Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Atmosphere of Compliance

Part of the complaint against the UConn coach being suspended for a few games next season was that there was not an "atmosphere of compliance" in his program. Sportswriter Jay Bilas wonders if this could be made into a cologne and marketed. Athletic Directors all over America would doubtless pay top dollar for it.

This is a thoroughly bogus complaint, on the order of "Wipe that smirk off your face. Look at me when I'm talking to you." Everyone knows what it means, and that it is probably true. But if you are talking about real infractions and real punishment, this sort of incoherence has got to go. Nation of laws and all that.

Fortunately, we're not talking about a real punishment here. It's rather like the punishments congressmen get for groping campaign volunteers or redirecting money to ponies for their kids. Let us have a ceremony in which we tell you that you have made serious errors of judgment. Please don't grope any other volunteers until you have left the Senate floor.

Bilas also mentioned how important coaches are in teaching young people life lessons which are more valuable than their instruction in X's and O's. He spoke in general about good coaches he had had and generalised it to good teachers. It sounded wonderful.

This was completely untrue in my case. In the case of teachers, this was largely my own fault, but for coaches, the idea is ludicrous. Some of them were decent enough, but mostly, I learned about favoritism, subtle cheating, and valuing athletic skill over any other value.


Dr X said...

Funny, before I got to your final observation I laughed out loud about that characterization of coaches.

Texan99 said...

You'd have loved the coaches in women's sports in the 70s, whose role evidently was limited to the need to prevent anyone from breaking a nail. I remember also a pervasive fear that being struck in the breast might lead to cancer. Life lessons!