Posts Tagged ‘Alabama’

LSU Tigers Coach Les Miles gets a mythical Chip Kelly Award* for suspending three stars for the big game with Auburn

October 21, 2011

Sport is supposed to build character, but college sport often puts winning above sportsmanship or ethics. So it’s encouraging to see a big-time coach put character first. It’s especially encouraging when the stakes are huge.

LSU’s Tigers are undefeated at 7-0, and ranked #1 in the nation. Tomorrow they play improving and dangerous Auburn. LSU needs a win to preserve their path to the national championship.

LSU’s chances dropped a notch Wednesday when Coach Les Miles suspended three key players, reportedly for drug violations. The three included two considered the Tigers’ most valuable: cornerback and Heisman Trophy contender Tyrann Mathieu (six forced turnovers, including two returned for touchdowns), and star running back Spencer Ware (512 yards and six touchdowns). Defensive back Tharoid Simon (one interception and 29 tackles) was also suspended. The suspensions are for at least one game; if Miles extends them it could be devastating to the Tigers since their next game is at Alabama, ranked #2 in the nation.

Miles has been criticized for failing to control his players, but he deserves a lot of credit for putting character above winning. I don’t know whether to root for LSU to win to show that ethics pays off; or to root for them to lose to demonstrate just how much coach Miles put at risk to enforce LSU’s rules of behavior.

In any case, Coach Miles gets a Chip Kelly Award for putting character above winning.

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*Chip Kelly, Oregon Ducks football coach, suspended his star running back for poor sportsmanship right after Kelly’s first game as Ducks coach

More shame for USC: After spreading careless accusations of cheating, a non-apology from Mike Garrett

July 12, 2010

When you’ve done something wrong and you want to apologize, say. “I’m sorry.” Even better, say what you’re sorry for. This doesn’t apply to the University of Southern California.

After USC was hit last month with sanctions from the NCAA for serious rule violations involving football star Reggie Bush and basketball star O. J. Mayo, the athletic department feared that players already committed to the Trojans (or already enrolled) would switch to other schools. Not just fears: according to ESPN, USC accused five other schools–Oregon, Washington, Florida, Alabama, and Fresno State—of cheating by contacting top Trojan recruit Dillon Baxter without the Trojans’ permission.

Mike Garrett, Trojan athletic director confirmed the ESPN report when he sent letters of “apology” to the five schools. After accusing the five schools of cheating Garrett belatedly asked Baxter, who said he’d not been contacted by any of the schools.

Garrett didn’t apologize for his careless accusation of cheating, or perhaps for damaging their reputations, nor for anything he had done. No responsibility for Mike Garrett, nosirree:

“I apologize for any inconvenience or embarrassment this matter has caused to you and your institution,” Garrett wrote.

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