I saw your column today and I can’t believe how wrong it was.
Your coaching staff makes millions of dollars and your school makes tens of millions because these football players have decided to sacrifice their bodies for a free education.
The staff has a responsibility to put a system in place that keeps these men-children from making bad decisions and teaches them the consequences of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and acting in the wrong way. They deserve the opportunity to grow up into the men any parent would want them to be.
Instead of assembling a staff of disciplined and principled men, this regime has put together a bunch of overgrown frat-house brothers. Instead of teaching men-children how to grow and develop as football players and productive members of society, they teach them how to party and have a good time.
A child misbehaves for a reason. It is the duty of the parent to determine what that reason is and make appropriate adjustments to how that child is being instructed so that the misbehavior stops and the right course is set. Kids need direction. They need leadership.
Once these 17- and 18-year olds leave home and join a prestigious institution in the Southeastern Conference, they need at least as much supervision and structure. Even older teenagers need routines. They need schedules for every waking moment of their lives. They need to understand that they are expected to be somewhere at a specified time and that when they get there, certain things must be accomplished. They need objectives and they need instruction on how to achieve them.
They need tough love, yes. But what they need more than anything else is guidance. They need attention. They need someone to listen.
They need help dealing with rampant substance abuse on college campuses. They need help in dealing with domestic situations. They need help in how to handle confrontations.
Your staff provides none of that.
In three seasons at your institution, the coaching staff has so miserably failed in this department that three men are dead, four men are going to prison and uncounted others have lost the opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their families.
The guy at the airport was right.