Two College Coaches-Two Different Attitudes towards Athletes

cak5Two High Profile College Coaches-Two different Attitudes towards Athletes

Charles Walker was a star defensive end for the Oklahoma Sooners. After missing several weeks recovering from his third concussion, Walker decided to end his career with the Sooners to prepare for the NFL draft, where he is projected to be a high pick.

“Quitting on your teammates, that’s hard to take as a coach,” said Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. “Everything we stand for is our commitment to one another. For whatever reason, that wasn’t there for him.

Perhaps Walker saw what happened to Notre Dame Linebacker Jaylon Smith last year. Smith, who was likely a top 10 first-round pick in the NFL draft, suffered a horrible knee injury against Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl, tearing the ACL and LCL. Smith dropped from a top 10 pick to the second round of the draft. The injury likely cost Smith around $19 million.

Or, what happened to former South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, who after being a second-team All-American in 2010 suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in 2011. A season later, he practically destroyed his right knee in a game against Tennessee. His career was finished.

Kentucky basketball coach John Calipari is different.  After each season, he meets with his players and their families and lays out their options and NBA prospects. It is then up to the families to make the decision on whether to go to the NBA or return to Kentucky.

While calling Walker a quitter, I’ll bet Stoops would gladly quit the Sooners’ defense before a bowl game if he were offered another head-coaching position.

I think coaches have to honor the promise they made to those “blue chip” athletes (Charles Walker) sitting in a recruit’s living room and telling the parents how they’ll protect their son.

It’s always about what’s best for the kids. While calling Walker a quitter, I would be willing to wager coach Stoops would eagerly quit the Sooners’ defense before a bowl game if he were offered another head-coaching position.

Paul Dobbs

Connect the right coach with the right school so our kids have the best available mentor, teacher, role model to –  “Coach Americas Kids and Inspire Tomorrow’s Leaders”

December 9, 2016