October 31, 2018

After Maryland Player's Death, Coach and Athletic Director Keep Their Jobs: At modern American universities, it is not unusual that the head football coach is the most powerful, and the highest-paid, individual.

That has rarely been more clear than it was on Tuesday, when the governing board at the University of Maryland looking into the death of a football player allowed the head coach and athletic director to keep their jobs, while accepting the unexpected retirement of the school's president, Wallace D. Loh.

posted by BornIcon to football at 10:31 AM - 6 comments

Even Scott Van Pelt, a Maryland alum, was highly critical of the school last night on his show, siding with the university president who wanted the coach and AD gone. Bad beat for sure.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:00 AM on October 31

At modern American universities, it is not unusual that the head football coach is the most powerful, and the highest-paid, individual.

And at state schools, it is not unusual for the head football coach to be the highest-paid public employee in the state. When teachers make $35,000 and a football coach makes several million per year, our culture needs an enema.

I don't claim to have any insight into what actually happened to McNair, and I would certainly hope that the Board of Regents investigation was thorough and objective. That said, I find it alarming that the president of a university could be forced out by the desire to keep a football coach. If Loh wanted Durkin gone, and it seems that a large portion of the student body did, too, he should have been gone.

posted by tahoemoj at 01:15 PM on October 31

From Cleveland.com, 2011:

when Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee was asked earlier this week whether he had given any thought to firing football coach Jim Tressel for the scandal that erupted this week, his response was nothing less than despicable.

He made a joke.

"I'm just hoping that the coach doesn't dismiss me," Gee said of Tressel.

posted by beaverboard at 02:55 PM on October 31

How the winds of fate shift and swirl in the college game:

One of the significant beneficiaries of the troubling scenario at UM will be Penn State. Coach Franklin and his staff, who have already shown a remarkable ability to recruit the region, will now have an even easier time mining the Maryland motherlode.

posted by beaverboard at 03:06 PM on October 31

Just to throw something into the discussion, just how much is it worth to a university to have a winning football team? Is there a benefit in gaining additional financial support from alumni? How much is it worth? Does a winning program attract a greatly number of student applications, thereby possibly enhancing the academic quality of the student body? For public universities, what is the economic impact of huge crowds? For example, State College, PA, becomes the 3rd largest city in the state for home football games. Several million dollars are pumped into the local businesses each game. A portion of this comes back to the state in the form of taxes. The payments from TV appearances by the team and bowl games are paid to the various conferences and are then shared back to all. My point is that a successful coach might be worth his rather exorbitant salary.

That said, what cannot be tolerated is abuse of the power of his position by a coach. It becomes worse when a university is complicit in covering up, minimizing, or even condoning such abuse. It seems to come down to a question of integrity, morality, and human decency. We often hear how athletics teaches values such as those. Perhaps the lessons are lost in the desire to win, no matter how the winning is done

posted by Howard_T at 04:34 PM on October 31

Better late than never? Durkin has been canned.

posted by tahoemoj at 07:23 PM on October 31

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