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Inspirational Reads

You Stay Classy, Miami

April 19, 2007

So, while we're all still either in shock or coming out of shock, there's this little bit of sunshine from the University of Miami in Florida (Miami of Ohio could NEVER be this kind of class act).

If you're so worried that you need extra security to protect against the isolated event of one madman, then why don't you just have the football team travel with you. No need to pay the extra guards when you have your own built-in arsenal ready to travel at will. We know that they can roll off the bus wearing camo and pretending to be the army. They're warriors, after all. Just ask Florida International. They know how the Hurricanes of Miami can be scrappy when backed into a corner.

What a sick, lame, pathetic institution this is.

But, you know, they're taking steps to clean it up down there. I mean, the new coach of the football squad, Randy Shannon, has put down a rule saying no more guns for players. Groundbreaking, that. And, of course, there's Donna Shalala with her hardline attitude toward players who embarass the team: suspend them for the game against Duke. Duke! Powerhouse of ACC football. Nicely done.

This just sickens me. But then, look at the source. Of all the schools in the country, I would expect something like this to come from Miami. They're clearly not living in the same reality as the rest of us. Offer condolences, sure! Oh, by the way, we'll have our armed guards deliver the flowers. Un-effing-believably pathetic.


Precision Garage Door said...

Miami had been in a debate about security since losing Bryan Pata to an attack from a single assailant off-campus. Parents had been raising a ruckus over security, threatening lawsuits.

Virginia Tech was living in a nightmare and Miami had stirred memories of its own smaller nightmare. The appropriateness of even having a game at such an emotional time was a hot topic of debate on both campuses.

The lack of institutional response at Virginia Tech remains a topic of much anger at Virginia Tech and many at Miami are levelling the same charge against Miami's administration stating they were simply "lucky" there were no follow through deaths. Miami's security guards for the baseball team was a symbolic truce flag to concerned parents.

The football brawl with FIU was similar to three other onfield brawls last season that got little attention and you clearly don't remember them because they weren't at Miami. The more culpable players were banned for multiple games.... which was completely proportional to other school's responses. Nobody got hurt in that brawl and FIU acknowleged their players clearly purposefully instigated it. Neither coach remains employed by any college..... which is the seat of the real blame.

If the world is a simpler place for you to understand when you can have "Bad Guys" and "Good Guys" then have at it. But when you are ready to enter the ranks of thinking adults that will be a good thing.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

A valid point about the other fights in college football that were just as malicious as the FIU/Miami brawl. For the record, I believe the other two were Lehigh/Lafayette (who fight annually, it seems) and Dartmouth and...someone else. I can't remember who off the top of my head.

Still, to say that the suspensions were fair is ridiculous. One player suspended indefinitely and several others suspended one game. And the one game was against Duke, which, for Miami (and all of D-1A football not named Temple) was as good as a scrimmage. While FIU suspended more players for the rest of the season. That doesn't strike as fair and even to me.

The case of Brian Pata is sad and tragic; anytime a young man or woman is shot in the prime of their life is sad. Pata's was particularly bad as, from what I can remember, he had been acting as a peacemaker for a fight and then got shot in the back as he was walking away.

But to link Pata's death to the issues at Virginia Tech is assinine. These were two completely separate instances, both tragic, both senseless, both disgusting. If Miami's students' parents are crying foul, it's over the lack of institutional control that the athletic department has shown, particularly among its football players (lest we forget two players being suspended over getting in a gunfight...with each other).

Coker was run out of town on a rail because he wasn't winning enough. He won a national championship with Butch Davis' players and lost one to an equally-foul-smelling athletic department in Ohio State (on an even fouler smelling phantom holding call). The fight was simply a convenient way to spin the fight that took place under Coker's watch. Shalala wants a new stadium for Miami football, and the boosters weren't having it with Coker in there offering up 6-6 and 7-5 seasons, especially in a joke league like the ACC. He was, unfortunately, a victim of the ever-increasing money-grubbing that follows college football and basketball in this country.

Schnellenberger was no better, as he had his arms in filth up to his shoulders while at Miami...and everywhere else he's gone. The World Wide Leader can trumpet his hiring at FIU as a great way to start a program, but anyone who has been around college football long knows that trouble follows Howard everywhere he goes.

If Miami really wants to clean up its image, it needs to start at the top and work its way down. Lumping the blame on Coker was an all-too-convenient out (and Coker, like the rest of the institution, had no control over his team). By all accounts, Coker was a nice guy who loved his job as coach of Miami, and yet, when there was trouble, the AD and the President of the school tossed him under the bus. Now they're offering, as you put it, white flags to the parents by using the tragedy at a different school to trumpet their "caring, compassionate" management of their baseball team. As soon as Miami would like to step into the thinking world of adults, they're identity as seen by the rest of the nation will immediately be felt. Until then, they can keep hiding behind their perceived shield of integrity and class.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

I forgot that, in the world of college football fights, Michigan St. was also involved in one scrum at the end of the Illinois game and tried to pick a fight after their annual meltdown to Notre Dame. Plus, Matt Trannon punching Notre Dame's coaches and players on the sidelines.

The theme here is, again, lack of institutional control. Whereas Coker probably got a bum deal, John L. Smith truly was living in his own world and rightly got the axe, not just because he wasn't winning, but because his program was completely and totally out of control.