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April 15, 2009


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Through the 80's under Coach Haskins the Miners had transfers almost every year. Chris Sandle, Chris Blocker, Mike Richmond, Greg Foster...Did Miner fans warm up to them? Absolutely!

Under BG, the Miners brought in a class that was almost exclusively transfers. Omar Thomas, Fili Rivera, and Jason Williams were all from JC's. Did Miner fans warm up to them? You guessed it.

It seems that somebody doesn't like Barbee. In the end, it doesn't really matter if the coach has a warm, fuzzy personality.

Look at Bobby Knight. He was one of the hardest people to get along with in the history of the game. Yet he was loved at IU. Why? He won ballgames. He won championships.

I don't think UTEP fans should worry if they can sit down for coffee and share a few laughs with Barbee.


Winning cures all ills. Bobby Knight is the perfect example. Unfortunately for Barbee, he hasn't really won yet. And no, I'm not counting the faux tournament called the CBI as any measure of success whatsoever.

I'm fine with transfers if they work out and the team wins. If they don't, then there will be issues down the road, past the time when Barbee will be here to deal with them.

Next season better be a good one.


CLEOFITZWITZ you should just take over the blog after punking Joe like that you'll do us all a favor. Think about it...


I like Joe's blog. He takes shots at UTEP and it's fans and we fire right back. Ok, I do agree with him once in a while.


I dont mind the transfers, but I am concerned about UTEP only having 2 underclassman next year.

IMO the loss of Jones was unexpected, but we may be mortgaging the future for a two year run... is two good years (and I mean NCAA years) worth rebuilding again in 4 years?

The Gillespie cycle looks like it will run its course again.


I like Muench's opinions, they state the devil's avocate side of Utep Athletics. Why would anyone want a blog or someone writing a blog to be all nice and rosey. The truth is, there are many things that can be changed with Utep Athletics. Deep down I believe Joe like any other El Pasoan wants to see a great product from Utep Football and Utep Basketball. Opinions stir up debate and sometimes changes.

Keep doing what your doing Joe.


Kudos to Barbee for getting these transfers. Our experiences with transfers at NMSU has been mixed. Billy Keyes is perhaps the best PG NMSU ever had, and he (among others) was a transfer after Eastern Illinois shut down their team in 1998. Also, Eric Channing, the leading scorer in NMSU history was a transfer from the same program.

NMSU has also had complete bombs who were transfers. Duane John was a transfer from Missouri, and formerly the number 2 ranked player in Canada in high school, and he never panned out for the Aggies.

The reality for schools like NMSU and UTEP is that we have to rely on transfers, often times from bigger schools, to put up a competitive team. These guys UTEP are getting would not have come to UTEP out of high school, but now Barbee is getting them. The NMSU VB team, which has been dominant for several years now, gets a transfer or two from big-name schools every year, who go on to have successful careers at NMSU.

The key is to get the best players that are available. If that means you have to get transfers, so be it.

just a thought

This list and the returnees makes for the most pure basketball talent in...well? I don't know how long. Maybe Joe or CLEO can answer that.


The 1988-89 Miners had a roster of Hardaway, Antonio Davis, Greg Foster (UCLA transfer), Prince Stewart, Jerry Johnson (KU transfer), David Van Dyke, Mark McCall, Johnny Melvin, Arlandis Rush, Francis Ezenwa, Rodney McCoy and Riverside volleyball coach Merle Heimer.

That's 3 NBA players and some solid if not spectacular backups in McCall and Van Dyke.

Stewart was recruited as a 3 point shooter but Haskins ragged on him for his poor defense. He eventually became one of UTEP's great defensive players. He turned Davis from project to All WAC player. Tim Hardaway was Tim Hardaway. He was the best high school guard coming out of Chicago but was passed up because he was 6 ft ish.

A very talented team that ran into a poor stylistic matchup in Indiana. We should have gone further in the NCAA.

Pick Ax

I love the new recruits. Our immediate future looks bright. Can't wait to cheer this guys on.

Pick Ax

just a thought

Thanks CLEO, great history. Great players back then with a Coach(ency) that knew how to handle his roster. Barbee has always been around moderate to great talent. Now he just has to make this chemistry experiment translate to wins.

Juan Terra

There is devil's advocate and then there is Joe's brand of junk. No, Muench does not care for UTEP. The guy is an Aggie, has always been an Aggie and should really write for the Las Cruces rag. The only reason he remains employed (it certainly is not due to his questionable journalistic talent) is that the Times is a newspaper wholly out of touch with the sensibilities of the community. The "Tio Taco" editors probably keep him around just to annoy those of us who love our city and perpetuate the "loser" label that has hung over El Paso because we have the "misfortune" of being a predominantly Hispanic community.

