The Nov. 6 Sports section carried two interesting articles about regional college teams. The big news, of course, was WSU’s loss, suspension of Marquess Wilson, and the attitude (“Unrest on the rise …”) of head coach Mike Leach.
People are forgetting that Leach was hired to turn around a poorly performing team. He’s working with players he didn’t recruit, and no one is going to turn a team around in a few months. Any time there’s a coaching change it takes time to work out the bugs and bring players into the new mentality, often losing a few in the transition.
Let’s give him a chance.
But the other article, about the Gonzaga basketball team (“Bakamus a nice fit …”), was an interesting contrast.
Granted, this is a well-established program with a coaching team that has been in place for some time, so there are bound to be differences. But to me, the key was that the Gonzaga players talk about having fun. That’s what college athletic programs should be about. Sure, it’s nice to win games and championships, but the true purpose of playing college athletics should be to enjoy athletic competition and represent your school while getting a college education.
We tend to forget that when the tail (the athletic department) wags the dog (the university) everyone suffers. I hope to see the day when being members of all college teams includes having fun, and that academics is recognized as the primary reason for the schools to exist.