Friday, October 06, 2006

There's a national debate going on over Paul McCoy's high-school rushing record. Eli Saslow of the Washington Post weighs in here with a one-sided sob story, so take it with a grain of salt.

I don't agree with Kinder's handling of the situation, but after reading the article, I can at least understand it a little better now.

As a high school coach, one of your prime directives is to try and get your athletes scholarships. This kid has apparently busted his tail for four years, and Kinder thought this might be the only way to get him a shot at a ride somewhere. I'm not sure the financial status of the family (the article said they owned a BBQ place, but that's not any guarantee of wealth), but a scholarship may be the only way McCoy gets into college.

Also, this quote from the opposing coach really bothers me:

"He is a guy I always respected," Hunt said. "I never thought he would make me feel like this."

Pal, no one is making you feel like that except you. You want to put your head down and cry about it, that's your business. Having been on the end of a similar 64-0 beating myself, we used it as motivation to work toward beating that team the next season, not to bitch about how horrible it was getting smoked and what bad people those Belleville Althoff people were.

The Burch program hasn't scored against Matewan in seven seasons -- is there any indication the score wouldn't have been exactly close to the same if McCoy had sat the bench in the second half? And why the hell is it McCoy's fault that you suck? He should sit because you can't play the game?

I fully understand the challenges of trying to build a program. I've been in the situation as a player and covered it as a reporter, and getting your head handed to you doesn't make matters easier -- but it's not the end of the world, either.

Here's the opening graph from the story:

Dave Hunt coaches football players so humiliated that they dread walking through the halls of Burch High School in West Virginia. Two of them thought about quitting last week. The rest considered starting a fight. "They want to get even," Hunt said, "because what happened to them is so unfair."

Humiliated? Unfair? These are the thoughts of a high-school football coach?

How about gathering the troops after the game or in the film room the next morning and telling them, "Do you ever want to go through something like that again? I don't either. But unless we work harder and improve, that's where we'll stay. Are you ready to make that commitment or not?"

I wouldn't have taken the measures Kinder did to try and get the record. It was classless, and I don't blame Burch for not shaking hands.

But I wouldn't have pulled McCoy, either.

No comments: