If he was so mad about it why didnt he say something 3 years ago?? And they way he laughed after the fact just makes it seem so childish. Just coach your team clappy.

  5. protectthishouse54 - Mar 11, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    “Too often, the interaction between public figures in sports and the media is all about political correctness, keeping true feelings hidden.” Right. But when Jim Boeheim puts a reporter in his place, he’s called a bully who’s setting a bad example.

  6. latchbeam - Mar 11, 2013 at 3:20 PM

    Tom Crean has a solid track record of being a dbag. The history of his idiocy is vast and impressive.

  7. coryfor3 - Mar 11, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    Crean should thank him. That’s the only reason the job was ever even open for Crean to take.

  8. barnesaintnoble - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    Crean has rubbed every coach in the Big Ten the wrong way, save Tom Izzo. Coaches in a powerful conference operate a little different, it’s more like a mafia that uses the NCAA as a hitman. Watch your back Crean.

  9. MyTeamsAllStink - Mar 11, 2013 at 6:28 PM

    So being head coach at Indiana requires you to be an arrogant bully who puts themselves above the program?

  10. tmdill18 - Mar 11, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Get used to it sore losers. A lot more blue chips coming to Bloomington. Going to be fun.

  11. zapainhurtzalot - Mar 15, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    He kinda looks like Tom Arnold as he turns away from the Mich. coach. (no offense Tom).

    And I thought coach K was an a$$, this guy’s gonna get his butt whooped for crap like that. Props to the Mich. coach for turning away and losing with class.

    C’mon Big Blue, beat Mich in the semis and then tell that guy some your mama jokes. That’ll make for good fodder in the sports pages LOL.

  12. metalarmdad - Mar 18, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    One day Tom Crean will let his Big Mouth over load his small rear and then that rear will get kicked into the ground. But what should anyone expect from the coach of Indiana U. Knight had a BAD attitude but Crean has a bad attitude and an a$$hole to go with it. I think the city of Bloomington makes these men this way because it’s nothing but a beer-brawling town.

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