I doubt if anyone today at Auburn is saying, “But hey, at least they won the championship!”
Former Iowa State University and Auburn head football coach Gene Chizik is facing grade-changing accusations. Former New York Times and Sports Illustrated reporter Selena Roberts said Chizik changed the grades of as many as nine Auburn players leading up to the 2011 BCS National Championship. Chizik was fired from Auburn last season. The report on Roopstigo.com details many allegations of NCAA violations during Chizik’s tenure at Auburn. It would seem the bromance between Auburn and Chizk has long since passed.
This week also saw the firing of Rutgers University’s men’s basketball coach. Words don’t do justice to how terrible former Coach Mike Rice was to his players. The video says it all. All I can say is that he ought to count his blessings that his large, physical players never banded together and took him out behind the locker room. In my opinion they would have been more than justified in doing so.
In a bizarre twist of fate, Rutgers apparently now owes Rice over $100,000 for lasting the entire season. This bonus is on top of his $622,500 annual salary.
I’ve been blessed with four children who are all physically talented and enjoy sports. Soccer, track, cross country, softball, baseball, football and swimming have been mainstays in our house for as long as I can remember. Like most parents we’ve given up logging the miles or hours we pile up in support of our student athletes.
Through all of their sports we’ve seen the power of individual dedication that each athlete brings to the competition. We’ve also seen the incredible positive influences good coaches can have on an athlete’s performance and love for the sport.
This week serves as a reminder of how disastrous bad coaches can be. To be sure, Auburn and Rutgers universities are embarrassed by the disgraceful behavior of these coaches, as they should be.
But think for just a moment about the ruined lives and dreams of the athletes these low rent coaches have left in their wake.
For them, I feel truly sorry. They deserved so much better.