Friday, November 30, 2007

Character counts

I have now taught at two different institutions where this egomaniac has coached, and in both cases have watched while over years upper administration worsened the situation, by enabling his behavior, until his departure cost millions. He's a great coach--unless you think character actually matters:

The controversial [coach] mixed expletives with anecdotes Thursday evening at a reception held in his honor.

During the two-hour reception held to recognize the thousands of dollars he's given to [University] Libraries, he talked about his love for books and joked about a recent hunting altercation that's made national headlines.

"If any of you come from farms and ranches where your father allows you to hunt, I'd appreciate it if you'd let me know, just as long as your dad isn't a lyin' son of a (expletive)," he said to a crowd of mostly students after signing scores of autographs.

Students gathered in the [] library Thursday for the opening reception of "A Legacy of Giving: The [Coach] Exhibit." Students . . . brought basketballs for [Coach] to sign. They said they plan to give the autographed basketballs to their fathers for Christmas.

Two people have said the basketball coach or his hunting companion hit them with birdshot on two occasions last month.
He did the same kind of thing at my former institution (choking and slapping students--some not even his players, throwing chairs onto the court and lamps at secretaries, abusing anyone who disagreed with him but utterly unwilling to accept criticism himself), and was enabled to do so, for so many years that when the inevitable came and he was fired, it was six times more catastrophic than necessary, or than it would have been were he any other employee of the university.

Some things matter more than winning. To paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle on John Kennedy:

"I've known great leaders; I've served with great leaders. Coach, you're no leader."

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