By Joe Pantorno, Assistant Sports Editor
The first word that pops into my mind is letdown. For my first year at Hofstra, I was given the privilege to follow the football team for what I didn't know was its final season, a somewhat disappointing men's lacrosse team, and a wrestling team mangled with injuries. The one bright spot that I was able to take out of my sporting adventures was the possibility of having a very successful men's basketball program with the hiring of Tim Welsh.
In a year of many shocking moves here in Hempstead, I finally thought we were in the clear and looking towards a new era in sports, but our new basketball coach found a way to sign his name on my list of the numerous catastrophes that have occurred to Hofstra Athletics.
I know we wouldn't be winning any national championships any time soon, but this Tim Welsh guy was a stud. He had valuable coaching experience and has made it to the big time with relatively small programs. He was supposed to be our new savior. The Pride could have been winning the CAA every year and all the top high school recruits would WANT to come here.
Now we all know the story of what happened. A little too much wine, a set of car keys, and a nap at a green light and our savior was gone with the wind. Do I personally think Welsh should have been fired? Absolutely. No one is above the law and a DWI is a very serious offense. If any other employee on the coaching staff were to commit this crime, they would've been fired on the spot, but the big name gets a little more time.
Hofstra did act quickly as they immediately suspended Welsh without pay, and apparently he just "resigned". I'll take that resignation with a grain of salt though because I have a feeling Hofstra made him step down, an action that I don't disagree with. If the University kept him here, it is sending a wrong idea out to the players and the students that live and die with this team. I mean, if coach could get away with it, why can't I?
He has ruined his name because now other schools will be reluctant to hire him and ESPN will probably not give him his job back. I had the privilege of talking to him and I've never been in a more engaged conversation, so there is a twinge of pity on him because it is unfortunate for something like this to happen to such a good guy. With that being said, he still was given the responsibility to teach young adults not only the game of basketball, but how to act as a human being in society and within the first month of his tenure, he failed miserably.