Saturday, February 11, 2006

Self feels for Snyder, ‘a good person’


Kansas University men's basketball coach Bill Self was saddened Friday to learn Quin Snyder had resigned his head-coaching position at Missouri.

"I've known Quin a long time. He was my roommate in '85," said Self, who lived with Snyder for a couple of weeks when the duo worked Larry Brown's KU basketball camp on the KU campus. "He was a counselor, and I was a coach here at camp."

Self has maintained contact with former Duke player Snyder, who resigned under fire after six-plus seasons at Missouri.

"I think he's a good person and good coach," said Self, who the past three seasons had a 4-2 record versus Snyder's Tigers. Overall, Snyder went 5-10 versus KU.

"I hate that for anybody in the profession," Self said. "Sometimes administrations have to make decisions that benefit more than just an individual. I wish if a decision had come to this it would have been after the season. I would hope he would be given an opportunity to at least finish the season if there was going to be a change."

Self learned of Snyder's decision to resign before practice Friday afternoon.

Lawrence businessman Doug Compton -- a close friend of Snyder's who is godfather to Snyder's 3-year-old son, Owen -- learned of Snyder's fate Friday morning.

"Quin called me last night and said he wanted to talk today. I called him this morning, and he was not there. I talked to his wife, Helen," Compton said. "We had about a half-hour conversation. She told me he was going to resign. I said, 'Just let me know what I can do as a friend to help out any way I can.'

"Quin Snyder is a phenomenal person. He might be one of the most sincere, dedicated friends a person can have. Talk to him and it's all about family," said Compton, who has known Snyder for 20 years. "He, his wife and son, they are like family to me."

After speaking with Helen Snyder, Compton phoned former KU coach Larry Brown -- another close friend who is one of Snyder's mentors -- to inform him of the news. Compton, in fact, phoned Brown right before getting on a plane to Oklahoma City to watch Brown's Knicks play the New Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets.

"I think it's too soon to predict that," Compton said, asked where Snyder would surface. "I think Larry, if he had the place, would love to have him on his staff. We've talked about that before, but I don't want to speak for coach. I think Quin will have an opportunity in the NBA if he wants to do that."

Compton said he recently spent time with Snyder in Columbia, Mo., and indicated at the time the coach seemed worn out by the stress of trying to save his job.

It's been widely speculated Snyder was a lame duck unless the Tigers advanced to the NCAA Tournament. There was talk of his not being back this season.

In fact, at last year's KU-MU game in Lawrence, fans held copies of a two-page spread in the student newspaper with the saying, 'Hey Quin ... You're fired,' prominently displayed next to a picture of Snyder.

Oddly, Compton's property-management development and construction company sponsored the poster series. Compton did not approve of the poster after seeing them unveiled at the game, and he personally apologized to Snyder, who knew his buddy had nothing to do with the message.

"This is his seventh year at Missouri. This season has taken the biggest toll on him," Compton said. "I've been around a lot of coaches. I think the stress of this season has taken the biggest toll on him than any coach I've seen, both physically and emotionally.

"I think some of the fans at Missouri were incredible to him and some unfair to him. You see things on TV. Some fans have even thrown things at him. It's sad to see it happen to such a good individual."

There have been rumors about Snyder's personal life throughout the season, ones Compton didn't want to get into except to say: "I do get upset about rumors. Things people say ... they have no idea. It disturbed me in the past when people said things about coach Brown. I'm around those guys. I know what is true and what's not. It's crazy to hear things. I'm sure there will be all kinds of speculation the next couple weeks.

"The bottom line is he was good for Missouri, is a great coach, individual, dad and husband."

As far as Brown -- the Knicks entered Friday's game with a dismal 14-34 record.

"It's sad. Here I'm seeing one of my best friends in the NBA struggling and one of my best friends (in college) resigned," Compton said. "If there is anyone who can make that program work, it's Larry. He will make that Knicks' franchise work."

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski, who was Snyder's college coach, said Friday on ESPN: "the resignation is not surprising. I've talked to him the last couple days. At times it's better for both parties to say we should move on. Quin has a great basketball mind. The problems he's had (including NCAA probation), I'm not sure any of us would be able to take care of all that and stay the course."

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