Dennis Latta covered the New Mexico Lobos for more than 30 years, but the performance he saw in the 2013 NCAA Tournament was so disturbing that Latta decided to quit on the spot.
The No. 3 seeded Lobos had high expectations for the tournament and were even a dark horse to reach the Final Four, but the team couldn’t handle a scrappy No. 14 Harvard squad in their opening game, losing 68-62.
The game brought some gloating from famous Harvard alums like Jeremy Lin, who tweeted a message of congratulations for his team.
The jokesters at the Harvard Lampoon also rubbed it in a bit after the win, tweeting: “America, we are sorry for messing up your brackets and also your financial system and everything else”
But not everyone was so happy. Latta, a writer for Rivals.com’s Loboland, penned a column the next day savaging the New Mexico program and announcing his retirement.
He wrote that for 32 of his 33 years covering the team, he knew the team could fold and lose ant any time. Because of that inconsistency, Dennis Latta wrote that he never hot his hopes up.
“I thought this team was different,” he wrote. “I was convinced that this Lobo team was for real. It had experience, a good front line and a good backcourt and good chemistry and was smart.”
“I was wrong.”
Latta didn’t stop there. He said this year’s NCAA Tournament collapse was especially hard given the team’s high expectations and the fact that it came to “a team that doesn’t even offer scholarships.”
So rather than returning to a team that would only fail to live up to expectations again, Latta announced that he was quitting.
“No, I’ve had it,” he wrote. “I’ve been to my last Lobo basketball game after covering the team for much of the last 33 years.
“Good-bye Lobo basketball.”
Dennis Latta hasn’t said what he’s doing after quitting the New Mexico basketball beat, but after 33 years maybe he just wanted an excuse to retire.