We all knew that Bobby Gonzalez was dismissed last March because of things that occurred off the court (mostly). What we didn't know until today was the exact nature of those things.
Adam Zagoria of SNY.tv and Zagsblog.com reported that one of the major things that ousted Gonzo was a profanity laced tirade at not just JP Pelzman of the Bergen Record, but also at Patrick Hobbs, the SHU Law School Dean who is overseeing the basketball programs at Seton Hall.
It's safe to say that the plot has officially thickened.
Gonzalez is currently in the process of suing the Hall for the remainder of his contract, which he says he is owed. Seton Hall's stance is that he breached the contract, and is thus owed nothing.
The counterclaim states that Gonzalez committed "malicious and repeated breaches of his Employment Agreement during the 2009-2010 basketball season."It also says that Gonzo owes Seton Hall $50,000 from an outstanding loan given to Gonzalez in 2006.
But the really interesting development is what Gonzalez did prior to his firing, according to the counterclaim. According to the court documents obtained by SNY, Gonzalez fired two separate profane tirades: one at Pelzman, the second at Hobbs. The Pelzman tirade was related to comments made by former Pirate Robert Mitchell when Pelzman called Gonzalez to inform him of the comments, which led to the tirade. Dean Hobbs received word of this, and called Gonzalez to ask him about it shortly thereafter. This led to another tirade, which according to the documents included this rather shocking quote, even for Gonzo:
"Nobody's gonna tell me how to run my motherf---ing program. Not you, not Monsignor, not Joe Quinlan. This is my f---ing program. My f---ing program."
Follow the jump for more commentary from JP:
I'll let that sink in for a moment.
Here's more from the documents: "Predictably, Coach Gonzalez's termination for cause followed shortly thereafter - he was fired effective immediately on March 17, 2010, and his termination was memorialized in the Termination Letter two days later, on March 19, 2010 - as does this action for compensatory and punitive damages to redress the harm wrought by his flagrant and appalling disregard for his contractual obligations to Seton Hall."
"Coach Gonzalez earned a public reputation for obnoxious, combative and irresponsible behavior... He antagonized players, coaches and Seton Hall and Big East Conference officials and developed an adversarial and at times ugly relationship with the sports media."
"As his reputation grew worse and worse, he grew more and more defiant," the counterclaim states. "Eventually, Dean Hobbs. .. came reluctantly to the conclusion that Coach Gonzalez was simply an unmanageable, self-destructive individual who was either unwilling or unable (or both) to honor the conduct provisions of his Employment Agreement.
"In March 2010, Dean Hobbs correctly determined, based upon his close observation of and contact with Coach Gonzalez throughout the entire 2009-2010 basketball season, that he simply could not be trusted with furthering and safeguarding Seton Hall's mission, integrity and reputation as a Catholic university and a member of the NCAA and the Big East, and that the University had no choice but to terminate him."
If this isn't the end of Bobby Gonzalez as a coach, I don't know what will be.
If this counterclaim holds up, Gonzo will never be hired again. I don't care what Gonzo said in his video interview with Brendan Prunty of the Star Ledger. Sure, other coaches have done worse personal actions, but you don't hear about those guys cursing out their bosses. I thought his statement that Monsignor Robert Sheeran (the outgoing President of Seton Hall) should be ashamed of himself was the worst it could get. Needless to say, I was wrong.
I am ashamed to have ever rooted for him to have success on or off the court. To actually think that the Pirates were "his motherf---ing program" is such a misguided statement it blows my mind every time I even consider it. Gonzo actually thought it was his program after FOUR YEARS. Four.
It's SETON HALL'S Basketball Program. Not Gonzo's. It never was Gonzo's program. It will never be Willard's program, nor will it belong to any of the future Pirate head coaches. It is Seton Hall's program. Just because the institution hires you to head up the program for a while does not by any means make it yours. If it was Gonzo's program, he wouldn't have to answer to anyone. But he did, and it was ultimately his downfall.
This is just further proof of what we already know: the man is nuts.