Mike Bianchi at the Orlando Sentinel recently wrote an article about Aaron Hernandez and Lawrence Phillips. Both men were college football stars. Both are now in prison, most likely for the rest of their lives.
College coaches can, if they want, have an incredibly positive impact on their players. They are around the players a lot, they have the players attention, and they have the authority to discipline. I’d love to see more coaches take advantage of their position and mold the young man as much as they mold the young running back or point guard.
But do we make it harder for high profile coaches to take the time to discipline and hold accountable troubled stars? Many fans just want their team to win. Like the coach who is willing to look the other way, many fans do the same. But the fans won’t look the other way if the team doesn’t perform on the field/court. Like it or not, coaches are held accountable for wins and losses. Having Hernandez on his team didn’t hurt Urban Meyer’s career, likewise for Coach Osborne playing Phillips.
If fans want coaches to hold their players accountable, then fans need to hold coaches accountable too. Which of course means fans need to hold themselves accountable.