With the start of football season, whether you’re a high school, college or pro fan, your teams bring new hope.
After the first two weeks of high school games, it looks like some of the old traditional powers still have the juice, but a lot of teams are good enough to challenge them. Every Friday night should be fun because every team has a chance to grab a victory.
In the Kansas City area, it looks like teams with two or more losses on their record will still have a shot to continue through the different levels of the playoff season. Fans should get their money’s worth throughout the season.
The college season really kicks off this coming weekend. The usual powers of Alabama, Clemson and Ohio State look like front-runners. The support by head coach Urban Meyer for his former assistant Zack Smith, as he stood accused of domestic violence against his wife for several years is beyond the pale.
None of us know the facts or truth surrounding the case but the checkered past of Smith throughout his career makes it difficult to remain open-minded in regard to how the situation was handled at Ohio State. Smith was ultimately fired by Meyer but only after the press continued to question the accusations.
As Meyer attempted to explain the situation in press interviews he appeared to have a poor response. He came across as upset that his judgment would be questioned. He seemed to project that the feelings of Buckeye Nation were of more significance than the feelings of the victim of domestic violence. He even had to call a second press conference to make a clear apology to her. That alone makes you wonder if someone had to explain to Meyer that his first responsibility should be to issue an apology and perhaps priorities were out of order.
It is yet another black mark on college sports. The most publicized black mark occurred at Penn State under legendary coach Joe Paterno. Last winter, basketball coaching legend Rick Pitino was fired because of multiple illegal activities involving his players and assistant coaches. Money in college sports has tempted coaches and colleges to look the other way for the sake of a winning program.
College athletes should be learning how to improve the system rather than to abuse the system just because they jump high and run fast. Coaches and athletic administrators should be held at a higher standard than the players they coach. They should stand as positive examples.
Smith is the grandson of former legendary Ohio State coach Earl Bruce. That status may have enabled him to escape punishment. The point is, if a coach is not held accountable for his actions, how can players be held accountable for theirs?
Opinions vary about how the whole situation should have been handled but truth and integrity cannot be achieved with national championships or the money earned from those championships. Recruitment of college athletes should promote positive traits. A program will ultimately suffer if money and glory are placed ahead of morals and values. The schools that choose money and glory over teaching young athletes positive life lessons will have a long road back to truth and integrity.
We all love to win. We all want to be thought of as a winner. True winners possess integrity. It must be difficult to coach in the culture of this society. Social media has opened a whole new world for them. However, they are highly compensated to handle any situation thrown their way.
• As a Chiefs fan, a very real concern exists for the defense and offensive line going into the regular season. Andy Reid’s teams never look good in the preseason. Let’s hope they can get over their problems and Reid can have them ready for the first game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Look for the team to attempt to pick up other players after the cut deadline.
• My quote of the week comes from President Theodore Roosevelt: “I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do.” That is CHARACTER!
– Tim Crone, a William Chrisman High School graduate, is a former activities director and coach for Blue Springs High School and is a host of a weekly radio show, “Off the Wall with Tim Crone,” on KCWJ (1030 AM) 6 p.m. every Monday. He writes a weekly column for The Examiner. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.