Coaches Under Fire

By Adam Caparell - September 18, 2006

In light of the attention the Reggie Bush controversy has brought upon USC and some accusations that members of the Trojans coaching and athletic staff new about supposed NCAA violations, UConn coach Randy Edsall said Monday that it was preposterous to hold coaches responsible for controlling every aspect of their players lives.

“What am I supposed to do other than get up in front of them and tell them all the time here’s the rules, here’s what you can do, here’s what you can’t,” Edsall said.

“I think that’s all we can do. I think the next thing we have to do is if we do hear of something, or suspect something is going on, then I think we have to go to the appropriate people here on our campus and go and report the violations. I think that’s the responsibility we have. But there‘s no way a head football coach or basketball coach can be responsible for these kids 24 hours as they go out there committing violations of NCAA rules that we’re going to know of the exact moment that they commit those violations. To me, if we know about them and don’t report, then we’re responsible. But if we don’t know about them, then I don’t know how a coach can be held responsible for the conduct of their player when they don’t even know it’s taking place.”

It has been alleged that USC allowed agents and marketing representatives on the sidelines and at practices throughout last season. If that is the case, then the Trojans head man, Pete Carroll, should bear some blame and responsibility if USC is ever sanctioned or punished following an inverstiagtion.

But what Bush and the players do away from the field, away from practices and games and in mandated study halls, is out of a coach's jurisdiction. Even though they're still called kids, coaches like Edsall and Carroll are dealing with legal adults who should know right from wrong. On the other hand, it's nearly impossible to begrudge someone who comes from very little from accepting gifts and cash when everyone else around him is profiting off of him. Big time college athletics can be a slippery slope.

From Coral Gables

Miami has supposedly scheduled a press conference for tomorrow. Some believe it could be the announcement of Coker's firing. Others aren't buying it. The situation bears obvious wathcing, but canning Coker in the middle of the season isn't going to do the Hurricanes any good. If they do, it will be a major over-reaction, creating an even bigger distraction/controversy/media onslaught than just letting him stay put and seeing if he can right what looks to be a rapidly sinking ship.

Posted by Adam Caparell at 04:42 PM on September 18, 2006

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