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April 02, 2009


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Choco MiRoco

Ever wonder why they tied a piece of meat to your neck when you were a kid?


I really don't care what Barbee or any coach says about his reasons for staying. We all know that if they have any success, they are going to be offered more money at another school. It's understood. He could be truthful and say he's using us as a stepping stone to further his career. That wouldn't come off very well so the I love El Paso line will do for now.


Typical that Joe makes no mention of the sellout crowd or the 6000 tickets sold last night after the game.

No mention of Stefon Jackson who is a legit Miner great. No mention that our sophmores and freshmen who are returning next year are getting better with every game. No mention of the excitement that could snowball into next season from this lowly CBI tournament. Not even a jab at the Miners lack of defense or joke of an offense.

I guess it's better for you if you pretend the CBI is not there.


Miner fans were backed up to Taco Tote waiting in line for tickets last night AFTER the game.
The Don was rocking. The basketball game was fun to watch. And you gotta slam Barbee?
Go rag on Cobos or Melina, and leave the sports beat to Bill Knight, or ever Jay K for that matter.

Eddie V.

Hey Muench why dont you say something positive about miner basketball once in a while. Oh wait, i forgot that you have "beef" with coach Barbee. Well, just wanted to let you know that we love and support coach Barbee even if he were to leave utep. In fact, i could care less what Billy or Doc said before they left. Why dont you go find something better to write about. Oh and well you're at it, make it sound educated for once.

Toasted Whitebred

This bandwagon is getting crowded. I long for the good ole days of last week.


Keep it rockin' Joe. It's hard to hear the truth sometimes but someone has to say it to bring things into perspective. Although a column praising fan support these past couple of weeks would have been nice, you have to get better at knowing when to play the Scrooge card. Anyway, I truly do enjoy your column and Go Miners!


I think that Joe is right for once. He is actually commenting on legit news. I am torn as to whether Barbee should leave or not. My only beef is that they don't play lock down defense. They are athletic enough, but the players need to bring it. He (Barbee)might be on the verge of something with their success in the CBI. The Admin and boosters need to pony up with the dollars and pay to keep someone here. If he leaves great we should go after Johnny Jones at North Texas. His style would fit the players we have (lots of offense not much defense)and he turned a total wreck of a program into 20+ game winner three years in a row. He has stayed where there is little pay and UTEP would be a step up if the money is right.

johnny memphis

well by the way the miner's defense played the first half last night, i was certain he already told his players he was going to leave.

but... they came out with a fire in the 2nd...


maybe wanted to take him out on one last hurrah? or they just started flat...


buncha miner whiners. the article was ABOUT THE COACH and right now that's more relevant than a THIRD TIER tourney.

in case you had forgotten, yes it's cool that UTEP might win the CBI, the important thing is having a coach around long enough to build the program into an NCAA tourney contender.

with all the coaching changes taking place, and barbee's connections to them, as well as the similar comments of past coaches it is fair to speculate on his future here.

of course most of the so called miner "fans" probably didn't even know anything about the shakeup at kentucky and its effects on CUSA until yesterday.


I completely agree with your assessment and take on Coach Barbee, I actually posted the same comment yesterday ( were you reading my take, lol)

Utep fans, its great Utep won, and the lines for tickets was long, but lets not forget this is the CBI ?? Not NIT or NCAA

A little late for this year (fans and coach) but MINER FANS deserve and should know where the Coach actually stands on leaving or staying. The momentum that he has going now could be all for not.


Toasted is right, its funny how now everyone loves Barbee now and Joe sees this and is using it to prey on everyones fears.

People, the only one creating this speculation is Joe himself. If you guys would actually look at the news coming out of Memphis and stop getting it from Joe, you will see that Memphis is going after bigger dogs.They have tons of money to spend and they will use it on a proven coach.

And guess what, they want Bruce Pearl from Tennessee.

Barbee won't even get a phone call from Memphis, so stop believing Joe's speculation. The only person who wanted Barbee in Memphis was Calipari. And they are not listening to his suggestion.

So can we stop this speculation. Its not gonna happen.

Joe Muench = Old El Paso thinking.

Joe Muench; do you realize that his first year he had Doc Sadlers recruits, and as we can see he did not have much there. Our talent has increased alot since he has been here. Joe said that we would or could not run the Memphis offense since our talent is subpar to Memphis. How do you explain Moultrie, and the talks about him potentially being an NBA player because of his great talent. Joe is a total fool.


Bottom line, CTB will leave when the bigger schools come calling, I just hope its later, not sooner.

It doesnt matter what he says...just the nature of the business.

Memphis lost Coach Cal, so it happens everywhere.

