Dear college sports fans. You are the problem. Not the system or the athletic departments or the refs or the coaches. It’s not the middle men or the broken homes athletes come from. It’s you. And you should be ashamed.
I live in Baton Rouge, LA and the current scandal du jour involves the basketball program, alleged offers and wiretaps. The coach has been indefinitely suspended and of course the fans have responded with a litany of support and outcry that the Athletic director has hung his coach out to dry. The coach that was caught on FBI wiretaps discussing offers to a player. THE FBI. Free Will Wade my ass.
As a coach of youth sports and a parent It makes me want to barf. I’m not perfect and no one is. I understand that the collegiate and pro system is flawed beyond belief. That being said, here’s a simple barometer. Would you teach your kids or accept the type of behavior we see from coaches/players and/or allow them to tell you “I was doing it because that’s how this works?” End of argument.
Ethics are not a “do it when it suits you,” proposition and again I’m not saying I’ve always been perfect. I had my blinders on during the 2000’s and the Lance Armstrong debacle. I even listened to his podcast during the Tour De France the last couple of years as it was compelling and well done. Then over Christmas this year, my son and I watched “Stop at Nothing,” and he said something to the effect of “it’s not just that he cheated, it’s that he also tried to ruin people.” I still don’t feel like Lance was sorry other than because he lost money on the deal and was ostracized. I no longer participate in supporting the things Lance does.
Will Wade may be a great guy, and he appears by all indicators to be a great coach. There may even be an outside chance that the “offers” he was talking about on the FBI wiretaps are on the up and up (if so I’ve got some prime swamp land I would like to sell you). I’m just over adults acting like this behavior is okay out of one side of their mouth, and then trying to teach their kids that cheating on the field of play is wrong out of the other.
It’s the same thing and we are all better than this.