Here is a timely piece written by our own PittPT, Mark Kerestan. Thanks, Mark.
With the announcement of transfer WR Taysir Mack’s availability for the coming football, it’s nice for Pitt to get some good new before the start of a season for a change. While we await any morsel of news concerning our favorite college football team, nationally the biggest news in the NCAA has less to do with football Xs and Os and more about moral issues and obligations of head coaches. Of course I’m referring to the scandals at the Ohio State and Maryland football programs.
I’m sure we are all aware of the situations, but at Ohio State Urban Meyer is under fire after saying that he had no prior knowledge of having a serial spouse abuser on his coaching staff and then back peddling after evidence surfaced indicating that that he likely has been aware of the situation for a number of years. At the University of Maryland, HC DJ Durkin is under a leave of absence after a 19 year old player, offensive lineman Jordan McNair, died days after collapsing at a team workout. Details surfaced regarding unsafe conditions during the practice including withholding of water during the practice sprints and ignoring warning signs that Mr. McNair was in physical danger.
At both schools decisions are expected this weekend regarding the careers of the head coaches involved in these scandals. So given what is known at this point, my questions are what do you think should and will happen to Urban Meyer and DJ Durkin moving forward; do you think whatever does happen will be more a reflection of the coach involved or the severity of the situation?
Since I brought up the questions I’ll offer my thoughts first. I believe both coaches should be dismissed. If Jim Tressel was let go after minor recruiting violations I don’t see how Urban Meyer should keep the same position while basically condoning or attempting to cover-up spousal abuse by a staff member. In the case of OSU however, I believe Urban will retain his position after a four game to one season suspension, because he is acknowledged as one of the greatest college head coaches s of all time.
Even more so with coach DJ Durkin at Maryland, given the evidence of questionable training practices and with a player dying on his watch, I don’t see any way that he should retain his head coaching position. Additionally, since Durkin is not a proven commodity as a HC and Maryland is not a football power I fully expect that Durkin will indeed be terminated.
So what do you all think? The schools’ answers are expected to be announced within the next few days, but in the meantime, what would you do as AD or University President at OSU or UM?
Editor’s Note: I was discussing this with a long time Maryland football fan just last evening and he said something interesting… that this is one situation where it pays for Maryland to be a run of the mill average football program in that it makes it that much easier if the Maryland administration decides to cut ties with Durkin. Pretty much the exact opposite situation from Ohio State’s basis of decision making.
This, unfortunately is what college football has become these days – a business where moral and ethical decisions are often overridden by the financial aspects of the sport.