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Opinion: Gottfried’s Apology To Fanbase Not Necessary

NC State Basketball

Opinion: Gottfried’s Apology To Fanbase Not Necessary

On Wednesday night NC State head coach Mark Gottfried told the media that despite the road loss to Boston College, he felt that his team made progress in some aspects. A reporter reminded him that most of the fan base would likely not see this loss as progress and Gottfried responded rather candidly.

“Don’t care,” Gottfried said. “Don’t care if you do. Hell, I don’t really give a shit if anybody does. We got better tonight.”

Of course, some fans had a problem with that answer. They complained to Debbie Yow, which got this email response:

“Several of you as loyal fans have written regarding the loss to BC and since each email was similar in nature, I decided to respond to you as a group.

Because you are not able to impact game outcomes directly, I understand your frustration, because you depend on others to ‘right the ship.

I also have seen the video of the post-game comments made to the (The News and Observer) and want to assure you that what our fans think does matter. A lot.

At this juncture, seeing measurable/objective improvement in play is a focus and continuing to provide day to day support for our team members and coaches.

As 18- to 22-year-old athletes, this cannot be easy for them. And I understand you are disappointed regarding early season ACC game outcomes. Playing in the friendly confines of PNC for the next week should help.

Thank you for your longtime loyalty to Wolfpack Men’s Basketball. That is never taken for granted.”

Last night Gottfried responded on his radio show to his comments, offering an apology to the NC State faithful.

“It’s important for me to say to Wolfpack Nation, all of our fans, that I want to apologize. I was in the heat of the moment, I used some language I shouldn’t use and that was out of my character. I want to apologize. No one is responsible, other than me. I’m not one of those guys that wants to blame other people. That was inappropriate.
“I called Debbie Yow this afternoon and told her the same thing. I apologized to her. I also apologized to Randy Woodson. I represent NC State University and this is a magnificent place. We have magnificent fans, and I love our fans. Wolfpack Nation is incredible.
“In the heat of the moment I made a mistake. For that, I need to apologize. I love our fans and I love our team too.

“Last night after the game I was hurting for our players. I thought our players played extremely hard. They wanted to win, and we had some things hurt us throughout the game. I thought some turnovers hurt us, we missed some shots, and had some empty possessions. Those types of things in a game.
“Our players want to win. I love my team. I love these guys. I think we’ll become a really good basketball team. Some people say I’m the eternal optimist, and my response to that is I’d rather be that than the alternative.

“I think we’re going to get better. I was disappointed last night that we didn’t win and disappointed in the outcome. We didn’t have anything to show for that, and I said that after the game.

“We’re going to move on and get ourselves ready to play this weekend.”

While the gesture was nice and appeasing to the complainers, it’s ridiculous that Gottfried was basically forced to offer an apology for giving his true, unfiltered opinion.

Look, I didn’t go to school to become a journalist. I never studied the history of media. I’m a glorified blogger who shouldered his way into press corps so I could get more insight into NC State basketball. I didn’t understand why all these reporters were huddled around players and coaches, yet we never really got any in-depth knowledge. Just generic quotes and regurgitated talking points. When I got there, you know what I found? I found that it’s not the questions that the reporters were asking, it was the answers the coaches and players were giving them. They were canned, boring, and could be put on repeat game after game. They didn’t want to speak their mind. They didn’t want to give their real feelings. Because they didn’t trust the press or the readers to see them as who they were. In my opinion, this is a fear culture that sucks for everyone.

What I mean is, we beg for juicy quotes, deep-insight, real candor, but what when we get it we blow it out of proportion. We examine that opinion, find it’s flaws, and stir up a narrative that creates division. Those that are for it and that are offended by it.

If they do end up saying something real, they end up having to back away from an honest statement they made. They’ll offer some halfway apology and say how wrong they are and how it was a mistake. But was it a mistake? Speaking you mind, telling the truth? That is a mistake? Well, whatever it is, you know what it’s going to get you? It’s going to get you empty generic quotes. It’s going to allow you less and less insight into the real thoughts of the coaches and the players, for fear that if they tell the truth they’ll be vilified or scrutinized.

