Field of Science

How to run a University - coaches (rhymes with roaches)

A long time ago, the Phactor thought there were three member classes that composed a university: students, faculty, and administrators, of which only the first two are absolutely essential.  Now with years of experience it is apparent that there is a fourth member class, one superior to the other three, and even less essential, a laothsome category called coaches.  In high school coaches were just teachers who did coaching as sort of a hobby, although years ago Mrs. Phactor, who would have been a great high school teacher, began to figure out what schools' priorities really were when she was asked in interview if she could coach soccer.  Yes, we advertised for a civics and history teacher, but what we really want is a soccer coach, so take your honors degrees and history scholarship for a walk and we'll hire a soccer jock who had a history course, once, and passed!  At the university there is never even the thinnest pretense of a coach being part of the academic enterprise.  A successful coach at our institution had just accepted a new 5 year contract for about $500,000 a year, which makes the coach the highest paid person at our institution by about $100,000.  Then someone offers this coach a position of coach in waiting, not even head coach, but for almost twice as much money, and he jumps at the chance.  His hesitancy about bailing out on this contract and his team had nothing to do about 2nd thoughts; it was a strategy for upping the ante.  This is exactly what a coach actually teaches.  It's not about sportmanship, it's not about winning or losing, it's not about building character, it's not about honoring your obligations and commitments, it's not about building a team or team spirit, it's not about a love of the game, it's about the money.  So much for a university's mission and values and highly vaunted scholarship.  It's coaches that get the most money, ignore the standards that everyone else adheres to, and then breaks their contract, stiffing their promising team, as soon as someone waves a bigger check under their nose.  But what does one expect?  They are products of exactly this system, and they learned their one le$$on really well. 

1 comment:

Justin said...

As a former collegiate athlete I can say that I truly appreciated the opportunity to compete at a high level. BUT I absolutely hate how sports (some more in particular than others) command so much of a university's resources/attention.