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Commentary: The annual Romar debate comes with the same twist

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We start with Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar and a discussion that always comes with the implied disclaimer (but we say it anyway) that he’s one of our favorite coaches, human beings, and representatives of the University of Washington. Always has been – always will.

To me, it’s a unique situation: All the fans who wanted Romar fired the last few years – were probably right. But those calling for his head now... could be right or could be wrong.

And here’s why: Let’s start the conversation by calling this season what it is - an absolute waste of time. It’s a total shame, but it’s become a throw-away year. Their 2-11 Pac-12 record is on track to be Romar’s worst in 15 seasons on Montlake.

It’s also depressing to look at their conference records the past five years:
2016-17: 2-11
2015-16: 9-9
2014-15: 5-13
2013-14: 9-9
2012-13: 9-9

These aren’t the Huskies we’ve come to expect – and it’s no longer a couple-year drought. Forget missing the NCAA Tournament for likely the sixth straight year – Romar hasn’t had a winning Pac-12 record for half a decade!

For that program - a proud program built by Romar himself - it's embarrassing and inexcusable. They're results that, for many other schools, would be more than enough to terminate their head coach. There's only one recurring problem: The hope of another promising recruiting class.

Right now, the Huskies have the sixth-best class in the country, including one of the top players in the country, Michael Porter Jr.
Romar's new assistant coach this year (presented without comment and reserved for a possible future commentary) is his father, Michael Porter Sr. If Romar goes, you know Senior and Junior will probably go too, along with who knows who else!

Which means if you get rid of Romar now, you not only sacrifice this entire season, but next year's potential too. It's a dilemma that likely bought Romar another season last year with the promise of Markelle Fultz, and two years ago, with the promise of Dejounte Murray. Fool me once, shame on you...fool me twice, shame on me... Fool me thrice, well, you get the picture.

Then again, there's the example of UCLA: 6-12 last year in Pac-12 play, and many were ready to run coach Steve Alford out of town. But he brought in the fourth-best class in the country, including Lonzo Ball, and now they're 22-3 and ranked in the Top 10.

So here we sit. Basically having to ignore an awful season for the promise and hope of next year. Some can do that. Others, already restless from the last five years, simply cannot. And the worst part is, we won't know if it's worth it until tournament time next March.

Either way, it's a regrettable position to be in. And pretty clear that if Romar is still here at this time next year, it's the final straw for sure.

What we DO know as we wait? Cats might have nine lives - but this beloved Dawg sure does too.

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