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Women's Hoops

The latest news and analysis on college and pro women's basketball.

February 11, 2009 at 4:28 PM

Mailbag: Is it fair for Washington to fire coach Tia Jackson?

Husky.jpgDale, a reader who’s a 1981 Washington alum, wanted some insights on coach Tia Jackson’s possibility of being fired since I blogged that few coaches make it out of a 10-game losing streak alive. And looking over the schedule, the Huskies only have about four chances to end this growing school record for defeats — beginning Thursday against Oregon State (13-8, 4-7 Pac-10).
“The money [on our backs] is now a gorilla,” junior guard Sami Whitcomb said.
I spoke with AD Scott Woodward, again, about Jackson and he gave the same word he did when the team had record defeats against No. 1 Connecticut (58-points) and No. 6 Stanford (77-points). He’s going to wait until the end of the season to evaluate the program and while senior associate AD Stephanie Rempe is in closer contact with Jackson, he doesn’t get the feel that the players aren’t improving or enjoying their university experience. Woodward also emphasized that “it’s still very early in her tenure.”
And it is. Yes, this is bad. But turning the coaching position into a revolving door isn’t going to get results — players will. One thing this group does seem to have is pride. They don’t seem to work hard enough on their own to improve, I rarely see them taking shots outside of practice like I used to see Cameo Hicks and Kristen O’Neill do all the time. But Whitcomb and others say it happens “when they can.”
Jackson only has one remaining scholarship and said that will only be used for a gem. Otherwise this is the group that will be back for 2009-10 with one addition in Spokane’s Jeneva Anderson. It seems fair to see what this season’s welts do to build character and what Jackson can do in a second full season with her own roster (third overall).
But I only believe that if this team continues to show its marginal improvement against the Oregon schools and redeems itself against Arizona. That means win.
Washington still has a chance to finish seventh in the conference. It will have been an awful road to get there, but what was predicted by media and coaches to begin the season. Why should Jackson be fired for that?

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