“The Rivalry” between Lafayette College and Lehigh University dates back to the 19th century, but it’s dead now. Lafayette’s ineptitude has killed it. Lehigh has merely taken advantage of the obvious.
Lehigh’s men’s and women’s basketball teams have swept the last four regular-season series over the Leopards. Yes, 8-0, both of them. This gives Lehigh’s Brett Reed and Sue Troyan the chance to say nice things about Lafayette coaches Fran O’Hanlon and Kia Damon.
Women’s coach Damon is in only her second year, so she’s not responsible for the decades of poor performance. She hasn’t turned it around yet either. Things are no better than last year.
O’Hanlon is approaching a quarter century of mediocrity or worse, so he’s fair game. What’s the problem with recruiting and coaching? It’s right there on the bench. This is the Patriot League, not the Big 10 or the Big East or the Southeastern Conference.
O’Hanlon is 324-393 at Lafayette. Athletic Director Sherryta Freeman, are you paying attention? Do you expect some kind of sudden change in this team’s direction while keeping the same failed leadership?
Then there’s football, the third sport that actually matters. Baseball and softball, best left unsaid.
Head Football Coach John Garrett has just two years in, but he’s lost to Lehigh twice, and the last was a 34-3 disaster. Lehigh has won the last four games. Lafayette’s last win was glorious, a 27-7 walloping at Yankee Stadium in 2014.
Since then, Lehigh is 4-0 with a cumulative scoring edge of 166-90.
Meanwhile, Lafayette Athletic Director Sherryta Freeman has been on the job for a year. In that time, she has terminated one coach (women’s volleyball, of all things) and announced a plan, “Building a Championship Culture.”
Her efforts have been woefully inadequate. Lafayette needs to fire coaches, cut sports, focus on what matters, or make the big step: Go to Division 3.
Or, just drop all sports.
What’s going on is a slow death. If that’s the goal, make it a quick one.