John Holliday

Right On Juan! That's what I'm talking about! There will come a time when Joe "Pendejadas" Muenchy will see that Barbee will make him eat his words served on a jumbo platter! Oh and Joe, learn how to spell first before posting a blog topic. I'm sure that is what they are paying you for. Go Miners!



You can tell Juan Terra and John Holliday "scoreboard" meaning how long have you been part of this paper. I remember reading your columns long before the internet and these type of blogs. If by chance you retire or stop blogging, it was a great run. Of course, the spin will be you were run off.

Keep blogging and planting seeds of change.

Juan Terra

Miner 1985,

I know how long Muench has been with the Times. I have played and coached sports (as well as taught) in El Paso and other parts of Texas for nearly twenty years, so I am well acquainted with Muench's constant barrage of vitriolic negativity against UTEP athletics. If Kirk Bohl's, down at the Austin American Statesman, had behaved the way Muench has toward the University of Texas, he would have been run out of town. Bohl's is balanced in his outlook and has never shied from criticizing the University when it needed to be, but he also complemented when the school deserved kudos (and for those who have short memories, the 90's were not the best years of UT football or men's basketball). For those of us who have read the Times all these years to keep up with the sport's scene back in El Paso, it is immediately apparent that Muench supports NMSU. Since he is unable to evaluate or comment objectively on UTEP athletics, I do believe that he merits replacement with someone that doesn't hold a deep seated antipathy to the program. As a "professional" journalist, it would be honorable for him to acknowledge his inability to deliver balanced commentary on UTEP athletics and allow another sports journalist the opportunity to offer the readers of the Times a more objective product. Since he loves NMSU, he should confine his commentary to NMSU. But before he does, he should study a real sport’s journalists like Bohl's so that he can learn what quality reporting and commentary should be presented. On a final note to "Miner 1985", you should proofread your comments. If you are going to defend someone's writing skills, it would usually be a good idea to appear literate on your part.


I sure hope you still don't teach, you are not setting a good example to your students or your last name by your words:

If you are going to defend someone's writing skills, it would usually be a good idea to appear literate on your part.

I was not defending his writing skills, or I am not a writer myself (as you pointed out), I was simply defending his "right" is his opinion, and his longevity with the El Paso times. Many people agree with Joe's opinions. Juan, while we are at it, what constitutes a "real" sports journalist? Someone who shares your opionions I am sure would be your answer.

God bless you.


You tell him Juan !!!!!! Pounce on Miner1985

Juan Terra

Miner 1985 (or Joe Muench),

Actually I teach in higher education. Don't let the name fool you, I do not doubt that it would be confusing for some people like yourself to see that there are Hispanics who have earned advanced degrees. If you actually read carefully you would see that my problem with Muench is not about opinions but journalistic integrity. He posits himself as someone interested in the community and the school, when in essence his main goal is to tear down without really offering a modicum of constructive criticism. I posit Bohl's as a good example, because I do not always agree with him, but he is generally balanced when reporting or commenting over both the University of Texas and Texas A&M. In other words he doesn't engage in the blatant journalistic dishonesty that marks Muench's work. On a final note, while it is possible I missed a random coma in my earlier post, its content is considerebly more coherent than your earlier comment to my first post. An earlier post had made a comment over the all to frequent editorial gaffs that have become endemic in the El Paso Times and of course make readers question the proffesionalism of the paper and its staff. While I respect your right to defend Muench you do have to admit that it was your decision to make matters personal. In essence you are criticizing me without addressing the argument I presented against Muench's work. Thus if you are going to defend Muench, address or refute the case laid before you. Otherwise, if you resort to some cryptic name calling, then why would you be surprised if someone calls you out?


Juan or Mr. Terra, It is nice to see you pulled out the dictionary on this one, or not since you are a "Hispanic with an advanced degree". You understood my first post and my last post, eventhough the writing was not at your level since you are a "Hispanic with an advanced degree". Little poor ole hispanic me, not a "Hispanic with an advanced degree" should not comment on BLOGS correct? I may not know you, but I know your type. You use the Hispanic angle only when it benefits you.

I can tell you the 95% of El Pasoans don't relate to someone like you, a "Hispanic with an advanced degree".

If it makes you feel better to put down a "fellow" hispanic, go at it Mr. Terra.

No I was not confused by either post.


Could Juan Terra really be Juan Guerra from Utep faculty?

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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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