We had sort of hoped to ignore the "Todd Lickliter is resigning" rumors that had started today. Up until a little while ago, the only source of all this was one post on some random message board, where even the poster himself avows no ability to verify the reliability of the rumors. That's not worth mentioning, plain and simple.
Things changed around tipoff today. At that point, KCJJ started tweeting oddly specific rumors that Lickliter was going to announce his resignation very, very soon. Here's what they reported:
Sources tell KCJJ that Todd Lickliter will step down as Iowa head basketball coach following the 2009-2010 season
Inside sources close to the situation tell KCJJ that two threatened player defections lead to Todd Lickliter...
Inside sources tell KCJJ that UI will likely officially cite "health reasons" for Lickliter's resignation
That's so wonderfully juicy that it couldn't possibly be true--especially since KCJJ has no reliability as a source of breaking Hawkeye news. Ask yourself this: does that sound like the type of thing that A) actually happens and B) if so, would find its way to some lightweight sports station first? Doesn't it sound more like the slightly unhinged fantasy of a message board Hawkeye fan being fed to unwitting sports radio jocks?
Sure enough, as soon as the game ended, Lickliter and the Iowa administration went on the offensive, disavowing the rumors completely.
Phil Haddy (Iowa sports information director) calls the KCJJ report on Lickliter "completely false."
As for the idea of resignation, Lickliter didn't exactly sound like a man on his way out. From Marc Morehouse:
"I have no idea. I just take care of me, so . . . That's not on me, that's on Gary Barta." -- Todd Lickliter in the Iowa radio postgame.
Obviously, things can change day to day, and nobody with their own endgame plans for their job want to be scooped before they're ready to announce. Even if Lickliter wanted to leave, he wouldn't do it right now, if for no other reason than to show some respect to his players; they didn't play today like they already knew Lickliter was gone.
But eh. All that is speculation and imagination. For now, all we've got to work with are two rumors with very suspect origins and two forceful denials. That isn't much of a story--well, wait, that shouldn't be much of a story. If ESPN thinks otherwise, though, we may as well address it to the best of our ability too. And until we get some better information, the best we can say is that these rumors as they stand don't pass the smell test at all. We are probably in for an interesting week, though.