Having sat through the JV basketball season at my child's school, I have seen all kinds of behavior from players, coaches, parents, and students. The one underlying vibration is win at all cost. I am an undying promoter of good sportsmanship. I think it is above and beyond the most important element of a good coach and mentor. It is rare. Everyone wants to win. I have been at games that I would have called technicals on some of the people in the stands, if I were the referee. Doesn't happen. Bad sportsmanship goes unpunished.
Yesterday was Valentine's Day. I was at lunch with a girlfriend and saw a news crawl on the TV. The coach for the ultra competitive Alabama Crimson Tide suspended 4 players even though they are smack dab in the middle of the hunt for placement in the NCAA tournament. Coach Anthony Grant may be my sports hero. He suspended 4 of his best players and sent them home from their trip to LSU because of breaking team rules. Coach Grant put teaching and mentoring over winning at all cost. He hasn't released what they did and it doesn't even matter. I can't believe that a Coach for one of the most high pressured booster schools had the courage to teach his players right from wrong without concern for the all important win. I am incredibly impressed. Coaching is also teaching. Coaching is teaching life lessons by way of sports. Coaching is helping athletes to know what's right. Coaches have huge impacts on young minds. If more coaches were like Anthony Grant, maybe fewer athletes would be all about "me." It is an incredible move. Time will tell what long term impact it will have on Coach Grant's program, Alabama, the players, and all sports. "Talent is a gift, but character is a choice. The consequences of their choices have negatively impacted them as individuals and the people that love and support them," Grant said in the statement. "Our hope is that they will be mature enough to accept responsibility for their actions and place a higher value on their character." Coach Grant, I think I love you!
Sidebars: I would be remiss if I didn't mention the crazy love for Jeremy Lin that is going on in NYC, Palo Alto, Taiwan, and all over. A young, basketball player that has singlehandedly brought the spark back to the New York Knicks. He is humble and beautiful to watch. Smash has so much talent but the worst writing. Better improve quickly or the trite and predictable scripts will get people to switch to something else. The Bachelor is a disgusting and huge disappointment. Rumor has it who Ben chooses. If it's true, wow. The franchise may never recover. The Voice is stellar! The Biggest Loser is in trouble. If they don't cut it down to one hour next season, they may just have to cut it from the schedule. Too much drama, not enough weight loss and emotional recovery. Was Gillian the lynch pin?
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