Joke Issue: Heartbroken Penn coach McLaughlin joins the dark side


Allen creates ‘Occupy Palestra’ movement, is sole member


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Penn basketball coach Mike McLaughlin points at whoever he thinks stole
his lunchbox (later discovered to be Palestra croucher Jerome Allen).

Photo by Zoe Gan


Even though it was already hard enough to hear Jerome Allen when he was coaching Penn basketball, it will now be impossible.

After the flop of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series on Penn basketball, Athletic Director Steve Bilsky decided to fire Allen after three seasons with the team.

Never one to work too hard at finding replacements, Bilsky didn’t even bother leaving 33rd Street, as he hired women’s basketball coach Mike McLaughlin as Allen’s replacement.

“Mike has done amazing things for women’s hoops here,” Bilsky said. “He even invented a tournament, the Women’s Basketball Invitational, just so his team could go to the postseason. He showed the initiative that Jerome clearly lacks.”

At first, McLaughlin had mixed feelings about the new position. After the announcement, he was seen crying as he watched the men practice.

“I mean, Darien doesn’t play defense, and Henry is reckless as they come,” McLaughlin said in between sobbing and blowing his nose.

The only bright spot, in McLaughlin’s watery eyes?

“Cam Gunter,” he said, after watching a scrimmage in which Gunter grabbed a rebound. “What a phenomenal player. He’s special.”

Besides Gunter, however, McLaughlin was unenthused by the Quakers. In fact, a source close to the team reports that McLaughlin has looked into sneaking a few of the players onto the women’s team.

When asked, McLaughlin didn’t deny the reports.

“Yeah, I looked into having a few of our guys play with our successful women’s program. I thought that it’d be good if they could see what it was like to play with winners,” he said.

The Daily Pennsylvanian uncovered video of a secret scrimmage involving Jamal Lewis and Greg Louis playing along side the women’s basketball team.

Lewis turned the ball over 10 times in five minutes, while Louis simply kept attempting three-pointers, despite having a half-foot height advantage over everyone on the floor.

“I don’t have anything against people that have last names that sound the same,” McLaughlin said. “Would it have made my life easier not having to remember which one is Louis and which one is Lewis? Definitely.”

Ultimately, McLaughlin decided to keep Lewis and Louis on the men’s squad, after arriving at a sad realization.

“They would be sitting on the bench whether on the men’s team or the women’s team,” he said. “And I know those girls, and they deserve better than that.”

***

As for former coach Allen, after being fired, he refused to leave the Palestra for a week.

“It’s all about defensive principles,” Allen said. “You gotta stick to ‘em.”

He has been seen sleeping on the top row of benches, near all of Penn’s Ivy League championship banners, conceivably in an opportunity to relive his glory days as a player.

“Mike’s a great guy,” Allen said. “I tip my hat to him. That having been said, there are no moral victories.”

The only time when he could be heard is during the men’s practices. Every time that Gunter completes a pass, Allen cheers voraciously.

After a week, Bilsky had another press conference, this time naming Allen to fill the vacant women’s coaching position.

“Jerome is not being named to this position based on merit,” Bilsky said. “Just as was the case when he was hired as the men’s coach, he gets the position because he went to Penn. That’s really his only qualification.”

After a long moment of silence, Bilsky added: “Plus, if he’s going to live at the Palestra, we might as well save some money and let him do work.”

The women’s team was not happy with the announcement.

“Coach McLaughlin did so much for us,” Alyssa Baron said. “And ever since he was appointed to the men’s job, all kind of silly stuff has been happening. Jamal and Greg were crossdressing — not that there’s anything wrong with that — and now he’s probably just gonna play his new CD instead of actually coaching.”

Baron did admit that “Defensive Principles” is one of her favorite new jams.

Perhaps the rise of that track up the Billboard charts as Allen takes on his new job is no surprise.

There’s less scoring in the women’s game overall, and thus, Allen’s defensive mindset may be better suited in this role.

But Allen could care less who his team is playing, or even what sport he’s playing. Next week, the women’s team has plans to go on a paintball retreat.

“My players are looking forward to it — not because it’s paintball, and not because they’ll get to hit me with neon colored paint,” Allen said. “They’re looking forward to it because it’s the next game on the schedule.”

This article appeared in the Daily Pennsylvanian’s Joke Issue 2013. For more information, click here.

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