I’ve gone on my rants about the UCF football program and my feelings are the same concerning the school’s basketball program – being a lower-tier CUSA team is no longer good enough.

UCF coach Kirk Speraw was recently dismissed after 17 seasons. It's about time - UCF basketball needs a jumpstart badly.

The football program at least shows signs of becoming legit, appearing in three bowl games in five years and winning a conference title.

There are also numerous UCF graduates making an impact in the NFL – Brandon Marshall, Asante Samuel, Mike Sims-Walker, Kevin Smith, and Dante Culpepper among them. Yes, Culpepper is washed up but you can’t make a UCF/NFL statement without including him.

The basketball program is in a perpetual state of mediocrity. The Knights have made it to the big dance four times in program history and just twice since 1996.

Despite playing in weak conferences over the years, the Knights have had losing seasons five times over the last 11 years.

Only two Knights have ever been selected in the NBA draft .

After 17 seasons, head coach Kirk Speraw was let go. He did some good for the program, but it’s time for a change.

UCF is the third biggest school in the nation with a new arena, good facilities, and a substantial talent pool surrounding it. Being mediocre in a mediocre conference can no longer be tolerated.

The timing was tough on Speraw, who was convinced the Knights will win their conference next season. He might be right. With all five starters returning, things look promising for 2010.

But what better time to get a new coach, spice up the recruiting, bring in some new blood?

The draws are there: Huge university, prime location, young team returning all its talent, a conference no longer dominated by Calipari’s Memphis Tigers, Michael Jordan’s son bringing media attention, and nowhere to go but up (the Knights were 15-17 this year).

Now the ball is in UCF athletic director Keith Tribble’s court. He’d better not mess this one up.

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