• Tim Crone: Rutgers disgraces coaching fraternity

  • During the past two weeks, most sports were filled with positive athletic stories.

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  • During the past two weeks, most sports were filled with positive athletic stories.
    The outstanding NCAA Tournament culminated with the Louisville Cardinals as victors, which proves why the committee selected them as the No. 1 seed.
    The Kansas City Royals won the home opener for the first time in five years.
    The Chiefs are making some great personnel moves.
    Last, but not least, the Masters golf tournament is this weekend. Tiger Woods is the favorite going into the tournament so everyone will be looking forward to the final two days in Augusta.
    Unfortunately, there was bad news coming out of the Rutgers University men’s basketball program. It was a terrible situation that involved head coach Mike Rice.
    For the past 11 years, I have written articles that defend coaches. Not this time. I am totally shocked and disappointed with the ridiculous behavior of the whole Rutgers staff. That includes the athletic director Tim Pernetti and university president Robert Barchi, who showed horrible leadership.
    As a former coach and athletic director at the high school level, I realize that everyone has different ways to motivate players. However, abusive slurs and physical contact with players are two of the weakest forms of communication. I am really mad about this unfortunate situation.
    It is a black mark on the profession. Coaching provides a tremendous opportunity to teach positive life lessons to athletes. I have admittedly done some hollering and have used some colorful language to get my point across, but there are boundaries to be considered in the process of “firing up” athletes to compete at a higher level. Those boundaries were crossed when a coach chose to throw balls at the face of a player or to initiate a fight during practice in the name of motivation.
    Dog cussing and foul personal slurs are characteristics of a coach who has no business being around young people.
    I also took issue with the assistant Jimmy Martelli, who behaved like an idiot as he cursed, kicked and screamed like a mad man. Most are writing this off as an aberration; I certainly hope that all coaches see how WRONG this behavior is.
    A coach plays a very important role in the life of every player. Next to parents, a coach many times has more influence on a player than anyone else. The behavior of the Rutgers coaches is in the abuse column no matter how you slice it.
    I know the affected athletes were college students who no doubt needed to keep their college scholarships, but human dignity is far more important. I have been outspoken in my opinion that that all parents need to have coached and all coaches need to be a parent in order to totally understand the system. Now that I am a grandparent, I can assure you that I want my grandchildren to play for coaches who demand respect and discipline but who also, along with everyone else in their lives, treat them with respect and dignity at all times.
    Page 2 of 2 - If one of the Rutgers players was my grandson, I would pay a quick visit to Mr. Rice and his entire staff.
    Coaching is one of the greatest professions in the world. It provides an opportunity to make a positive impact on many young lives. That is why a coach can never cross the line and use abusive tactics or any other out-of-control behavior.
    All coaches will make mistakes, but they can never lack respect for a player. The coaching profession is full of dedicated individuals who are also great role models. Hopefully, the very negative situation at Rutgers will enlighten other coaches about the unacceptability of negative tactics.
    * The spring practice at Nebraska showed the positive side of athletics when ESPN aired highlights of a young boy with cancer who ran for a touchdown during practice. That is what athletics and sports are all truly all about.
    * It sounds like either Eric Fisher from Central Michigan or Luke Joeckel from Texas A&M will be the first pick by the Chiefs in the NFL Draft.
    * The media is taking Tiger to win the Masters – I agree with the experts on this one.
    * My quote this week is from an old football coach, Tom Pagna: “Character represents the sum total of a personality – what one is, what one has done and will do. It further reflects itself in actions. Great character has no facades. It shines itself in honesty, respect, true humility and an inner faith that knows we are but the recipients of a great gift.”

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