The dishonor code: Leaving with your team
Tis the season when football coaches who talk about honor and team and loyalty remind us that they don’t hold themselves to the same standard.
Iowa State athletic director Jamie Pollard lashed out at departed coach Gene Chizik, who took the Auburn job after just two seasons in Ames, Iowa. Pollard said Chizik twice last week gave assurances he wouldn’t leave Iowa State.
Pollard said ISU players, staff and fans “deserved better” and questioned Chizik’s character. Chizik previously had made his biggest news as a Cyclone by trying to hire a full-time team chaplain, at university expense.
But give Chizik this much credit. At least he didn’t bolt on the Cyclones while this season was in progress. That’s better than some.
Leaving teams before their bowl game has become the fashionable move in college football, and it’s become so common, players and schools seem immune to the damage.
In the NFL, this thing is so uncommon that when it does happen, no one takes it sitting down. Monday, Oakland Raiders assistant coach James Cregg told interim head coach Tom Cable he was leaving the franchise for a spot on Lane Kiffin’s staff at the University of Tennessee. Kiffin was fired as the Raiders head coach in October.
“It’s wrong,” Cable said. “Wrong in this business. Wrong in the business of coaching.”
Cable is right. It is wrong. It’s also become widespread, at least on the college level, where it’s do as I say, not as I do.
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