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Unreal Basketball Guy Move: Former UC Coach John Brannen Burned Players Bad Stat Lines And Gave Them The Urn With The Ashes Buried In It

[The Athletic] - Yeah, it seemed like Brannen’s perspective at the time is that you weren’t working hard enough in practice. I’m gathering from your perspective, that’s because you didn’t agree with the culture or style of play?

I didn’t agree with our offense at all. He just had me cutting. It did change. But listen Justin, he had a meeting with me and said, “Let’s get rid of this first half of the season and start over.” He had a stat sheet — I promise you, I cannot make this up — he had my stats from the first half of the season. He burnt it in the office.

Lit it on fire?

Yeah. He burned my stats off in the office and said, “Let’s start over.” And this is the craziest thing. He had an urn, like for when people get cremated. He said, “Help me pick up some of these ashes and put them in here. Now take this. I just want you to remember this. From now on, it’s going to be the best time.”

He gave it to you?

Yeah. I don’t know if I still have it. I’m sure I threw it away.

Jimmity Christmas, Brannen. Take it down a notch my guy. Well, granted this may be him taking it down a notch considering the reports that came out with him being fired. 

Or you know, this story from Cumberland: 

At the time, Keith had already gone down because he caught a cramp or something. Me and Jaevin (Cumberland), we barely ever made it through those things. But Prince, he was just passed out and laid out on the ground. He went to the hospital, and this was early in the morning. We were up at like 6 a.m.

I was throwing up nonstop, every workout. One time, we were running on the track, and one player had to make a certain time. And as he’s trying to make it through the finish line, he’s throwing up. Not stopping, nothing. Coach wasn’t worried about his health. He liked that. Cheering him on because he’s running while he’s throwing up.

But burning all of Cumberland's stats to start over? Fine. That's an average move. Keeping a goddamn urn in your office and asking Cumberland to help put the ashes in there and then hand him said urn? Unreal move. That's a basketball guy move that Jim Harbaugh jealous of. This is something I assume a strength coach would do, not a head coach. 

The whole Brannen tenure at Cincinnati is going to go down as just so bizarre. He was beyond successful at NKU, a literal 10 minute drive from campus. It made sense to bring him in when Mick left for UCLA. He even brought back Jarron Cumberland, AAC Player of the Year. Seemed like everything was going to work out just fine. Then he starts to fight with Cumberland, UC had an okay first year and this year they stunk and all these reports come out leading to his firing. I don't think UC is a destination job, clearly Mick left for a massive job, but it's a job people should want. 

Coaches doing shit like this though will never stop making me laugh. The fact they think this will actually work and Cumberland would be like okay, shit's good now, outrageous. I love it. Need Brannen to go full Paul Bearer though

Giphy Images.
Giphy Images.
Giphy Images.

Bring that shit into the stadium. Have it sitting right behind the bench. It's intimidating if you do it right like Undertaker and Paul. Just have your strength coach hang out with it at the end of the bench so you can use it at halftime.