Maybe it’s the sign of the times. Maybe it’s how it has to be. But I own a site with message boards and I’m constantly trying to keep a pulse on what the NC State fanbase thinks, says and is interested in. You know what I find?

I find a fanbase that constantly complains about today’s “PC culture” and how it’s leading to softer players and softer coaches. I see a fanbase that wants a hard-nosed, no-nonsense blue collar coach who cares about discipline, winning, and not much else. One who says what he thinks, and doesn’t care what you, me, the media, or anyone else has to say about it.

Isn’t that what most of you are asking for? Then why are you complaining about Mark Gottfried using some colorful language, or saying that he believes something as a coach and doesn’t care what anyone else thinks about it.

Look, no one is telling you that you have to like Gottfried. No one is telling you that you should believe him when he says his team is progressing. This is not about sticking up for the notion that the BC game was progress. What this is, is an opinion piece that is arguing that if we want to brand ourselves as the blue-collar hard-working, no-nonsense rivals to the white-collar, wine and cheese crowd down the street then we might want to stop writing to our athletic director about how much we were offended by Gottfried speaking his mind and sticking up for his players.

PackInsider.com is an independently run content site that exclusively covers NC State basketball and football. Started in late 2007 by two former students with the goal of integrating the latest in web content delivery into a Wolfpack sports site, free of charge to the user.

47 Comments

47 Comments

  1. wornoutstatefan

    January 16, 2017 at 1:13 pm

    I guess we improved last night too. This is a complete dumpster fire at this point. 9 point favorite at home and we lose by 10 to GT. Uncalled for. I think from here on out, the only thing this team needs to do in practice is defensive sets. How many open threes did GT get last night? Until you play D, offensive sets won’t matter. Sit on bench if you can’t play defense. Simple as that.

  2. MiamiCF

    January 15, 2017 at 5:30 am

    Can we please play Defense and beat Georgia Tech? Is that asking too much? Maybe spread out the offense and give Y’sven some room to move? This High -Low post offense strategy does not fit this team’s configuration.

    Chris F.

    • wornoutstatefan

      January 16, 2017 at 1:27 pm

      Apparently we can’t. How do you lose to GT by 10 at HOME?! Guess we’ll see if he can right this ship….

  3. wolfpack74

    January 14, 2017 at 4:48 am

    Here is the point. If you piss the fans off, you will have empty seats. If you have empty seat, you will have a pissed off AD. If you have a pissed off AD, you will get fired. So improve the product or find another job, Gott. I live in Knoxville, Jerry Green told finds to go to Kmart if they did like his style. Guess what happened, Jerry was fired after having about four 25+ wins a year. If

    • wolfpack74

      January 14, 2017 at 4:50 am

      we won’t to get rid of this useless coach, don’t go to the game and stop buying NCSU junk. That will get the attention of the AD really quick unless she doesn’t give a shit either.

      • wolfpack74

        January 14, 2017 at 4:54 am

        After proofreading my comments, I need to replace the word “finds” with fans and the word “won’t” to want.

  4. Wolfer96

    January 14, 2017 at 4:01 am

    I didn’t watch the game but I didn’t have to. A bad coach is a bad coach. There’s no need for anyone to get upset at each other. State needs a better coach period. It’s not about leadership or this offense or that. Gott does not instill discipline. He doesn’t sit guys who don’t play defense, he let’s a freshman do whatever he feels like on the court, and he makes excuses.

    • Wolfer96

      January 14, 2017 at 4:04 am

      It’s clear to me Bob Lutz was the brains behind the operation. He was probably fed with up all the bullshit from Gott and wanted out bad. Now that Lutz isn’t doing the game prep behind the scenes and making the adjustments at halftime Gott is totally exposed for the fraud that he is. Yes Kapita should be given more minutes as well as Kirk. Those guys at minimum would play much harder out there.

