Tag Archives: coaching

Can You Find the Scandal in This Story?

2 Nov

Here’s another heart warming story from the world of American college athletics.

A salacious sex scandal is beginning to unravel at the University of Louisville, where campus parties provided by the director of basketball operations and a local madam, provided strippers and sex for players, recruits and their guardians along with money provided to the players to pay for the sex…and wouldn’t you know it…the head coach, Mr. Rick Pitino, knew absolutely nothing about it!

How scandalous! Young college men, students and basketball players all, provided with strippers and with money to pay for sexual favors! And now the NCAA is launching an investigation to get to the bottom of the whole sordid story…and even the University of Louisville has hired an investigator to find out what it actually is that the University of Louisville has done! Because apparently no one there knows.

And should the investigations prove that money was provided to students and basketball players and guardians… then the punishment will most likely mean a postseason ban and loss of scholarships for the Louisville basketball team. Or in other words, the students will be punished!

Because the real scandal here is that athletes were given something, when we all know that athletes are supposed to perform for nothing except the privilege of attending their university for free…even though their work precludes their ability to find the time to attend that university.

The University of Louisville is a public university in Louisville, Kentucky. It is a member of the Kentucky state university system, where room and board and tuition for a Kentucky resident comes to around 20 thousand dollars per year. And where the director of athletics is paid 1.4 million dollars per year and the basketball coach has a 51 million dollar contract. That’s the equivalent of 2550 students each year.

But I digress because the real scandalous and salacious part of this story is not that young athletes were provided with sexual favors at a Kentucky university but rather that millions and millions and millions and millions of dollars are made by the university off of the labor of their athletes and is then spread around among university officials and coaches, while their academic students are still required to pay thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars to attend the university.

And what do the athletes get? Illicit sexual favors in exchange for their hard work? That’s it?

The new American University business model: Pimp and prostitute. User and Usurer. And they know not what they do…

Now that’s a scandal.

The Last Refuge

7 Apr

VIOLENCE: exertion of physical force so as to injure or abuse: injury by or as if by distortion, infringement, or profanation: intense, turbulent, or furious and often destructive action or force : vehement feeling or expression or an instance of such action or feeling : a clashing or jarring quality :

Once again it has taken a  public viewing of violence in action to move the individuals most responsible for that violence to take action to end it, even though it had been occurring for quite some time and known about by quite a few individuals, and that’s not even including the adult perpetrator and his adult victims, who obviously were all too aware about it too.

In case you are unaware of the specific incident of which I speak, I am referring to the recent firing of the Rutgers Men’s Basketball coach. Certainly there are and have been greater and more violent episodes in our society than this one… but perhaps it is our all too common belief that violence, when called by a sweeter name makes its stench more rosy… that allows for its constant acceptance by all of us in all of its various and insidious forms.


Our use of Violence in our society is almost as inexplicable as it is pervasive. It accomplishes nothing, leaves anger in its wake and only satisfies the one who uses it. And that satisfaction is almost always short lived and regrettable. And violence is also something that seems to require the immediate notice of many to even be seen or acknowledged as something that actually exists.

When experienced by the few the violent act almost always takes refuge in the deeper recesses of the brain… a shared secret among those who agree to be separate yet somehow equal, perpetrators.

Why we still resort to it is a question that by now we should have an answer and a solution to. It is a sad testament to our culture and humanity that we have not yet found one.

I have lived long enough and have worked with enough troubled and battered children to have realized that violence is not and can never be a motivational tool for any kind of positive learning experience, personal athletic improvement or moral achievement. Violence isn’t even a last resort. It’s a surrender. It’s a statement that says “I have no idea what to do!” And it truly is “the last refuge of the incompetent”.

 Rather than scorned or shunned by those who have felt its wrath it seems to be handed down from generation to generation like an inherited gene. And yet I have never met anyone who has ever sworn by its instructive value as in: “If I hadn’t been for that coach/parent/mentor’s abuse  in my youth I never would have developed the talents that I have today”

Whenever I see someone who is performing a task or involved in an instructive activity, resort or devolve into violence to make a point or a show or to add punctuation, I know that they have no idea what they are doing and that it’s time to walk away, get out of the way or move on to someone else.

There’s just no two ways about it… and until violence in all of its aberrant forms  is always and unequivocally equated with incompetence we will forever live in a world that will at best be one of two steps forward and one step back…and perhaps even more sadly the other way around.



The Secret of Teaching: The Student!

22 Nov

Although I have poked some fun at Physical Education teachers lately, no one knows better than a Phys. Ed. teacher what the real secret of teaching is.

The secret to teaching in the public schools is really all about being a good public school student. The better your students are the better your teachers are and the better your school becomes.

