Thursday, December 11, 2008
One thing to take into consideration when voting for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award is how committed they are to their program. Think about, what kind of positive effects it has on a university when the coach is completely committed to the program? Also, think about what kind of effect it has on the players and the university when you know an coach is really there because they were the highest bidder and because he's a paid gun.
The perfect example of someone who does not exemplify commitment to a university is Nick Saban. He's absolutely a great coach. He's turned the Alabama program around in no time at all. But when it comes down to it, his commitment is not to the University of Alabama but to the massive multi-million dollar deal he's receiving. If you're a player being recruited by him, do you think that he's definitely still going to be around for your 4 years? Or are you worried that you well end up like the LSU players when he fled for the NFL dollars? Certainly you're glad he's coaching you now, but there's a good chance you'll end up really hating him in the future.
Many of the finalists have shown commitment to their university. Pat Fitzgerald is an alumnus. Jim Tressel, Mack Brown and Bob Stoops are all very committed to their programs. But of the finalists for the award, no coach exemplifies commitment to their university more than Joe Paterno. Joe Paterno is Penn State football. He has been there for 59 years, that's longer than most of the other candidates have been alive. Joe Paterno is certainly not still at Penn State for the money as his 500 thousand dollar contract is amongst the lowest in the BCS conferences. He's there because he's dedicated to Penn St. football and because of this he's idolized by all Penn State fans. Surely you know that eventually he's going to retire, but he makes sure at any time he is asked the questions to defer them until after the season. He does everything he can for his players and for Penn State.