I have one question left I did not get to ask Cindy Blodgett on Thursday in the news conference she threw two days after being fired from the University of Maine.

It is this: Has it ever occurred to you that you might be responsible for being fired?

On any level?

I heard Blodgett talk for almost 45 minutes about what was done wrong in the process of being dismissed, the deficiencies of the funding behind the program, the injuries that took away potential wins, and the disappointment and betrayal she feels for having the rug pulled out from under her before her plan to rebuild came to fruition.

She sat in a crowded room in an Irish pub a story above downtown Bangor and answered some very tough questions. She proudly stood behind her plan and gave some tough responses.

I never heard her utter the word “responsibility.”

I’ve covered sports for 12 years at this newspaper and have seen football coaches, choked up and struggling for words, take responsibility for a loss when the place kicker missed the game-winning field goal.

I’ve heard hockey coaches stand up and take sole responsibility for losing a playoff game when their goaltender was frankly, abominable.

At every possible level, from high school, to college, to minor league and major league sports, I have heard coaches take personal responsibility when things don’t turn out they way they wanted.

Just this week Austin Ainge told me he “demonizes” himself sometimes when the Maine Red Claws lose a game, questioning every move he made. And they lost a lot this season. Thirty-one times.

The Maine women’s basketball team won four of 29 games this year. Four.

Cindy Blodgett has apparently not looked in the mirror.

I heard what she said: She believes the program is about to turn the corner. The plan was in place, the hurdles met, and the promised land lays just over that horizon.

I get that she really believes that.

She also said she told athletic director Steve Abbott she would walk away at the end of next season if those wins didn’t come.

Perhaps that was when the mirror would be held up, the hard truths acknowledged?

The University of Maine did not think Cindy Blodgett deserved more time.

Maine, which hired her four years ago, signed her paycheck and basked in the return of its prodigal daughter looked in the mirror.

Maine, by virtue of dismissing her and agreeing to eat the $109 grand, on some level, admitted they were wrong for signing a two-year contract extension last fall.

They cited her record. They cited team discord. (She refutes that too.)

But at what point does a human being do a little soul-searching? At what point does some self-awareness cross the threshold from the subconscious to conscious?

Maybe it’s in there.

Maybe those thoughts are too private to share in front of the glare of shuttering lenses, TV cameras, reporters tweeting your every remark, and scribbling down your words.

But I didn’t hear it.

Not once.


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