Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Walking the (straight) Line

This is a post about college head coaches.

This is not a post about Jim Tressel.

I personally don't care about Jim Tressel, other than to say if the man is smart enough to consistently field high talent teams, then he should be smart enough not to lie about his players shenanigans. Cause...duh, someone is going to find out eventually.

Ok, so this post is a little about Jim Tressel. But it's mostly about coaches being the public figure of the programs (and by correlation, the universities) that they represent. Fair or unfair, a big paycheck comes with two main games and keep your image clean in the press. Unless you're Bob Knight...and even that can only take you so far.

I told you not to bring my name up. Don't make me throw a chair at you.
 Although not yet a head coach, Dana Holgorsen is finding out the hard way about this unspoken rule already. WVU's "head coach in waiting" caused quite a stir last week when it was reported that he had to be escorted out of a casino in Nitro, WV for drunken and disorderly behavior.

I personally was amazed and appalled to read this. My first thought was, who put a casino in Nitro, WV (appallment)??? My second was, "oh, so he really wants to fit in at WVU (aka number one party school in America)...good for him for being a go-getter (amazement)." And my third, that was basically it.

Which probably will make some people question my morality as it comes to appropriate coaching conduct.

The truth is, yes....the man whose face is already becoming synonymous with Mountaineer football isn't winning himself any kudos by earning a reputation as a drunk and a rebel rouser. Especially since his controversial hiring had already created a divide between the WVU faithful. But in my "let's be real" statement of the day, do we not already have a head coach who has a somewhat questionable background?  And let's not forget a certain ex-head coach, who wasn't exactly a Pollyanna in his time in Morgantown (rumors of a pregnant cheerleader, anyone?)

Before you get all "but just because the other kids do it, doesn't make it right" on me, I'll say this: I believe the University and AD Oliver Luck have dealt with the situation as best as they should. Statements were issued in a timely manner reprimanding Holgorsen, who in turn issued his own mea culpa.

Head coaches (and their players) are entitled to a personal life. But, right or wrong, they've got to remember that they can't go around getting drunk as a skunk anytime they please. Big Brother is always watching.

I promise not to get caught on tape drinking again!
 So, here's hoping that Holgorsen has learned his lesson. At the very least, here's hoping he picks a better place to get thrown out of than a Nitro, WV casino.

Images were provided by (from top to bottom) midwestsportsfans and post-gazette.

So what do you think sports fans? Should Holgorsen be given another chance? Or is it time to strap him to a burning couch and let the chips fall where they may? Let me know!


Michael said...

Hey there! Long time follower, first time commentter. First off, don't you just love Bob Knight? He is to college basketball what Chuck Norris is to the Texas Rangers. Someone may get strangled or get a nasty round house kick to the chops, but they get the job done, and I wouldn't want to be on either's bad side.

I'm not "happy" that Dana had that drunk in public thing, and hopefully that doesn't become a trend. However, because it didn't really negatively reflect on the program and it really wasn't during the football season, I'll give him a pass for now.

As far as Ohio State is concerned, I'd say Tressel did mess up for sure with knowingly allowing his players to be in violation of NCAA regulations. He signed his resignation papers by not properly forwarding that information. At this point though I'd be surprised if reporters did some digging at the majority if not all of the top programs and find unreported violations. Those winning big name programs make so much money off their teams on the field success that the potential threat of being busted is still worth the risk of doing what it takes to get the best athletes and keep them on the field. Who was it that said if you aren't cheating, you aren't trying? We can start looking at top college programs like we look at current major leaguers who bat 40-50 hrs a season. There's always going to be that question of "if they did it the right way," and I think that's just the way it's going to be for a while.

Sports-O-Nista said...

A) Yes, I do love me some Bob Knight. If only because I'm scared not to.

B) I agree that the top programs are probably all guilty of infractions...gotta keep up with the Jones'...That's why you need to be smart about it. If you know you're going to get caught, then at least pretend to be concerned and turn yourself in.

Thanks for the comment and the follow!

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