I only ask he gives us one good run, seems like we have the players in place for a few years to come...and what I saw last night was hopefully the revival of this basketball program and a revival in the way CTB is perceived by the city.

Plus I think many people overlook what Bob Stull means to UTEP. To the best of my knowledge, he has made some solid coaching hires and never let the program fall into complete obsurity (BCG and Doc moved on to bigger programs and Utep's win total has improved every year CTB has been coach.

Did he hire RAB? that was probably the one misfire...

just a thought

Speculation on what a coach is/is not going to do is a funny thing. For those of you saying what a coach will do is even more hilarious. When I speculate on a W/L before a game or season I know what's on the table. A coaching career is WAY different. You don't know the coach's goals or aspirations which change for us all many times a year.

Just last week some of you were saying that Calipari would NEVER take the Kentucky job. Good job with that one. The only people that know what a coach is going to do is the coach and maybe his wife/girlfriend. So unless you qualify as either one of the aforementioned your comments mean absolutely nothing.

Good job by the Miners last night. The CBI helps our team development for next year and gives UTEP exposure via national highlights (sometimes). I must also rain on the parade by mentioning that the rest of the country save OSU thinks the CBI is a joke. At the end of the day the tournament sells tickets and El Pasoans are buying; hook, line and jumper.


I don't think many people are thinking the CBI is a big deal tournament. I don't know a lot of people who get juiced for the NIT unless their team is playing and even that is bittersweet because all those teams had NCAA dreams.

But it is competition and if you have competed before or are a diehard fan, this is good stuff. It's helping our players prepare for next year. It's not the tournament we wanted but we're in it to win it. If you don't understand that, you never will.


It doesn't matter what the rest of the country thinks of this tournament or whether its a third tier tournament or whether its a joke.

What matters is what this tournament has done for this University, the basketball program and fans.

First of all, UTEP is now banking it after two straight sell outs. So much for the arguement that this tournament was a waste of money. UTEP just turned it into a big profit.

Second, Look at the level of excitment for this team. This level of excitment has not been seen since maybe the 80 or 90's. I was there for Gillespie and Sadler's tourny teams and the energy at the Don was higher last night then during any home game under the other two guys.

lastly, El Pasoans have finally developed a bond with these players and this coach, a bond that has been lacking since Barbee was hired. Because of this tournament El Paso has now accepted this team and this coach and now considers them one of their own.

None of this would have happened if UTEP didn't accept the bid to the CBI. If UTEP would have chosen to stay home like NMSU, the season would have been considered a huge failure, fans would have still been distant to the players and the team, and people who still have dislike Barbee as their coach.

But now there is this energy and excitment between the school and El Pasoans that will carry into next season.

Oh and the experience for the young team is a plus too.

And all this from a little rinky dink third tier tourny.

Luis Meraz

Talk all you want its true.Ifyou work at taco bell for 6.50, find a better job somewhere else for 10.00 what your not going to jump at it? Thats the way it is. He won't leave us yet, i hope. Barbee I hope you never do. But c'mon guys think about it, we can talk all we want but the more money somewhere else chances are they're goin to leave. The good ole' days of the "Bear" are not here anymore. I bet its awesome to hear as a coach UTEP/Texas Western the only team in Texas to win a National Championship.

just a thought

CLEO and Jon bring up interesting points. From the players' perspective a chance to play another game is second only to winning a championship. The vantage point of a fan is inherently different. Fans want to legitimize their existence and that is why the CBI scrutiny stings for just a little for everyone involved. The truth hurts and it would not if otherwise. Paying your way into a tournament at any level is not right but okay in certain instances.

Stull's gamble paid off. The entry fee has paid for itself and UTEP exposure is something you cannot place a price tag on. OSUs connection to CBI founder Rick Giles also paid off by giving them games to grow on and a chance at championship for a team that went winless not too long ago.

The buzz regarding UTEP basketball is back but it's still way too early to know if this is going to translate into next year or not. El Pasoans ALWAYS flock when a National viewing spotlight is on them (Texas Tech FB, Texas FB, Memphis BB, CBI, Sun Bowl and the list goes on...). Take that camera away and the crickets start chirping. The challenge is for the athletic department to translate this momentum into regular near sellouts for C-USA opponents.


Joe is right. Barbee could have come out and said, "I don't care about any other job than the one I'm doing right now. I'm staying at UTEP regardless of any offers or openings." He didn't do that.

I would say that he is leaving the door open. And if he does take another job, I am happy for the man. If he wants a job somewhere else, he should take it.

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UTEP sports blog: Joe Muench has been a sports writer and a sports editor in El Paso for decades, but he’s best known as the columnist everyone loves to talk about. His UTEP athletics blog starts up the conversation again.

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