Yes there are double standards in life. Perhaps you have heard the saying “Do as I say; not as I do!” Maybe you have even used those words yourself. In our winning culture the poor behavior of coaches has been excusedas long as their sport program remained successful.
The irony of a successful program driven by poor coaching behavior is the eventual demise brought about by such a flaw. Indiana University head coach Bobby Knight was the prime example of that tragic flaw. Eventually it was a televised videotape of Knight grabbing a student-player by the neck during a 1997 practice that resulted in the coach's removal and began IUs NCAA Tournament nosedive in which the Hoosiers never advanced beyond the second round.
|Coach’s temper results in 3 technical fouls and ejection|
Incidentally Bobby Knight played for an Ohio State Buckeyes basketball team while Woody Hayes was displaying a similar volatile style of coaching on the football field at that time. Fast forward from the Midwest to the east coast, and several decades later we are watching the head men's basketball coach at Rutgers University, Mike Rice, Jr. provide more yet more “teachable moments” for future coaches.
ESPN televised Coach Rice’s behavior and the fallout continued as Tim Pernetti’s delayed reaction cost him the athletic director job at Rutgers. Rutgers President Robert Barchi named Julie Hermann as the replacement and RUs sport programs can get back on track, right? Not so fast say former University of Tennessee volleyball players who accused Coach Hermann of abusive behavior 16 years ago. In addition there is the issue of a discrimination lawsuit brought by a female assistant coach at Louisville who claimed senior athletics administrator Hermann fired her because she became pregnant.
Title IX still has a long way to go since only five out of 120 Division 1A athletics directors are women. Regardless of gender should a person associated with poor coaching behavior be considered for a higher position of leadership such as an athletic director? I think it was possible in the Midwest back in the abusive days of Bobby Knight and Woody Hayes. Fast forward to the current climate that resulted from abusive bullying tragedies such as Rutgers University student Tyler Clementi and we start to see how ridiculous such a proposition becomes.
Leadership has evolved. Coaches must follow suit. Call it “Do as I do!” It inspires, creates, is confident, committed, honest, intuitive, fun, wears a smile and carries a positive attitude. It treats others the way it expects to be treated.
Knight says in his own words "Winning. I think, what more can you want than having completed a task, played a game, where you have won? What better feeling can you have than having done something that has not just benefited you, but has benefited your team? I think there's a tremendous reward in simply being successful. But the key is, how do you become successful?"