I am one of the proud, and one of the few, who gave purple-and-gold blood to LSU back during some of the basketball glory years.
I saw the incredible rise from absolutely nothing, to LSU’s storied national prominence at a time when athletics at LSU was spring football, the football season and football recruiting.
Now, in 2013, 18 years after he retired, LSU is finally poised to induct the legendary basketball coach Dale Brown into the LSU Hall of Fame. They hung a banner for him in 2004, almost 10 years ago: ... Two Final Fours, 448 wins, “beat Kentucky more than anybody,” 25 years of doing what nobody else did at any SEC school and now, in every newspaper story written, it’s “Legendary LSU Coach Dale Brown.”
Dale Brown, to this day, is probably the finest example of an ambassador for LSU than any other man or woman in LSU history.
And those of us still around are in dismay. Why on Earth did they never name the floor of the Pete Maravich Assembly Center after the him — the “Dale Brown Arena”? Please don’t tell me that they are going to wait until the man dies to name the floor after him.
A lot of the LSU athletic folks, Alleva, Miles, Mainieri, etc. came long after the glory days of LSU basketball and have no concept of the 14,000 delirious fans game after game and the buzz throughout the city of Baton Rouge and South Louisiana for a long, long stretch during his 25 years as head coach.
He fought the injustices of the NCAA for years, and (lo and behold) was proven right all along when the NCAA was recently exposed in so-called Miami enforcement investigations. Eighteen years after he retired, national sportswriters are saying now, and I quote, “Dale Brown, the Preacher Man in Tennis Shoes, was right all along.”
If LSU can name a street and a new playing field after Skip, and name the Assembly Center after Pete, and erect a statue after Shaq, then there is no earthly reason on Earth why they can’t name the basketball floor after Dale Brown.
Speaking for a lot of LSU fans, we pray that they do.
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