Coaches need to set an example

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 14, 2008

Even though college football is nearing its end, it seems to be a fertile source of topics for me to write about.

One of the biggest revelations last week was the announcement that Bobby Petrino was taking the head coaching job at Arkansas.

Petrino was the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals before taking the job as the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

Granted, he didn’t have the best season in Atlanta.

The team was 3-10 before he made his quick exit.

Reports say that he had a meeting with Falcons owner Arthur Blank the day before he resigned.

&uot;He stood up, we shook hands and he said, ‘You have a head coach,’ &uot; Blank told the Associated Press.

Surely he had a meeting with his players to tell them about his decision.


There was no meeting.

The only contact the players had from their head coach was a letter in front of their lockers.

Here are the contents of the letter.

&uot;Atlanta Falcons Players, out of my respect for you, I am letting you know that, with a heavy heart, I resigned today as the Head Coach of the Atlanta Falcons.

&uot;This decision was not easy, but it was made in the best interest of me and my family.

&uot;While my desire would have been to finish out what has been a difficult season for us all, circumstances did not allow me to do that. I appreciate your hard work and wish you the best.

&uot;Sincerely, Bobby Petrino.&uot;

I’m not even a player on his team, and that makes me ill.

The man didn’t have the common decency to meet with his team face to face and tell them what was going on.

But what would you expect from someone who point blank lied to his boss’s face?

Petrino has been lambasted in the media for this, and rightly so.

Go ahead and add this column to the thousands of others.

I’m sure Arkansas fans are excited to have him around, after all, the man showed he is a winner at Louisville.

Good for them, but I wouldn’t want him.

Look out Arkansas fans because once the next big thing comes along, he’ll say goodbye to Fayetteville before you can say &uot;wooooo pig! Sooey!&uot;

This isn’t the first time a coach has straight up lied to the media and everyone else.

We only need to look as far as Alabama’s coaching search last year.

Nick Saban repeatedly said he was not interested in the job at Alabama.

At one point, he basically said, &uot;I’m not going to Alabama, and I would appreciate it if you quit asking me about it.&uot;

The next thing you know, he’s getting off a plane only to be greeted by a mob of Bama fans.

That’s why I have no respect for the guy.

Since then, Nick has said he wishes he had handled it differently.

I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, but I still wouldn’t trust him much further than I could throw him.

That time, Alabama was on the receiving end of a coach slipping out the back door, but it hasn’t always been that way.

Dennis Franchione, anyone?

For the sake of Bama fans, I’ll leave it at that.

What bothers me most about the whole thing is the position these guys are in.

All the time you hear about coaches being instrumental figures in the lives of young people.

If I had a son playing football, I’d have second thoughts about having someone who will lie to your face teaching him anything.

These coaches are supposed to be the ones setting the example and helping instill values in college kids.

For every good coach you hear about, there are probably two making the wrong kind of headlines.

These guys either need to walk the walk or quit talking the talk.