Friday, June 12, 2009

In Sports, It Is About Not Getting Caught

I suppose in sports as in life, things aren't as simple as we are led to believe.
We are told that there is a clear sense of right and wrong, but in reality, everything is shades of gray. Just follow orders, obey the rules and don't question the laws, and you will get ahead in life they say. Of course, some rules and laws are hypocritical, targeted towards specific types of people thus failing to deliver due process or just plain insane. So there will be times in life when the rules should be broken or ignored.

I'm planning to major in Physical Education at Carson-Newman with the goal to get into coaching. I'm open to pretty much any sport, but I would enjoy either coaching football or baseball/softball the most.

Recruiting is a big part of college sports especially at the Division I-A level. There is a tremendous amount of pressure on coaches to win, and there is as high a expectation for recruiting well as there is for winning games. So while it may technically be wrong to cheat, it is usually considered to be fine so as long as they don't get caught. Of course, if they do get caught, the athletic department is usually fined, loses scholarships, a coach resigns or something along those lines. The NCAA for all its claims that it is a watchdog, they are actually pretentious and hypocritical.

The organization makes billions of dollars every year, yet goes haywire just because a student-athlete takes a summer job washing cars. It cracks down on violations, but that is only if not doing anything at all would result in a public-relations fiasco. They use a stupid computer rankings system to determine the "National Champion" in football while every other major sport, college and professional have a playoff system.
Nonetheless, while these issues have been around for a long time, it is likely they won't be solved anytime soon. It is just the nature of the beast.

It used to be a coaches job was simple enough: win enough games and some championships, and your job is secure. Now being a coach who wins much less wins championships is not enough. They have to be a salesman, public relations specialist, politician, the Energizer Bunny and just about a little of everything else. Coaching has always been a hard profession and even more so now. That is especially the case if the situation is not a good fit for a particular coach or they don't enjoy their line of work. While I acknowledge the challenges that come with coaching, I know in my heart I am cut out for doing it providing I keep a level-head even as I have to play the field at times.

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