Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Till the bitter end

Coaching is a job unlike any other. It is demanding and an often consuming profession. You are either the hero or the goat and there isn't much of a middle ground. Once ensconced in the upper echelons of coaching as in college and pro sports, things can get bizarre. Things can happen in those realms that happen nowhere else in the real world.

Case in point, Rick Neuheisel, the head football coach at UCLA was fired from his position. That is not unusual as coaching is often a ring-around-the-rosy job. You are hired just to be fired. What I don't understand is how an institution can fire a coach and then ask him to keep coaching. Neuheisel has been asked to coach the team in the inaugural PAC 12 championship game. They have told him his performance was not good enough, but hey, you're all we have so keep coaching until it's over.

How many of us would ever find ourselves in that position? Can you imagine your boss firing you on the eve of a big conference but sends you anyway? I can't see my employer saying gee Bob, you aren't getting it done so you're fired, and by the way, can you work Black Friday for us? This has happened before and most of the coaches seem to continue until the end. It happens in baseball as well. Some commentators have stated those coaches are finishing what they started and they may feel they owe it to the players.To that end I can see a reason to carry on but it is the players often who didn't get the job done that put the coach in that position.

I for one wouldn't take up the mantle and carry on. If I get my pink slip, I'm walking, especially in the rarefied airs of high-dollar sports. They still owe me the money from my contract so I'll be collecting it as I sip a bourbon and coke on a beach somewhere.

1 comment:

  1. More bizarrely, the NCAA has given UCLA a waiver to allow them to go to a bowl game this year even if they lose the game this weekend, dropping their record to 6-7, AND the university told Neuheisel he would NOT coach the bowl game!