The Mike Leach Suspension: Where Is the Game of Football Going?
Everyone that has ever played or even watched the game of football knows that it is a very tough game. This game has been shaped and defined over the years by the coaching personalities that have led their programs to championship status.
Some of these coaches, like Alabama's Bear Bryant and Ohio State's Woody Hayes, were just two out of the many coaches that demanded a great deal from their players. These coaches screamed and yelled at their players during a time that it was understood as "motivation."
Coach Hayes, however, took it a little further by striking a player on another team for making an interception. Of course, this did and should have led to his dismissal.
The point is that these were tough personalities who produced tough players. Many of these former players went on to become solid contributing citizens in American society.
Sure, players got angry when they were spit on and grabbed by their face mask for missing an assignment. They also complained to their parents, friends, and others about it like angry children who had just been spanked for being bad. This feeling has come over everyone who ever played at the Pee Wee or high school level as well.
During this time, however, it was understood to be part of a tough game.
The season of 2009 is proving that the these days are over folks. The recent suspension of Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach for possible player abuse is a prime example of this. Let's begin by saying that if Coach Leach did force this player to be placed in a dark closet or other room as part of punishing him for being hurt then he should be fired.
Right now, however, these are allegations. Yes, that means that these charges are alleged. Remember, we live in a nation were you are suppose to get a fair trial before being found guilty of anything.
In the meantime, other players have managed to come out and say that Coach Leach has "verbally" abused them this year. Last year, it seemed that Coach Leach was considered to be a God in Lubbock.
There are other examples this year as well. Coach Mangino lost his job for being verbally abusive at Kansas. Coach Leavitt at South Florida is facing allegations that he hit a player.
What about Michigan's Rich Rodriguez? Some of his players called the local Detroit newspaper and complained that they worked to hard on Sunday. This is now being investigated by the NCAA.
There is also another question to this story other than player complaints. Have head coaches at all levels developed a God complex? Do they think that the power that comes with the job gives them the power to do anything? These are definitely questions to ponder.
I also have to ask another question as well. Where will the game of football go when a coach's every word and action will be deemed as abusive? Sure, if it is proved that a coach has struck another player then they should be fired. Being cussed out is verbal abuse.
On the other hand, what if a player is yelled at for doing things their own way and not for the team? Is this abuse as well?
All of these questions leave us thinking about where the game is going in the future.
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