Ok so I’m not writing about Notre Dame. Don’t leave though! I can guarantee you’ll want to read this.
I hate to lose. In fact I’m pretty sure everybody hates to lose. Losing the ‘Ship this year to Alabama was difficult. I usually have pretty negative feelings associated with Alabama and Nick Saban, but I read something today that changed a lot of my feelings about Saban, and even the Crimson Tide football program.
There’s a lot of pressure for these coaches to win-especially at these big name schools like Notre Dame and Alabama. The school expects it. The fans expect it. Even the people responsible for the cash flow expect it. There are a lot of coaches that use unsavory means to get those wins and it’s despicable. Honestly, I hate that side of football. It doesn’t diminish my love for the sport in any way, but I hate that there are people out there tainting the game I love so much.
So, with that, I’m sure you’ve all heard about the big scandal involving four Alabama football players earlier this year. If you haven’t, I’ll give you a brief recap and you can also read gridirongirl’s Alabama blogger,Tracie’s, opinion on it all in her post What Would Moma Say?.
Eddie Williams, D.J. Pettway, and Tyler Hayes are charged with second-degree robbery after allegedly attacking and robbing two U of Alabama students. Brent Calloway faces one count of fraudulent use of a credit card. Eddie Williams is also being charged for gun possession without a license. These are pretty serious offenses and hey also reflect poorly on the University and it’s the football team-t shouldn’t but it does. I don’t quite get why these kids would do such a thing. They get to play for one of the best college football teams in the country and are getting a quality education (probably on scholarship). We probably won’t ever find out why players sometimes make these poor decisions, but right now that isn’t what’s important.
What is important, is how a coach, in this case, Nick Saban, addressed it. I was surprised and elated that Coach Saban dismissed all four players from the football team. YES! Way to go Saban! He stood up for what was right and he set an example. He showed everyone that despite the pressure to win, he is committed to honesty and integrity. In doing so, he’s showing younger kids that all of our actions have severe consequences and sometimes those consequences rob us of what we love most. In the Alabama players’ cases, it is football and the potential to take their talent all the way to the pros.
So I say to you Nick Saban, thank you. Thank you for standing up for what’s right and showing us all that you don’t place winning above honesty, integrity, and honor. You’re a cool guy and I don’t hate you so much anymore for beating Notre Dame.