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Steve Lavin coaching update: we need a resolution

It's been too long to decide one of the worst-kept secrets around St. John's whether Steve Lavin returns to the program or not.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Here's what we know right now - nothing is clear.

Rumors were that St. John's head coach Steve Lavin was likely on his way out.

Then the rumor was that he had an extension in the works and was in talks with the administration - possibly a three-year deal.

And now, from the NY Daily News, what seems to be truest of all about the Lavin coaching situation is that there is no resolution for the coach with one year left on his contract.

Lavin has been a part of ongoing conversations with other school administrators regarding a possible contract extension and they continued on campus Wednesday. The contract talks have been part of evaluations that are conducted at the end of every season. But two sources told The News there is no agreement, as some published reports suggested.

"Anyone using terms like 'finalize' or 'closing in on' a deal is making a guess," one of the sources said. "Could the sides agree to one? Yes. It doesn't mean they will. Steve hasn't even sat down with the president yet."

So, basically, where we are at is the place where sources seemingly pro-Lavin continuing and against Lavin continuing as head coach are swapping stories to the media - and telling different tales about the certainty of Steve Lavin's return.

All this, in a week where the head coaching job at Mississippi State has been filled by Ben Howland and jobs are open at DePaul, Arizona State, Alabama, Fordham and George Mason. (Yes, other jobs are open, but those six open positions are likely schools where the pool of coaches St. John's should consider will also receive interest.)

It's not a deep or wild pool of coaching changes, but the slow decision from St. John's decision-makers is not encouraging.

Rumors are broadcast nationally, besmirching the name of both the school and the current head coach - hindering the appearance of a well-run decision-making machine, which prospective coaches will look at. Each day that Lavin is essentially twisting in the wind is a day that he and his staff aren't using to replenish a near-empty roster for next season.

It's not as if the extension wasn't an issue at the end of last season. And there were rumors that Steve Lavin's job would be under scrutiny this year.

If the Athletic Director and administrators had criteria for bringing Lavin back or not, those check boxes should be marked, and the framework for the budget for either extending the coach or buying him out should have been created.

Jon Rothstein hits the nail square on the head:

Observations: ...why it's time for St. John's to make a decision -
3. It's time for St. John's to make an official decision on Steve Lavin This is starting to get ridiculous. The Red Storm's administration has hemmed and hawed for almost a week on their head coach's future and that's not fair to Lavin or his staff.

Despite reaching the NCAA Tournament for the second time in five years it's clear that St. John's is undecided whether it truly wants Lavin to continue. There were several reports on Wednesday that Lavin was in talks with the school for a multiyear extension, but sources told that those reports may be premature.

A word to the wise: Decide what you want to do quickly. The longer it drags on the worse it looks for the university.

A plethora of institutions have ended their seasons and announced coaching changes within a day of their final game, but it appears that things move at a slower pace at St. John's. I've always wondered why St. John's hasn't won an NCAA Tournament game since 1999. Now I think I'm beginning to understand. If you don't have an administration that has clarity and is in order, you can't win basketball games. The two go hand in hand.

It's good for a program to be thoughtful about their decision, but a decision needs to be made. This Hamlet-ian inaction, this dithering is as bad or worse as it would be to hire a neophyte on name recognition only or hiring a coach only because of his New York roots.

Like Aaliyah sang, we need a resolution.