Normally, we would suggest that women stay in the background and play an ancillary role in sports, politics and philosophy. But today, we may have to change our stance.
ESPN Page 2's columnist Jemele Hill lambasted Kansas State coach Bob Huggins for his decision to walk out on his Manhattan constituency after just a year on the job.
Hill holds no punches, going so far as to title her piece "Huggins wronged Kansas State". Just the type of controversial statement that has made Page 2 the cutting edge of sports commentary, and giving a sample of the deeply insightful analysis to follow.
"Today, though, it's one more reminder that loyalty in sports is as outdated as doing the right thing."
True enough, because the previous reminders that seem to come virtually by the day haven't solidified the concept in our minds that in the world of sports, the bottom line is the bottom line. Money and the chance to improve your situation to make more of it are the magnets that attract loyalty. We needed Page 2's Hill to be the one to take up the gauntlet on this issue and deliver a no holds barred expose on Huggins completely shocking and unexpected early departure from K State. We are glad that Hill, and no one else for that matter, has the gaul to pretend that they saw this coming; and therefore act like this isn't really much of a story.
"Huggins is leaving a school that took a helluva chance on him and chose to believe in him despite an embarrassing graduation rate at Cincinnati and an even more embarrassing drunk-driving incident."
And Huggins deserves all the scolding. Who can fault a school for rolling the dice in this situation and crapping out? A drunk who can't get his kids to go to class?! Certainly any school that offered such an individual the platform to get back into the public eye would be shocked that the man would be on the first bus out of town as soon as he had an offer. One would expect that a man that didn't have the sense to call a cab or have the desire to push his kids to go to class now and then would certainly exhibit Semper Fidelis quality loyalty to the school that allowed him to rehabilitate his soured image.
"You don't turn your back on people who risk themselves for you. KG understands that. So why doesn't Huggins?"
So true. You don't do that. Especially when the other party's motives were purely altruistic and done solely to help the poor soul they took a risk on make a better life for himself. Certainly, their is no selfish aspect in extending a job to a proven winner of questionable character. There would be no expectation of things NOT going as planned, right? Makes one wonder why the author would use the word "risk", when certainly K State didn't foresee anything going wrong. No risk here, right? Cause, you know, if they did believe they were taking a risk, then this wouldn't be all that surprising or upsetting. Or even much of a story. But it is a story. It's on Page 2!
"It's funny. Too many people lambaste and vilify college basketball players for leaving early for the NBA because we are put off by their "selfish" decision to try to set up their families for life financially. But coaches, who already have financial security, are given a free pass regarding their quest for bigger money and bigger stages."
So true. Kevin Durant and Greg Oden (and the Florida Four) have received nothing but heat and ill feelings for entertaining the idea of leaving early. While coaches like Nick Saban (when he jilted LSU for the Dolphins) are ALWAYS given a pat on the bottom and told by the boosters and the fan base that they are still loved forever at the school. You can bet Billy Gillespie will be on the booster club Christmas card list for years to come. The Texas A&M community seems genuinely thrilled for him. Oh, and yeah, the guy this column is about. No hard feelings on his leaving. Not a critical voice out there.
"But there is always going to be a better job, more money and, yes, even a hometown available. And when you allow the pursuit of those things to supersede everything else, your character will inevitably be compromised."
And this is the part that makes the column so poignant, timely, knowledgeable and even controversial (the new hallmarks of Page 2). 'Cause, after all...we are talking about...........
BOB "HUGGYBEAR" HUGGINS.
The only acceptable response from the K State administration would be to deliver a Denny Green-esque soliloquy, "Bob Huggins is who we thought he was."
That's it. End of story.
Jemele has outdone herself and proven why Page 2 is the razor's edge of sports commentary.
Excuse us while we apply some pressure to stop the bleeding.
(edit note: Looks like K State learned nothing from hiring Huggins. Should they expect loyalty from this new coach? Or is this one a hire with "risk", that might lead to what should be no surprise....)