Has St. John's hoops suffered from having dorms?
Thanks to Baumbach (Class of '00) for pointing out this thorough Seth Davis piece on the decline of the St. John's hoops program.
It's strange to recall now that when I covered the Redmen/Red Storm in the early 1990s we handled them much like a pro beat, with previews, features, coverage of every road game, etc.
The most interesting thing about this piece is the reference to the disappearance of the little-known St. John's recruiting wild card in which the school was permitted to hand out cash to players in the form of a housing stipend because it used to lack dorms.
The payments were perfectly legal, including the option of simply pocketing the money and living with one's parents.
In my final major act on the beat I wrote a long story on this subject that landed on Newsday's back page - with a misleadingly inflammatory headline and a full-page picture of dollar bills - the day before the 1995 Big East Tournament began.
School officials were profoundly unamused.
(UPDATE: Here's Baumbach's take on this.)