Coaches need to understand their real job

April 10, 2013 02:59 pm

The recent situation involving the Rutgers men’s basketball coaches has brought up some serious issues about the fundamental role of a coach in a young player’s life.

For those who haven’t followed the situation, here’s a quick recap: Mike Rice, the (former) head coach of the Rutgers men’s basketball program, was recently fired after video was released of him verbally and physically abusing his players.

One of his assistant coaches resigned after it became known he was also verbally and physically abusive to players.

The video is disturbing to say the least.

The coaches call the players names that no one should ever use, and they shove and throw basketballs at their players.

Rice apologized, of course, but that doesn’t make what he did OK.

Coaches, especially those of young players — in this case 18-to-22-year-olds — are so much more important than just motivators.

They are father figures. Teachers. Their job is to help groom young men or women into responsible adults.

Not berate them for doing a drill wrong or missing a basket.

Coaches have so much more of an impact on youngsters than just Xs and Os.

As Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski once said, “A common mistake among those who work in sport is spending a disproportional amount of time on ‘x’s and ‘o’s as compared to time spent learning about people.”

Coaches should strive to be positive role models. They should be a person a player can turn to during hard times.

Not someone who is going to cut you down.

I think we can all look at the Rutgers situation and learn from it.