When it came to controversy, Crane basketball coach Anthony Longstreet created as many negative headlines as King's Landon Cox. The fact that Longstreet no longer is the coach at Crane shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who understands the politics of the Chicago Public League.
In the city, coaches serve at the behest of his high school's principal. The Chicago Board of Education rarely steps in to monitor disputes. And the Local School Council never does.
In Longstreet's case, he and Crane principal Richard Smith didn't get along. So Smith ousted Longstreet. No appeal. Longstreet knew the axe was going to fall. He didn't want to make waves because he still wants to coach in the Public League. He probably will, maybe at Dunbar.
Longstreet had a very successful career a Crane. He produced several outstanding players, including Sherron Collins, Will Bynum and Tony Allen, and took his 2005 squad to the state quarterfinals. He won more than 70 percent of his games.
Like Cox, he was controversial. He was widely criticized for his handling (or mishandling, as some argued) of Sherron Collins' recruiting. Many Illinois fans will go to their graves insisting that Collins gave Illini coach Bruce Weber a "silent verbal" before being influenced by former Illini coach Bill Self to go to Kansas, that Longstreet took illegal inducements to seal the deal.
Like Cox, Longstreet was accused of many things but never convicted of anything. Just a lot of irrational and unsubstantiated allegations published on the Internet or, in Cox's case, a book called "Raw Recruits" by Alexander Wolff and Armen Keteyian. The folks who made the charges, of course, will never be convinced they aren't true. But they never provide a shred of proof.
Success doesn't have anything to do with job security in the Public League. Cox was pushed out at King. And nobody in state history won more games in a shorter period of time than Cox. Longstreet was ousted. Jim Foreman, who coached Billy Harris at Dunbar, was unceremoniously jettisoned. After finishing third in the state tournament, Frank Griseto was forced out at Westinghouse.