German national team coach Dirk Bauermann has long been a staunch adversary of the German BBL league’s very lax regulations on foreigners. But the former nine-time German league title-winning coach unleashed one of his most intense attacks on the league, this time also addressing the Americans playing in the BBL.
“The BBL is an estranged product that no one can help – not the fans, not the sponsors and not the least of all the national team,” Bauermann said at a podium discussion in Bamberg.
“We need a stronger German profile and more identity,” said the former Bamberg coach, complaining that German clubs are not giving German players – even senior national team players like Johannes Herber – a chance to play.
“What use is it for me as national team coach to go to the game last week (March 7) between Ludwigsburg and Oldenburg, where not one German player received even one second of playing time and neither of the clubs had German coaches.”
In his final season at Bamberg in 2007-08, Bauermann’s roster included German internationals Demond Greene, Ademola Okulaja, Steffen Hamann, Robert Garrett and Mithat Demirel as well as German youngsters Tim Ohlbrecht, Sajmen Hauer and Karsten Tadda.
The BBL’s current foreign regulations require three players with a German passport to be included on the 12-man roster. Starting in 2009-10, that number will increase to four players.
Bauermann rejected the common argument from club managers that there are not enough German players who could hold their own in the league, adding: “Of course there are. But the clubs don’t have the courage to field them and let them make a mistake.”
Bauermann also took a jab at the Americans playing in the league: “We are employing American players who would be hauling boxes in supermarkets in the U.S. if they weren’t playing here.”
BBL CEO Jan Pommer refused to just accept the criticism and blasted back at Bauermann.
“That (the harsh criticism) is disrespectful,” Pommer told the German news agency dpa. “I find it tiring that everything always revolves around the so-called German quota.”
Pommer also admitted he felt disappointed by Bauermann, adding: “When he took over (as only national team coach) I thought we were getting a national team coach who knows the constraints of BBL clubs and will consider that. But I guess I was mistaken.”