In sports the better your players are, the smarter your coach becomes. You can change managers all you want until you find the smartest one in the world but he still won’t be able to make the Kansas City Royals win their division, but get better players and hang on to the good ones you’ve got and before you know it you’ve got a championship team.

Good students just like good ball players are developed over time and for a student to be successful it takes that student’s personal commitment to succeed more than it takes another person’s personal commitment to make that student succeed.

That really is all there is to the secret of teaching, and coaching, as well. Certainly good, knowledgeable and dedicated teachers who can show students the way are important but unless their students pay attention, work hard and personally dedicate themselves to succeed, we’re all just on a bad team waiting for the season to end.

I once had a student who came to school every day with a tennis ball. That was it; just he and his tennis ball which he liked to bounce a lot. What do you figure he was thinking or looking to learn? Unfortunately, I was not the tennis coach and the class was not part of the tennis team…of course I took it away (In case you were going to suggest that?) but he just got another one. He was very good at that.

And I had other students over the years just like him who would bring various and sundry objects to school but hardly ever their books and pencils and paper etc.

I often wonder about the parents who send their kids off to school this way? What are they thinking their children are going to be doing in school when they leave their home so obviously unprepared?

What do you suppose is their lesson plan for their children’s success?

When it comes to education and coaching too, everybody needs a plan for winning, not just the teachers and the coaches. That’s the real secret.

What Goes Up Comes Down

19 Nov

What if, rather than gym teachers, more science teachers were employed as coaches? Then maybe we’d finally abolish the most dangerous and ridiculous sport of all. Cheerleading!

Did you know that cheerleading is the most dangerous activity that your son or daughter can participate in and that more injuries are attributable to cheerleading each year than to any other sport or activity? Including wrestling and football! I kid you not.

And why is this? Because as any respectable science teacher knows, what goes up must come down and usually at a greater speed…and often with a resounding thud! It’s called gravity, and mom and dad; it’s not just a theory anymore.

Just about every sport one can name has rules, regulations and penalties against any participant leaving the ground and hurtling through space like a projectile, and for good reason; because you could kill yourself or someone else, but not cheerleading. No, they encourage it! “Come here lil’ darlin’. What’s your name? You look like you’d make a very fine hand grenade…Now who wants to throw Sheila in the air?”

And they don’t even use equipment. Does she get a helmet or shoulder pads or shin guards even? No! Because in Cheerleading you get penalized for protecting yourself! No doubt being caught using a maxi-pad would be cause for disqualification. “What are you? Girls? Yes! They are! Are you babies? Yes! Sometimes they actually are babies! OK, not actually babies but often 5 year old Junior, Midget Pee Wees…which definitely has to be my favorite division name of all time in any sport anywhere.

So here’s a short skirt and some cute underwear “Now fly me pretties! Fly!”

What I don’t understand is why we still have Cheerleading. Didn’t Cheerleading begin because we wouldn’t let girls play any sports? Hasn’t all that changed and don’t we have equality now? What are they still cheering for? And don’t tell me that we have boys involved now too. They’re just there to catch the girls and help throw them back into the stratosphere higher than ever before. If this were the circus and not the public schools we’d employ the use of safety nets rather than try to create another co-educational opportunity.

What I want to know is what misogynist bastard invented this sport anyway? Probably some old man who’d just seen his team go 0-30 and couldn’t stand listening to the incessant, optimistic, sweet and happy tones of the cute little red-faced girls who just wouldn’t stop cheering, cheering…cheering! When we’re losing, losing…losing! “So honeys, why don’t you add some spice to your game and throw each other in the air every now and then to show us that you really mean it, and don’t forget to smile, smile, smile all the way from apogee to impact!”

“But coach! We’ll kill ourselves!”

“What are you? Girls? Babies?”

Yes they are! Now stop it!

Actually cheerleading was invented in the late 19th century when some guys starting shouting from the stands, rooting the home team on. Now look what’s happened. Instead of cheering for the team, they are the team…and they’re cheering for themselves!… While others cheer for them. We’ve actually got people cheering for cheering. That’s like making clapping at a theater performance without the theater or the performance, an event! And then clapping for the clappers who are being thrown in the air and twisting themselves into interesting shapes while clapping.

I know right now someone is reading this and getting very angry because they have a cute Honey Boo Boo at home who practices cheering 6 hours every day …and that’s just doing the makeup! There’s no makeup in sports!… unless there’s rain first so I’m sorry mom (and reluctant dad) …

It’s not a sport! And any mom and dad who let their babies grow up to be projectiles should be fitted for a helmet and promptly shot from a cannon! If it requires jumping up and down, wearing cute clothes, yelling and screaming at the top of your lungs and smiling like a fool on a botox high…It’s not a sport. It’s a pajama party!

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