News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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March 3, 2007

NEWS UPDATE: Royce Waltman talks about being let go by ISU

St. LOUIS — The only coach to lead the Indiana State men’s basketball team to the NCAA Tournament in the post-Larry Bird era will no longer lead the Sycamores after the season ends.

ISU coach Royce Waltman, who has coached ISU since 1997, will not have his contract renewed. Waltman’s current coaching contract expires at the end of the season.

After declining comment on his status in the days leading up to the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, Waltman decided to speak during the postgame press conference after ISU’s 59-38 loss to Creighton in the MVC tourney.

“I found out a week ago, but it still hasn’t been made official by whoever is going to make that statement,” Waltman said.

Waltman cited dissatisfaction with university administration that news of his contract status became known to some before an official announcement.

“I’m not one to be bitter, but the administration handled this with the deft touch of a 20-mule team. They said it at a Board of Trustees meeting, which is obviously going to leak out, but yet said they didn’t want it announced until after the tournament. It left us with every man, woman and child in Terre Haute knowing I’m fired, but it’s not official.”

ISU Director of Athletics Ron Prettyman declined to comment about Waltman’s job status before Waltman’s postgame comments on Friday. Efforts to reach Prettyman, or anyone in ISU’s administration, after Waltman spoke late Friday were unsuccessful.

Waltman informed the team on Tuesday he wouldn’t be retained.

“It got to be such common knowledge, I had to talk to them. I told them it had nothing to with how I felt coming to the tournament. I felt we came down in good spirits,” Waltman said.

ISU will begin its first search in a decade for a men’s basketball coach.

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