Patrick Ewing, basketball Hall-of-Famer and Georgetown legend, has been making the rounds with the media after being hired to take over as head coach of the Hoyas.
Part of those rounds included a visit with The Sports Junkies of CSN Mid-Atlantic on Wednesday morning.
Typically, these interviews serve little purpose other than to create positive PR for the subjects – and this was no different, until one of the hosts asked Ewing if his son, Patrick Ewing Jr., would be retained as a member of his staff (Ewing Jr. has been the Director of Basketball Operations for the school since 2015).
Here’s Ewing’s response, as transcribed by Deadspin:
“I wish, I wish that that could be that case, you know, they have a nepotism clause and unfortunately they’re going to stand by it,” Ewing said.
“Is that an NCAA thing or a Georgetown thing?”
“It’s a Georgetown thing to my knowledge,” Ewing said before the hosts said that they would “lobby on your behalf.”
“Please do, please do,” Ewing laughed.
It shouldn’t be noteworthy that an employer enforces rules against nepotism, if for no other reason than to cover themselves in case of a lawsuit (“of course it’s not nepotism! That’s strictly forbidden, even by our very own rules!”).
Likewise, it is not the case of Ewing Jr., who transferred to his father’s alma mater from Indiana for basketball purposes, and was then given a job in the basketball program that was definitely in no way a result of his father’s reputation, that even raises the eyebrows.
No, in this case. the real kicker is that Patrick Ewing Sr. has been hired to replace John Thompson III, who replaced Ewing’s former coach (and, OH YEAH, Thompson III’s father), JOHN THOMPSON II!
I’m not here to rail against nepotism laws, or to prey on the hypocrisy of the NCAA, because that’s been done repeatedly (at least in regards to the latter).
But it’s also easy to spot the irony in a private university citing nepotism to axe an employee when they’ve managed to keep the same jobs in the same family for multiple generations.