July 17, 2023
Over the past week or so, three high-profile college coaches have “made national news” … depending, of course, on how restrictive your media of choice might be … and your “give a damn” factor.
A brief analysis of “why” each was news-worthy might help to understand the ongoing evolution of college sports … and the much greater socio-cultural evolution of HumanKind 2023.
A REMINDER: Every Big Time College Sports Program – its coaches, players, admins and especially its fanbase – is terminally Evil & Corrupt … EXCEPT the Big Time College Sports Program to which YOU have sworn your life-long allegiance. …. LOL!
Pat Fitzgerald & Northwestern
If ever an individual was a PERFECT fit for an institution – Pat Fitzgerald was that individual as Head Football Coach at Northwestern. He was an AA Linebacker at NU in the early 90s and for the past 17 years, its Head Football Coach. He “bled purple” and totally understood the reality of competing in The Big Ten with the restrictions inherent in an institution such as Northwestern.
He had the occasional “catch lightning in a bottle” season when good fortune and circumstance combine for a 8-9 W season but the norm would be 4-5-6 Ws and maybe a WhoZit Bowl. A rare upset of a Big 10 SuperPower but not often. The majority of NU alum/fans were OK with that. A month ago, it was assumed Pat Fitzgerald had the NU HFBC gig as long as he wanted it … which would be forever.
Last week Pat Fitzgerald was FIRED by NU after a brief suspension stemming from allegations of ongoing “hazing” within the NU Football program.
A situation Fitzgerald knee-jerk denied any knowledge of despite being “in charge” of the program for 17 years. His Sgt. Schultz’ “I knew NUTHING …” being as much a factor in his dismissal as the actual “hazing”.
For the record … Sgt Schutz denials NEVER work. Sure, loyalists to the accused will rally to his defense at first, but will desert him as evidence piles up.
I could debate either side of the “hazing / initiation rites” issue. “Hazing / Initiations” have been commonplace in sports … fraternities & sororities … military and any organizations where “in order for you to become one of us” is an issue.
There is some justification for the process UNTIL it “gets out-of-hand” which is invariably does.
Alas, when “memorizing the greek alphabet and reciting it while holding a lighted match” morphs into “forced to drink excessive alcohol, stripped nekkid and left in a field somewhere” … or similar creative practices; it’s going to become an issue.
The specifics of what was going-on within NU Football have not been made public other than “… involved sexual humiliation” … Uh Oh!
Because of strict academic requirements, NU Football has a much higher % of white players than most Power5 rosters. I would be curious how the “hazing” was administered relative to white and black players … by whom to whom?
It is 2023. Once a reporter for the school newspaper got details from “an anonymous source” believed to be a victim of the hazing … and once Fitzgerald denied any knowledge of it … the end result was a foregone conclusion.
Rightly or wrongly … institutions with overly-caffeinated academic egos will always have a gaggle of academaniacs (and wokie weenie students) eager to take down “the jocks”. When “the jocks” make it easy for them to do so … it gets messy really quick. Expect the “trial lawyers” to be salivating over this one.
Pat Fitzgerald might employ Jimmy V’s statement … “They gave me a lifetime contract … then declared me dead.”
Kirby Smart & UGA
Winning back-back NatChampionships is fine and dandy … but as with so much in life … every action has an equal and opposite reaction.
Since the night of the Official Celebration of Georgia’s most recent glorious achievement … there have been almost a weekly case of UGA Footballers either violating driving laws specifically very high speeding around Athens and/or the “standard” sexual malfeasances that seem to occur all across Power5 World as “entitled” jocks with testosterone overload sample the abundance of nubile coeds available for their carnal pleasure.
On that fateful night … two members of the UGA Athletic Staff were killed in a high-speed accident. That hasn’t deterred other “Dawgs” from enjoying their NIL-provided high performance vehicles.
Georgia’s notoriously over-enthusiastic fan base, of course, poo-poos the attention all these reoccurring incidents are getting from “the media” especially the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
It should be noted that those same Georgia fans showed No Mercy to Alabama during their recent dust-up involving their star basketball player and his teammates KILLING a young mother for spurning the affections of said teammate. The star player’s direct involvement in said killing being excused by Alabama admins.
Coach Smart, of course, downplays these on-going incidents with his players as “Golly, gee whiz, whatta ya expect me to do about it … we told’em not to drive those fancy cars so fast ..”
Several of the more heinously inexcusable incidents HAVE resulted in players being dismissed from the team.
