Friday, September 16, 2005

Student Athlete

Say what you will about Skip Bayless, but he does make some good points in this piece about Bob Stoops' threat to bench star running back Adrian Peterson for violations of the OU student athlete class attendance policy. I don't really agree with Bayless' argument that the academic success of his players should be of no concern to Stoops or any other football coach, but it is nice to hear someone who is not afraid to call major college football what it really is, a farm system for the NFL.

Personally, I commend Stoops for taking a harder line with his players regarding classroom attendance and enforcing it uniformly. Most of the players on even the top college football teams will never play football professionally. Even college football superstars like Peterson don't always pan out once they reach the big leagues. By flaunting the rules that his coach laid down for the team, Peterson is showing NFL teams that he may be lacking in maturity and/or good judgement. Perhaps this disciplinary action or the threat of it will teach him a valuable lesson.

Bayless seems to imply that Stoops is already on shaky ground with the OU faithful and he should be more worried about his job security than his student athletes. Like any other coach at a football mad school, Stoops could get fired for anything from having a losing season to making the wrong decision about a two-point conversion. If OU cans him for taking academics too seriously, it will only reinforce Bayless' argument and make university presidents look even more hypocritical. I think that a lot of schools realize that coaches who actually care about their players are better in the long run, even if that means they will make decisions that sometimes enrage the faithful.

1 comment:

MDS said...

John Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath," which inaccurately portrayed Oklahoma as one big, backward dust bowl.

Does anyone else think Bayless's description defies any reasonable reading of Steinbeck? Oklahoma may have wanted to strengthen its football team in response to the national attention of The Grapes of Wrath, but that doesn't mean Steinbeck was wrong. Memo to Bayless: Steinbeck's work was FICTION. That means it was MADE UP. Inaccurate? I can just imagine Bayless going through some dusty old county courthouse trying to prove that no one named Tom Joad was ever sent to prison for killing someone in a fight.