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Drew Ellis covers Oakland University basketball for The Oakland Press. His news and notes keep you up to date with Golden Grizzlies men's basketball.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Guess who won't be 'suiting up' in Tulsa?

The CBS network has been the longtime home the NCAA tournament, and more recently hit sitcom “How I met your mother,” starring former child actor Neil Patrick Harris as a well-dressed lawyer known for his catch phrase “suit up.”

One person who won't be “suiting up” for the NCAA tournament this week on CBS is Oakland coach Greg Kampe. But it's not because he's a slouch or poor dresser, as some may believe. He doesn't want his attire to detract from attention paid to his team.

“I don't want the writers writing about (what I wear),” Kampe said. “I don't want that taken away from our team. … I'll probably go back to the sweater-vest and instead of a Nike turtle neck, I'll probably wear a dress shirt. I might even wear a tie.”

Kampe donned a sweater-vest during last year's tournament game against Pittsburgh and earlier this season against Michigan State.

Kampe, in his 27th year coaching Oakland, will take a pass on the finer threads, but there's real logic behind his outfits. And it has everything to do with the team.

“I get e-mails from people saying 'You're a bum. You don't wear a tie.' After we almost beat Michigan State, I got a letter from an MSU fan that said 'You're a bum!' because I didn't have a suit and tie on.

“A few years ago, the daughter of a friend of mine wanted to use me in her science project at her high school. They put a heart monitor on me during the game. They recorded the game and they synched up my heart rate with what I was doing. … When the results came back, it showed my average heart beat was 146. That is full exercise. It peaked at 165. I had an episode with a referee. I wasn't really happy with him, so I had a few words for him.

“Back in the day, I used to wear suits and suspenders, but I've gotten fat. You're uncomfortable anyway when you're as big as I am, so I decided to go away from the coat and tie. I would think the team and the players would want the best from me. My best is to be comfortable and not have people thinking I'm a bum.”

Also, if Kampe is not wearing a suit coat, then there's one less item to hurl on the court or in the stands, as was the case once when he earned a technical foul in Cincinnati.


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