Mike Atkinson and Terrance O’Kelley will leave the Long Beach State basketball program having achieved individual and team success. But they won’t leave content.
Atkinson and O’Kelley said the treatment they’ve received from Coach Seth Greenberg has soured their college experience.
Admittedly, Atkinson’s senior season has not gone as well as he would have liked. An ankle injury has limited his effectiveness, enabling center Joe McNaull to emerge as the 49ers’ offensive leader. Greenberg suspended O’Kelley for one game this season for academic reasons.
But their feelings toward Greenberg go beyond what has happened this season, they said.
“He hasn’t been the greatest person,” O’Kelley said. “I mean, as far as being a coach, he knows all his stuff on the court. But off the court he’s not someone you want to hang around. To be honest, he’s not a very nice person.”
Atkinson took it further.
“I do regret coming here,” he said. “If it wasn’t for Terrance and some of the other guys on the team I would have never stayed.
“Granted, I’ve made some great friends. But the years of stuff that I’ve put up with to be here makes it a toss up.”
Greenberg is troubled by his players’ feelings. He believes they have misinterpreted his actions and intentions.
“Obviously, I haven’t been right every single time,” Greenberg said. “I honestly feel I’ve done what was in the best interest of the kids and the program.
“I have a passion about what I do. I care very much about these guys although it doesn’t always come across the right way.”