Cheater or a Loser? You Pick!!!

John Clay, sports columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader and author of Sidelines, brought to life an article that everyone has thought, but I have yet to see anyone say…

Pick!  Hard working, give it everything you have and lose or a stab people in the back while breaking the rules to win cheat? And the winner is…..

In College sports, too often it is the cheat that ends up ahead while  the loser ends up in another career, even when the cheat is caught… I once read an article of an Assistant Coach who, while his program was under investigation, told the truth about the program breaking NCAA rules. That Coach was fired, and as of the read, was still ostracized from the position in College Basketball. He commented that a Head Coach is looking for the Assistant Coach’s to step in and take the fall or back the Head Coach completely. Anything outside of those rules was unacceptable.

Pete Thamel of the N. Y. Times writes the following on this topic:

Three years ago, when Royce Waltman was fired as the coach at Indiana State, he gave a memorable and prophetic news conference at the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.

He opened by thanking the university administration for handling his dismissal with “the deft touch of a 20-mule team.” He continued with a statement so honest and salient that it resonated deeply as the college coaching carousel spun again this week.

“If you get fired for cheating, you can get hired right back again,” he said. “If you get fired for losing, it’s like you’ve got leprosy, so young coaches need to bear that in mind. Cheating and not graduating players will not get you in trouble, but that damn losing. …”

John Clay, of Sidelines, expanded on those thoughts:

Coaches say it’s more of an occupational sin to lose than it is to cheat. There is plenty of evidence to support the theory. Shamed at Kentucky, Eddie Sutton got a second chance at Oklahoma State. Houston is giving James Dickey another chance. UTEP is giving Tim Floyd a second chance. Bob Knight would be quick to point out that John Calipari has received a couple of chances now, even though Cal has never been specifically implicated by the NCAA, etc., etc. and so forth.

Kentucky’s very own Billy Gillespie got caught up in that exact situation. A Coach who revived a UTEP program, left for Texas A&M and duplicated that success,  only to move on to Kentucky where the wins and losses didn’t suit the Big Blue Faithful, resulting in termination of his contract after only two years…

A year later, Billy G still has no Coaching job, even though his name has been thrown around the ring dozens of times. Why? Simple, he lost… Maybe not losing seasons, but seasons that didn’t meet the expectations of a program.

Yes, Billy has his other problems, but this story points directly to several incidents like Billy’s. Cheat…Okay, we can turn our backs to that, as long as you win. But lose, whether you are cheating or not, and we will ostracize you from your chosen profession.

John Clay’s thoughts and story link…

Link directly to The N. Y. Times Story…

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  • Chip Miller can be contacted via e-mail at ukbigbluenation@live.com.
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