      • Wolfer96

        January 14, 2017 at 4:09 am

        Sorry I wasn’t going to post again until we had a new coach but I got tired of reading about all the excuses and whatnot. Gott entered a weak ACC. After adding Louisville, ND, and Pitt it has become a much tougher league. It’s forcing everyone else to get better. Look at UVA and FSU for instance. A bad coach will not make it in this league. Gott’s failures with 5 stars and poor NBA drafts results

        • Wolfer96

          January 14, 2017 at 4:12 am

          will mean that recruiting will become more challenging. If Gott were a better coach he may overcome that by recruiting and developing lesser talent but he is not that guy. He did this to himself by recruiting at a high level, allowing a high rate of attrition, and not producing results in relation to the talent level.

  5. RIZ DOLLA

    January 13, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    If that was the best performance it was still terrible. Thats why we didnt win the game. Was it even entertaining to you? I understand you are a fan like the rest of us but you have to see that we have talent but things just arent right. Meeks and Anya came in the same year. Meeks lost weight, imporved game & Anya fat and out of shape you reward him with time and keep Kapita on the bench.

    • wornoutstatefan

      January 13, 2017 at 8:48 pm

      That irks me like no other (Anya playing while Kapita sits). Kapita is one guy on this team that plays his ass off every time he plays. Does his skill set need improvement? Yes. But at least he can rebound and hustle. I have a feeling he might transfer if he doesn’t get more playing time. He reminds me of Josh Davis.

      • RIZ DOLLA

        January 13, 2017 at 9:07 pm

        If he does transfer I wont be upset with Kapita. You are hindering his improvement if you doesn’t get any game time and from what I have seen he is not a bad player he caught bad breaks on foul calls.

  6. Craig Cochrane

    January 13, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    Well said. Thank you!!

  7. wornoutstatefan

    January 13, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    I don’t think, well at least not for me anyways, that the issue was Gott saying “shit”. It was the fact that he said progress was made during that shit show of a game. I think this is what most State fans had an issue with. What I saw during the game is the same shit I’ve seen during Gott’s tenure here; horrible defense, bad shot selection, terrible offensive plays, no movement, etc.)

    • Pack Insider Staff

      January 13, 2017 at 4:47 pm

      Look, here is the thing. As fans, what do we know about what this team is working on? What do you think they are working on. BC’s guards shot the ball really well. Overall, the team defense was an improvement. I’ve watched the game twice and BC did not get a ton of super clean looks. Now rewatch UNC, Miami and even the VT game. State was giving up clean looks on every other possession.

      • Pack Insider Staff

        January 13, 2017 at 4:50 pm

        This was their best performance on the road this season. As sad as that is, that is true. So look, the point here was that there was nothing wrong with his comments. The point is, people are mad because they thought we’d be good and we’re not yet. Plus our rival smoked us. So yes, you have the right to be mad at Gott for his coaching, but not for his comments there at the end (IMO).

        • wornoutstatefan

          January 13, 2017 at 4:58 pm

          It’s also one of the worst teams we faced on the road this season…. Our offense has one set play it seems, run TH3 along the baseline and hope he gets open for a 3 (a la SW). We have zero help defense, our bigs still have no idea how to move feet and not try to block every pump fake, and our back court consistently gives up open threes. I don’t see a whole lot heart in games like this one.

          • RIZ DOLLA

            January 13, 2017 at 8:02 pm

            OMG!!! I hate that play with my soul…. Its terrible you have one player run from side to side the guard waiting for him to get open no other movement which doesnt create a second option. They player has to be tired after running that play its like suicide drills if you are familiar with those. #GOTTCANTGETEMRIGHT..I might change my name to wornoutstatefan#2000

          • wornoutstatefan

            January 13, 2017 at 8:46 pm

            I agree with this 100%. TH3 has to be tired as hell after that play. (suicides are a great comparison) Everyone else looks like their feet are nailed to the floor. No movement at all. You HAVE to move to get open, no way around it. Where are the back door cuts? (we ran these flawlessly in VT game) DSJ needs to dribble/drive/kick more. He’s going to draw a 2nd defender every time.

