Sports Landscape Putting Out Nasty Smells Lately
By John Ventola
Tell me it ain’t so Coach K!
Should Webster’s be corrected to make the meaning of “indefinite suspension” synonymous with “one game”?
Although I cannot rank Mike Krzyzewski’s reinstatement of star guard Grayson Allen
after one game with the questionable, more serious football related decisions by Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops and former Baylor coach Art Briles, I am still shaken that one of my all-time favorite coaches in any sport would fall far short in disciplining one of his players. After all, the Duke basketball I have watched over the past 37 years under Coach K has been based on teamwork, discipline, sportsmanship, and, in his words, “five playing as one”.
Allen was indefinitely suspended after sticking out his leg and tripping an Elon player last month. It was his third such incident in the past two seasons. He was reprimanded by the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) after the first two acts late last season, but was not suspended. An act out of character for a star player like Allen, and a failure to uphold the sportsmanship teachings of Coach K, who is rightly regarded as one of the best basketball coaches in the history of the sport. His NCAA and Olympic coaching record has been exemplary, free of any kind of misconduct. However, his Allen decision has me baffled.
Why was Allen allowed to return after missing just one game? Why? Well, as I have learned, anything can be justified. May not be right, and it may not stand up in the court of public opinion, but individuals, and it seems particularly prevalent among today’s
coaches, can sugar-coat anything. Not coincidentally, the amount of effort coaches go through to rehabilitate a player or “help them find themselves” seems to always coincide with the level of the athlete’s skill set.
Krzyzewski, who will turn 70 next month, is scheduled to have back surgery and miss at least four weeks of coaching activity. “There are things behind the scenes that we are doing, and I think it’s appropriate what we have done”, Krzyzewski said after the game. Supposedly, Coach K and Duke Athletic Director Kevin White made the decision to start Allen.
Justification? What they are doing is working, the game is Coach K’s last for at least four weeks, the Blue Devils had lost their ACC opener against Virginia Tech on Saturday without Allen, Whatever the reasons, Duke opened the game against Georgia Tech on a 29-7 run, scored 61 first half points, and routed the Yellow Jackets 110-57. Allen scored 15 points and had seven assists in the runaway. Georgia Tech upset North Carolina 75-63 Saturday.
While Allen’s tripping escapades are distasteful, and they will follow him the rest of his basketball career (and, yes, he has NBA skills), he did not punch or rape a woman.
Oklahoma defeated Auburn in the 2017 Sugar Bowl, The Sooners were led by their talented quarterback Baker Mayfield and running back Joe Mixon, who should have never been on the field.
Oh yeah, I am all for second chances, but when a violent act like that committed by Mixon (he punched a woman in the face in 2014 and fractured her jaw and cheekbone) is swept under the rug, just for winning football games, this sports blogger is more than repulsed. Forced to sit out the 2014 season, the tape of Mixon punching the woman in a Norman deli was just released at the direction of the Oklahoma Supreme Court. Needless to say, many were disgusted by the video.
Strange how the Sooners got two productive years out of the talented Mixon, and except for missing freshman year football action and some slap on the wrist probation measures, nothing substantial happened to him. My question, what if the act was committed by a marginal athlete? Yep, pack your bags son!
To say the Oklahoma coach “stooped” to a very low place in keeping Mixon eligible would be an understatement. What compounds it is his recent statement after the video was released that if it had been available in 2014 Mixon would have been dismissed
from the team. The woman was punched in the face and had multiple fractures. Do you really need to see it on tape? After all, you and school administrators saw fit that he sit out a season.
Even more distressing are the comments by sportscaster Brent Musburger during the Sugar Bowl telecast. He described the video “as very troubling” and added “we’ve talked to the coaches. They all swear that the young man is doing fine”. Hey Brent, zip it next time you want to fill up air space with such dribble. Better yet, prepare, and report how the woman is doing after getting her face smashed over two years ago.
And that stench coming from Waco has nothing to do with floating embers from the
David Koresh tragedy. Chip and Joanna are cleaning up the area one house at a time, but their duties do not include the Baylor campus. What a shame!
Former Baylor football coach Art Briles was dismissed after the 2015 season when it was finally revealed publicly that a female student-athlete had, in fact, been gang raped in 2012 by five Bear football players. She reported the incident to her coach and a sports administrator. and the information was subsequently passed on to former Baylor AD Ian McCaw and Briles. For three years McCaw and Briles denied knowledge that the rape happened, stonewalling any mention of the incident.
Once McCaw admitted that he and others were aware of the gang rape, the Baylor Board of Regents conducted an investigation that showed 19 football players had sexually assaulted 17 Baylor students since 2011. Basically, Briles, who coached Baylor from 2008 until 2015, McCaw, and others smeared the values of the proud Baptist university to keep a winning football program.
What price victory? A lot of questionable athlete behavior is covered up. I am not naïve enough to think it is only on the campuses mentioned in this blog. It is going on all over the country. University and athletic department officials need to step up and force all athletes to adhere to rules and some type of values. The college experience for athletes should be more than one and done (basketball), declaring for the NFL draft or major league draft, and sexually exploiting their fellow students.
A few “bad apples” are giving the “student-athlete” description a bad name.Thanks For Visiting JV Sport Shots .Com’s Website And Viewing Our Latest Blog(s) / Page(s). We Would Really Appreciate It If You Would Leave Us A Comment Or Remark Below. This Helps Us Provide Great Sports Content; You Would Like To See In Future Posts.
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