Tribune Staff Writer
Sitting in the stands of the Milk House Gym on the Walt Disney World grounds, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey feels a familiar fog drift his direction each summer.
Brey’s travel itinerary during the July evaluation period has remained the same for years. Later this month, he will spend one final night scouting an AAU tournament in Las Vegas. Like numerous college head coaches, he’ll walk out the door after the final game and head straight to McCarran International Airport for a red-eye flight to Orlando, Fla.
Central Florida is the last stop on the evaluation circuit. It’s also a time when the month’s grind of gyms and hotels and flights and fast food catches up. Around 6 p.m., each year during that first night at Disney is when Brey feels himself floating away.
“You’re sitting in that gym and start wondering, ‘Are you kidding me?’” Brey said. “We’ve looked at ourselves as college coaches and said, ‘What are we doing? This is ridiculous. This is crazy.’”
A consideration for change raced through college basketball last July when Wake Forest head coach Skip Prosser died of a heart attack. Like Brey, Prosser had taken an overnight flight to Orlando. He spent a few hours scouting games, then flew back to a basketball camp at Wake Forest before planning a return to Orlando. Prosser collapsed after a brief workout. His death forced his colleagues to take a serious look at their saturated July schedules.
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