This weekend, a big-time Division I football coach was fired; in September! I have been involved with the world of sports longer than most anyone who might be reading this. I can count the times a mid-season firing has made any difference on one hand. The victim of this farce is Les Miles at Louisiana State University who is a previous Coach of the Year in the Southeastern Conference (SEC).
As far as I’m concerned, the idea of firing a coach in mid-year is promoted by the media and used as a way of “looking good” by college athletic directors and college presidents. The are saying, “see general public, we are doing something about our poor performance on the field or court.” Oh, I forgot, the leadership is committed as long as things are going well. Where’s the integrity in that?
Of course, there is no integrity in the SEC anyway. The coach is signed for a season. This coach has delivered a good product for years. So, because his team had a poor start in their estimation, he has forgotten how to coach? What are the athletes’ roles in this? When did they give up on their coach, their teammates and themselves? Or, is it merely that all of it is built on this quicksand called “winning?”
The product of any collegiate athletic program is the growth and development of the student. So, what are we teaching? The biggest weakness of human beings is the lack of the willingness to take responsibility. So, where does “win at all costs” fit with responsibility? Where does cutting corners or outright cheating fit in the world of taking responsibility?
I don’t know Coach Miles from a load of hay. I don’t know how he treated his athletes and coaches. I don’t know what his principles are. What I do know is he wasn’t allowed to complete something he started. No one knows how the year would have turned out. No one! He deserved to leave the job with a little dignity.
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