Daily Archives: April 5, 2010

A debate on nepotism. Psyched for tonight. And Hurley finally gets Hall call

Due to recent events in my life and work, I’ve been thinking about nepotism policies in the workplace lately.

One of the first things the new people who own my newspaper did was institute a nepotism policy, saying that no spouses were allowed to both work at the paper in the same department (unfortunately, they defined “same department” as any two newsroom employees, which is kind of crazy but not the point).

Several good friends were laid off, a victim of their spouse somehow being deemed the more “valuable one.”

Maybe I’m naive, but I’d never heard of a company having a nepotism policy. My wife tells me lots of companies have them.

We talked about it for a while, and we disagreed on their worth. I think, to make a blanket policy that no two employees who are married can work together is unfair (look at Paul and Joanne up there in the photo; they worked together and it seemed to work out OK).

She felt that with the potential for conflict and added stress and strain on the couple, and the people around them, that nepotism policies make sense.

Would love to hear what you all think about this.

**So of course Monday is just going to absolutely crawl for me, as I await tonight’s 9:20 p.m. tip-off of the national championship game between my beloved Duke boys and the remarkable Butler team. Fortunately I’ll be busy all day so hopefully time will fly a little bit. I’ve gone from feeling very confident to a little nervous, because even though all signs point to a Blue Devils win, things are just happening exactly perfect for Butler right now.

Everything has gone right for them, and this may be just one of those magical years for the tiny school from Indy. I really, really hope not. If Duke can shoot about 45 percent from the field, and if my new best friend Brian Zoubek and Lance Thomas can stay out of foul trouble, Duke wins. If not, I’ll grab the Maalox and hang on.

**Caught a little of the UConn women’s Final Four game vs. Baylor Monday night. Was thrilled to finally see someone push the Huskies a little bit; Baylor was down only three in the second half before the incredible Maya Moore and UConn pulled away. Stanford is all that’s left to stop UConn and their smug, arrogant coach, Geno Auriemma, from another national title. Could be a great game Tuesday night.

**Finally, a few words about maybe the best basketball coach in America. Bob Hurley Sr,. has won nearly 1,000 games as the boys head coach at tiny St. Anthony’s High School in crime-infested Jersey City, N.J. He’s captured state and national titles, sent dozens of players to college and the NBA, but more importantly, he’s been a beacon of hope and opportunity for kids in a part of America that rarely sees those things.

Working incredibly long hours with no facilities, Hurley has helped keep St. Anthony’s open, and in 38 years of coaching, only two of his players haven’t gone on to college.

I’d always known about Hurley because of his son, Bobby, being one of the best Duke players ever. But how incredible of a coach, and a man, he is was really brought home in the fantastic book “Miracle of St. Anthony’s” by an e-migo of mine, Adrian Wojnarowski (“e-migo” is a term coined by my hero Joe Posnanski, who said it means a colleague you sort of know, but mostly communicate through Facebook and email. I love that term.)

Adrian spent a year inside the program and wrote a terrific, compelling portrait of one man’s fight to keep hope alive for kids.

I’m writing all this about Hurley because finally, after three failed attempts, he’s been elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame. It’s a long-overdue honor for a truly great man.