Tracy Smith enters his eighth season as head coach of the Indiana Hoosiers. IU went 32-28 this past season, including 14-7 in the Big Ten. The Hoosiers fell 6-5 to Purdue in the Championship Game of the Big Ten Tournament. A native of Kentland, Ind., Smith led Indiana to the 2009 Big Ten tourney title, the first for the program since 1996 and second NCAA Tournament appearance in school history.


A 1989 graduate of Miami (Ohio), Smith posted a record of 317-220-1 (.590) as head coach at his alma mater. His RedHawks put together eight consecutive 30-win seasons.


Smith has a keen eye for baseball and a keen ear for music. He will give us his thoughts through the spring on Indiana baseball and on American Idol. Follow Smith on Twitter at @HoosierBaseball.


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Jan. 18, 2013


Learn from the Veteran


I know we are only two episodes into the show, but my gut reaction is not good. After watching the first two shows it takes me back to conversations with my wife, Jaime, who used to teach high school. She would tell me about the new, first-year teachers fresh out of college who would sit in the teachers’ lounge and loudly try to impose their “my way is best” attitude with total disregard to the wisdom and knowledge of the several experienced teachers in the rest of the lounge. 


The way I compare it to Idol World is that Randy Jackson is the veteran teacher who deserves some respect for his long-time service to the show, and Nicki Minaj is the “know-it-all” first-year teacher who really just needs to keep her mouth shut for more than a second and defer to the experience of Mr. Jackson (teacher reference with Mr.).  Mariah was not as irritating last night, and Keith Urban just gets it. He makes good points, he is humble, and most importantly, he doesn’t try to upstage Randy or the contestants. Minaj, on the other hand, thinks the show is about her. Yeah, Yeah . . .I know I said in my first journal entry that I was a fan of hers, but I didn’t know she was going to behave like this.


That said, I wanted to be sure I wasn’t overacting or giving undo criticism to Nicki so I asked a few co-workers this morning what they thought of the American Idol so far. To a person, everyone said the show is the weakest one to date and they all had a negative comment about Nicki Minaj. It made me feel better . . . kind of.


There were some definite high points when it came to singing. I think the mature-acting 15-year-old girl who sang the Christmas song has a chance. I will also pull for her because she is from the state of Indiana. I loved the 17-year-old girl from Louisville. She is very talented. I am so glad that Jonny came back again this year. I was shocked and disappointed when he got booted last year because I think he is the total package.  However, my favorite part of last night’s show was Lazaro, the boy that stuttered when he spoke, but didn’t when he sang. He doesn’t have the greatest singing voice in the world, but I am intrigued to see him again. He made me think of the scene in the movie  “The King’s Speech” where King George VI speaks clearly when listening to music. Great flick by the way.


I have to get out of here to attend some workouts so that is all for this week on Idol. Can you “release” a judge in the middle of the show? Just wondering . . .


(photos courtesy of IU Media Relations Office)