Apr 04 2010

The division one coaching merry go round is traveling at light speed.  Fired here, moved there, renegotiate everywhere.  With all the chatter and movement I never hear one AD, coach, or sports analyst talk about academics. I guess it has no value in this part of the education paradigm.  It is not surprising given the nature of what seems to be the priority of big time college sports, but it is alarming.  It is amazing that alumni, the ones that have graduated, will badger and threaten universities over wins and losses and not the graduation rates and the social welfare of student-athletes.  Those issues get no attention in the big picture of big time college athletics.  I was talking to Coach Schneider, my HS coach and resident recreation supervisor at NYIT, about the issue.  He told me of a quote he heard that summed up the DI environment "You will get fired for losing long before cheating".  That is a powerful statement.  DII use to be outside of the pressure cooker; however, as soon as championships made there way to the flat screen the dial on pressure cooker was moved from low to high.  I have received more abuse and complaints from over zealous parents, friends and members of the institutional community about wins and losses in the past five years than I did in my first twenty in this business.  One of my former teammates told me point blank, "your doing a great job with academics and being social responsible with the student-athletes of NYIT, but why don't you want to win".  I laughed because in my book I am winning.  I might be run out of town for a number of things but it will not be because I have not pushed my coaches and staff to graduate every student we recruit.  Will all succeed and receive a degree, no.....but I will lose sleep trying. Will more succeed than fail, yes, because we work hard to ensure that we maintain an attitude that in order to be part of this environment education is paramount to membership.  I never got into this business to win championships but to see young men and women participate in an extracurricular activity that brands the institution and provides them with a environment that allows them to develop as individuals.  I believe that every time we step on the field of play we compete with passion and we play to win, regardless of the opponent.  The true challenge is in the balance that must be maintained between academics and athletics so that individuals learn that time management will be their key to success long after they stop being student-athletes.  Don't get me wrong, I want to win just as bad as anyone who laces them up, but I know there is a bigger picture out there and when I see my former student-athletes return to NYIT and talk about their careers it is because they achieved academic success and not athletic dominance.  There are very few employers that will hire you based on your athletic stats,especially on the DII level, but they will and do look at figures on your resume.  Oh well, this is Cool Mac and I am out.  Remember, peace is never out but in.  Make today a good one so tomorrow is a better one.

Author: clyde_doughty