Lane Kiffin, Brian Kelly, Bobby Bowden: Coaches, Colleges and Ethics
Are there any ethics left in college football? Or is college football only about the almighty dollar? Lane Kiffin's notorious lack of morals, Brian Kelly leaving his undefeated team before the bowl game, Florida State's lack of respect for their legendary coach Bobby Bowden, Tommy Tuberville slithering out of Oxford in the middle of the night...
This list could go on and on. To all but the student athlete, college football appears to be nothing but a business.
What's more, most people do not seem to care. Lane Kiffin's lies and questionable character (I'm not sure that there is any question about that) is seen as little more than entertainment in the sports world. Brian Kelly left his players to the wolves at the end of an undefeated season and it's seen as a "good personal move." Nobody seems to care about what's right ethically. Nobody seems to care about the character of these coaches who should be role models for young men.
Whatever happened to coaches like Bear Bryant? When you hear a man who played for Bear Bryant speak about his years at Alabama, you are almost assured of hearing how he molded his players' character. Somehow, I don't think we will ever hear those words coming from one of Lane Kiffin's players—what a great role model for young men! I have heard the same comments from Bobby Bowden's players. But when push came to shove, FSU showed the great coach very little respect—disgraceful!
How do today's football coaches view the importance of building young men's character?
There appears to be absolutely no loyalty left in college football, and very little ethics. It is all about money. I doubt you could find a handful of coaches who would not break their word and their contract for money today. The same goes for the colleges. If the coach doesn't win, he is out. Yes, I understand there are buyout clauses, but there is no loyalty. There is no real concern over character. This is simply a business to the coaches and the colleges.
For the coaches and the colleges, it is all about resumes, fame, and money. Everyone is making a killing off of college football, with the exception of the athletes. Athletes are held to a strict standard, and God forbid one of these teenagers or young men slip and make a mistake!
The NCAA, the college, and the coach will then step up to show how disciplined their program is. But is this discipline for the benefit of correcting the student's character or for the benefit of the reputation of the coaches and schools who are making money from the game?
Maybe it is time for those in charge of young men's character to be more concerned about what is best for the student instead of the bottom line. If college football is about the student athlete, then do what's best for the athletes. If it is a business, then don't pretend it is something more. If college football is going to be about money, maybe players should get a share of that money, just like other students who have work-study jobs on campus.
It is acceptable for coaches to lie and do whatever is best for themselves, but just look what happens when a player lies. If you don't think that lying is a big deal, just ask Dez Bryant. Look what happened when a young player lied about a small incident and compare that to what happens when coaches like Kiffin lie. Can anyone say double standard? Dex Bryant lost his senior season. Kiffin got a bigger paycheck.
It appears fine for coaches or colleges to do whatever is best for themselves, but students are expected to be men of character and live by the rules. Young men pay more attention to others' actions, not their words. Where is the character of the coaches and colleges today? What dad would tell his son that he could truly trust Lane Kiffin or Brian Kelly? Not me!
Where have the days gone when a man's word meant something? A man of character will always put what is right over the almighty dollar. Using this as a standard, I wonder how many coaches out there truly have unquestionable character. Are there any ethics left in college football or is it just a mad rush for fame and fortune?
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