Sports, Life, and Learning

MARK HERRENContributor IJanuary 31, 2009

When it comes to basketball I'm not a very knowledgeable person.  But based on what information I have heard I have to make this observation:

We now know that Alabama is searching for a new basketball coach. Mark Gottfried resigned this past week due to pressure that he was receiving over his handling of the Ronald Steele situation.

Mark did not have control of this year's basketball team—Ron Steele did! The whole program wasted too much money keeping Ron Steele in college—and keeping him happy. 

He played just one good full season.  He played injured and had both knees repaired. He sat out one entire season to rehabilitate those knees. 

All this time he was in the ears of other players.  All this time he was riding the scholarship through his life with every intention of being in the NBA when healthy enough to play.  He did nothing to prove himself worthy of a college scholarship. 

This happens everywhere in college sports—not just in Alabama, and not just in basketball. 

Mark Gottfried knew that in his mind and allowed this to spoil the "apple barrel."  Now that Gottfried, Steele and this season are history, it's time to back up and punt! 

Start over with first finding a disciplinarian, recruiter and mentor as a head coach. You have to build a program that makes these high school kids set a goal to want to play there and get an education. 

After two seasons, a player should not set his sights on a professional career before getting his degree.  After two seasons, a player should be a leader, recruiter and mentor for the new kids coming in.  The coaches need and welcome this help from their players and they preach this every day.

Be an example, people! Not just in athletics—but in life too. There are little eyes on you all the time.

Think about that!