          • Pack Insider Staff

            January 13, 2017 at 9:09 pm

            I agree. Gottfried needs to vary his approach to cater to his team’s strength. His offense will work once the players mold into those roles, but will it be too late? Defensively, the guys are too anxious, pressing up too far and getting blown by and our bigs help and get out of position. Let guys shoot over you (with a hand up). If they beat u that way then fine. but the blow-bys kill us.

        • RIZ DOLLA

          January 13, 2017 at 7:56 pm

          Yes mad at the comment that the performance was acceptable to him. Questions should be why to we have turnover? Is it because we dont space the floor and it makes it easy to defend us? Are we putting players in a position to where they have the best chance at a good shot selection and if not is the second option in position to receive the ball. Its like he is saying its ok that I dont have my

          • RIZ DOLLA

            January 13, 2017 at 7:57 pm

            team ready. They are freshman they are young etc. You know what there are alot of freshmen and sophomores in this league that are playing well. Why arent we?

          • Pack Insider Staff

            January 13, 2017 at 9:03 pm

            Show me a team of freshman/sophomores that are void of a true veteran leader that is not facing the same struggles as NC State (outside of Kentucky). This team isn’t missing talent, it’s missing on-floor leadership from a vet. The closest we have to that is Terry Henderson and this is his first year playing in the ACC so he’s learning too. Abu could/should step up in this role, but he hasn’t.

        • packbackr04

          January 13, 2017 at 7:58 pm

          and the point is… in season 6. that is not good enough. end of discussion

        • RIZ DOLLA

          January 13, 2017 at 8:15 pm

          If that was the best performance it was still terrible. Thats why we didnt win the game. Was it even entertaining to you? I understand you are a fan like the rest of us but you have to see that we have talent but things just arent right. Meeks and Anya came in the same year. Meeks lost weight, imporved game & Anya fat and out of shape you reward him with time and keep Kapita on the bench.

          • Pack Insider Staff

            January 13, 2017 at 8:42 pm

            What do you think we do here? Do you think we just spout off as a propaganda piece for the coaching staff? When we hire people to write, one condition (at least for those who write basketball analysis) is that they have had to have played competitive basketball and understand offensive/defensive schemes. It’s why we probably have the most typos of any publication out there. (con’t)

          • Pack Insider Staff

            January 13, 2017 at 8:44 pm

            We hire basketball players, not writers. There are plenty of talking heads out there who comment on college basketball without haveing any experience inside a real program. We’d rather have writers who give insight and understand the game inside and out. That being said, what we are doing is giving you the best analysis we can. It’s not simple cut and dry “Play better, play smarter.” (con’t)

          • Pack Insider Staff

            January 13, 2017 at 8:46 pm

            We understand this is a high-pressure season for Gottfried. Tons of talent. Little to no experience. It’s a true challenge. The coaching staff has worked Anya’s ass off. They had him down 30 some pounds this offseason…he decided to go home and gain it back. Gott’s fault? No. But he can bench Anya, which he was doing until Anya started giving him decent minutes. (con’t)

          • Pack Insider Staff

            January 13, 2017 at 8:48 pm

            He could just simply play Kapita. But Kapita is lost on defense and still doesn’t understand the offense. Sure he plays hard and given the minutes could become a true force, but the pressure is on for Gott to win now. You want him to play Kapita and groom him during ACC play even if it means losses? My guess is that everyone would be down his neck about this not being a year to groom a freshman.

          • Pack Insider Staff

            January 13, 2017 at 8:52 pm

            It’s very easy to point blame, but where is the solution? Play Kapita! Bench this guy! Punish that guy! That’s bush-league sideline coaching. This team needs to find confidence and once they do that they need to groom a ‘us against the world, chip on their shoulder’ attitude. How do you create that? Just tell them to do it? Nope. Doesn’t work. You have to take advantage of teaching moments…

          • Pack Insider Staff

            January 13, 2017 at 8:57 pm

            It’s too early to see if that’s going to happen. This team played nobody in nonconference play. Played ok against Creighton actually, picked up and won a few after, then fell flat against Illinois, but won a bunch after that. This is their first stretch of being beat down. Let’s see how they rebound from this. The next 3 game home stretch will tell us a lot.

