The Charlotte 49ers apparently feel Alan Major is the man to lead their men’s basketball program to success in Conference USA. Major and the Niners agreed to a contract extension that keeps him here through the 2017-18 season.
Major, whose contract was set to end after the 2014-15 season, is 44-48 overall as the head man for the Niners, but has seen improvement in his team’s record from year to year since his first season in 2010-11 (10-20 that year; 13-17 in ’11-’12 and 21-12 and an NIT appearance in ’12-’13).
But his tenure has been mired with some controversy. After this past season, Darion Clark and E. Victor Nickerson announced their intents to transfer. Chris Braswell and DeMario Mayfield were suspended early in the season due to disciplinary issues; Mayfield was eventually booted from the team altogether. Cameron Blakely, the lone freshman signee from the class of 2013, wasn’t inked until a month ago, late in the recruiting process. Major has also been criticized for his lack of success in the Atlantic 10 and his failure to lead the team to the NCAA tournament.
However, the athletic department has shown with this move that they are throwing their full support behind Major. What may have helped his cause was the successful recruitment of transfers Braxton Ogbueze (freshman from Florida) and Bernard Sullivan (sophomore from Clemson), two players that were top-100 players in their respective classes that will both be eligible in the 2014-15 season. Charlotte will be returning to Conference USA beginning next season, which is being projected as a weaker league than the A-10, and some fans are foreseeing more success in the new league than the team had in their previous one. If that happens, then the members of the athletic department will have made a sound investment.
It also bears mentioning, though, that Bobby Lutz, Major’s successor, was himself extended by three years(after the 2007-08 season). However, he was fired after the 2009-10 campaign, clearing the way for Major’s entrance.
Will this move end up being the right one in the long run? Time will tell. The athletic department obviously feels that Major has the tools to succeed. But if he doesn’t succeed, especially following the Lutz situation, the repercussions among the fan base will be significant.
What do you think? Good move or bad move? Let us know in the comment section or on our Twitter and Facebook pages.