By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice received his walking paper Wednesday after video reports showed his abusive treatment of players. The incidents ranged from demeaning taunts and slurs to physical abuse over a span of at least three years.
We send our children to school with advice on how to handle bullies. We ask they report bullying to someone in authority. What happens when the bully is someone in authority?
Although this might not be as shocking as the Penn State scandal, the abuse of power that seems to be taking place in our schools and churches is heartbreaking.
Coaches need to raise their voice at times to get a point across. They have to be firm and enforce discipline. However, if you grab a player by the neck, shove him, or hit him in the head with a basketball you are not gaining respect, you are losing it. I’m not sure why some of these players did not get Rice in a headlock and make him tap out.
When your coach crosses the line from firm guidance to physical threats a player should not be expected to treat you like a superior.
On top of the Rutgers story we get word from the left coast that Pac-12 coordinator of officials Ed Rush may have offered to pay any official that gave a technical to Arizona coach Sean Miller. In meetings prior to the Pac 12 Tournament, Rush said he would give $5,000 or a trip to Cancun to anyone that ejected Miller or gave him a technical.
Turns out Miller did get a technical in the tournament semifinals, a two-point loss to UCLA. It is reported that all Miller said was “he touched the ball” in regard to a double dribble. It was the first technical of the season for Miller.
Again it appears we have an abuse of power. Rush defends himself by saying the comments were only made in jest. It doesn’t matter. To even suggest a coach needs to be given a technical oversteps the ethics of officiating. If the officials you have assigned to the game are not capable of determining themselves when the call should be made then they shouldn’t be calling the tournament.
Rice lost his job, but Rush has not been terminated yet. He should be taken out of any leadership position when his superiors confirm the story.
We will continue to hear many more stories like these. Our society is quickly losing its compassion and respect. If you are in a leadership position, your success should also be defined by your morals and your integrity. Be prepared to answer questions when the camera catches you.