          • wornoutstatefan

            January 13, 2017 at 9:22 pm

            Don’t get us wrong. We def appreciate the commentary from this site and it’s contributors. I think that we are all frustrated that it takes Gott more than half a season (typically) to get his teams to play as a cohesive unit. Why is that? I don’t have that answer. What I do know, is that what we often seen throughout the early season and sometimes later into the season, is a team with (continued)

          • wornoutstatefan

            January 13, 2017 at 9:26 pm

            poor defensive effort, little-to-no offensive movement without the ball, the same damn offensive play ran way too many times with the same results (turnover or horrible shot selection), slow getting back on defense, no help defense, etc. I’m not sure what they are doing in practice, but they need to be learning some offensive sets that involve multiple people moving without the ball (cont)

          • wornoutstatefan

            January 13, 2017 at 9:28 pm

            dribble-drive penetration and kick to the open man, sprinting back on defense, help defense, and rebounding. All of these things are things that I consistently see Gott teams struggle with. He has arguably the best pg in the league, but it seems as though he just uses him to stand at the top of the key and pass the ball. When he does decide to drive to the basket, (cont)

          • wornoutstatefan

            January 13, 2017 at 9:31 pm

            great things usually happen. I think all that RIZ and myself were saying about Kapita is that he is one guy that seems to leave it all out on the court every time he plays. Energy can be contagious. Anya had one strong performance and he seems to now be getting way more minutes than he should. I’m going to end this one here b/c I’ve rambled to long now. Here’s to hoping this home stretch helps!

          • RIZ DOLLA

            January 13, 2017 at 9:36 pm

            Correct

          • Pack Insider Staff

            January 13, 2017 at 9:49 pm

            I don’t disagree. I think Gottfried’s teams always struggle defensively. That is concerning for me. Offensively, the UCLA offense works. It’s been proven to work for years, however the team has to buy in. They have to set REAL screen, they have to learn how to go shoulder to shoulder off of those screens. Set up cuts, cut hard.

          • Pack Insider Staff

            January 13, 2017 at 9:50 pm

            Little things matter in this offense and young guys struggle picking that up. I think they’ll round into form, the question is, will it be too late. I understand the frustration, but I also think this team gets a little more time before we jump down their throats. Gott has had good years and bad years, but mostly good. I just want to give the guy some rope and let him figure it out before I judge.

          • Jeff Tyson

            January 14, 2017 at 12:58 am

            Honest question, PI. Since Gott has been here I’ve heard how great the UCLA offense is but how it takes time to learn. In this age of one and dones and transfers, does it really make sense to stick to this approach? Other more modern methods seem to be easier for new players to learn and therefore run effectively. To me, this is Gott’s biggest issue. (con’t)

          • Jeff Tyson

            January 14, 2017 at 1:00 am

            He’s dying on the hill sticking to an approach that requires a lot of finesse and experience to be effective. Do you think he should explore other methods or stick to his guns?

          • RIZ DOLLA

            January 13, 2017 at 9:35 pm

            Basically…

          • wolfpack74

            January 20, 2017 at 12:36 am

            Please name your writers and where and how long they played high school, college, or professional basketball. If you can’t then STFU.

          • wolfpack74

            January 20, 2017 at 12:34 am

            Some of your staff that have written basketball articles have not played competitive basketball unless you count middle school. Please don’t hand up this holier than thou bull$hit. Ball boys don’t count either.

      • wornoutstatefan

        January 13, 2017 at 5:02 pm

        That’s due to BC being no where near as athletic as those other two teams. We’re just not very disciplined. Our athleticism alone should have allowed us to outplay BC, however, we just look lazy. I figured after getting demolished by the cheats, we’d come out with some passion to shut up the naysayers. Not the case, just lethargic. VT was by far our best effort and shows our capability.

        • RIZ DOLLA

          January 13, 2017 at 7:52 pm

          agreed

    • RIZ DOLLA

      January 13, 2017 at 7:53 pm

      I second that..

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