Decision-makers remain in Norm’s corner

Though calls for Norm Roberts’ job have become apparent both on campus and online, the statements of the people in charge of the University hirings and firings have remained in Roberts’ corner.

Over the past few weeks, both University President the Rev. Donald J. Harrington and Athletic Director Chris Monasch have come out in defense of the men’s basketball head coach.

Harrington addressed the most recent criticisms of Roberts in a recent interview with the Torch.

“Fair, unfair, I understand why people really want us to win on a regular basis at the top immediately,” Harrington said. “I don’t think anybody’s more in that categroy than Norm Roberts.”

“But I’ve also seen what has to get done to get where we are now, and I think we’ve made great progress, and I have great confidence that Norm is going to be able to bring us back there. He is a fine man and a fine coach.”

On Feb. 20, Monasch was interviewed on a sportstalk radio show by St. John’s alum Mike Francesa.

Like Harrington, Monasch also defended the man who runs the Johnnies.

“Norm will be our coach,” he told Francesa. “He’s had a good recruiting year. With all these players coming back we expect to do very well next year, and beyond that, he’s making more inroads in New York.

“Our two signees this year are both New York players, he’s still involved with some quality players that I can’t discuss.

“I think people have to keep in mind, when Norm got here, there were two Division I players, literally, left in the program.

“I know we haven’t progressed maybe as quickly as some people have wanted us to, but Norm’s done it the right way.”

Monasch also addressed his expectations for next season.

“The trajectory of where we would like to go, and based on the young talent we have, I think making the NCAA Tournament next year is a reasonable goal,” he said.