As with pretty much everything that occurs in Big Time College Sports … overly-celebrated young men do whatever they think they are “entitled” to … and can get away with … which is usually A LOT especially if they are high-profile “star players”.
“Star players” getting away with various levels of criminal behavior is a long-standing tradition in Big Time College Sports. Coaches making sizable $$$ donations to the local LEOs to insure that “you call me before you fill out a report, you hear” is standard practice.
(… Especially in “college towns” like Athens – Chapel Hill – Tuscaloosa – etc. Harder to pull off in large metro areas where not everyone is a big fan.)
UGA Football has a designated “fixer” for that very purpose … as do most Power5 programs … including “yours”.
Nothing in this era of NIL and The Portal is likely to change any of the above.
Bob Huggins at West Virginia
Unless he is or was the Head Basketball Coach at Your School, you probably have never liked Bob Huggins. “Huggy Bear” has been around for 30+ years achieving W-L success at each stop along the way. But doing so with a perceived roster of “urban thugs” of marginal academic prowess.
Huggins has a public persona that contributes to his overall popularity or lack there of. That persona has manifested itself in spades the past month or so… resulting in Bob Huggins no longer being the Head Coach at West Virginia.
Appearing on a radio sports talk show in Cincinnati, “Huggy” went into a “anti-Catholic” rant about everything related to Xavier University. Xavier was his bitter hated rival during Huggy’s years as HMBC at nearby Cincinnati. WHY did he do “it” is a mystery. How inebriated Huggy was during his on-air rant is debatable but hardly an excuse. “Huggy” has a well- ocumented “inebriation” problem.
Huggy’s wrist was slapped by West Virginia admins including WVU Pres/Chancellor whatever the quite infamous Gordon Gee who is himself a “character” long prone to outlandish rhetoric.
The smoke had hardly cleared from “Huggy / Xavier” when a “drunk as a skunk” Huggy was arrested in Pittsburgh for driving “drunk as a skunk”.
Within a day or so of this latest altercation, Huggy was no longer HMBBC at West Virginia … supposedly he resigned but now Huggy claims he never did so.
Anyone who has followed Huggy over the years had to figure this would turn into a total clown show.
Bubba In-Charge …
UNCCH’s “real AD” Bubba Cunningham was recently named Co-Chairman of the 2024 NCAA Basketball Championship which means selecting which teams get in and which bracket they are put in.
My first thought was how IDEAL this is for NC State fans … (1) whether NC State gets in or not AND (2) insuring that they get placed in THE toughest bracket is Bubba’s Fault.
Actually it’s not Up To Bubba as he is simply co-chair and the selection process involves a committee of several dozen athletic admins … but that won’t stop hard-core Wuff partisans from blaming him.
With Little Johnny Swofford no longer tormenting WuffNation as ACC Czar … having Bubba in this role has to satisfy that terminal paranoia. Yeeeee Haa!
NOTE: Recall how effective “Chairman Boo” was in keeping Mack’s Tar Heels out of the 2023 Football Final Four …. Ok, maybe there were other factors in that one! LOL …
BobLee Recommends …
I haven’t streamed a movie on Hulu/Prime/Whatever in at least two years … but did so twice recently.
At Blondie’s insistence I watched the Prime series “Reacher”. NOT the Tom Cruise versions although I liked those two movies … but Tom Cruise was NEVER going to be “Reacher”.
The guy that plays “Reacher” in this latest series is still not my idea of Reacher but closer than Cruise is. This guy did a fine job. … and the bad guys are Really Bad.
I definitely recommend you stream “Reacher” if you haven’t already.
ALSO …. I streamed Jack Ryan: Season 4 on Amazon Prime. I had streamed Season 1 & 2 of that series but missed #3.
Jack Ryan: Season Four is VERY GOOD. In the pantheon of Tom Clancy Movies … I put Jack Ryan: Season Four right up there with Clear & Present Danger w/ Harrison Ford … which is an all-time classic I’ve seen at least a dozen times.
Yes, the guy that plays Jack Ryan is “that guy from The Office” but he does a fine job and has been JR in all four JR Seasons on Prime.
I think … the chronology of “Season Four” is pre-Clear Present Danger as Jack & Cathy are not married yet … he meets “Dominquez” in this and “Admiral Greer” has yet to join the CIA. This is NOT an adaptation of a Clancy book at all. I binged Season Four non-stop for four hours.
Reacher and Jack Ryan: Season Four …. check’em out. They WILL be on your final exam.