In Need of a Moral Compass!

Written by on March 5, 2018

On the TUNNEYSIDE of SPORTS March 5, 2018, #682…In Need of a Moral Compass!
After further review…As we enter what is known as “March Madness” we find an odd meaning to the word madness. With Rick Pitino out as the University of Louisville basketball coach due to an alleged recruiting scandal along and some 20 Division I colleges mentioned in an FBI investigation, will the madness make it through the month of March? Division I basketball has been operating under suspicious recruiting for many years. How will it get turned around?
While Pitino seems to capture the college basketball headlines, one can’t help but wonder who’s next?  This comes at a time when college basketball programs, their students, alumni, and fans look forward to an exciting March Madness. It certainly casts a shadow on college basketball. These investigations are not new. I’m sure Dr. Jim Naismith didn’t have to deal with this after he hung that peach basket on the barn door; but I know that during the time that I officiated college basketball at the Division I level, accusations and convictions took place. Remember the Coach Clair Bee scandal at Long Island University in the 1950s?
Incentives in recruiting college players in all sports have been in existence for decades, and undoubtedly will continue. And for what reason? The obvious answer can perhaps be found in the words pride and greed. Winning at all costs is the most plausible answer to those two deadly sins. Pride: “I want to be a winning coach no matter what the price.” Pride goeth before the fall sayeth the good book. Now I don’t want to get too biblical here, but the character of those involved in recruiting is vital to developing character in the athlete, which ought to be fundamental in a college education. The athlete will be in college for only a short time, but his life will be “forever.”
The greed in creating a winning T*E*A*M or a winning record can be a coach’s downfall. It is often said “There can be no success without fulfillment.” Maybe Bum Philips, former Houston Oilers head football coach, put it best, when he said about who’s a good coach: “He’s one who can take hisn and beat yourn; then take yourn and beat hisn!” I’ve worked with a lot of coaches in the sports world and admired those whose character I respected, whatever their record.
Will you log-in on coaches and/or athletes you stood for their character?
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