Tuesday, March 01, 2005

The price of a broken arm

Temple men's basketball coach John Chaney won't coach the team during Atlantic 10 Tournament, it was announced yesterday.

For those who haven't been following the story, Chaney sent a little used player into a game last Tuesday against St. Joseph's, with instructions to rough some guys up, send a message, whatever. The player fouled out in four minutes of action. One of his fouls resulted in a season-ending, and basically career-ending injury, for a St. Joe's senior. Originally, Chaney was suspended for only one game, then that was increased to "the rest of the regular season", which equals three games. However, with the possibility that the two teams could meet in the A-10 tournament, he will not coach the team then, either.

I think John Chaney should be fired (and probably take an anger management class, too). No, I think he should resign, but that won't happen, so Temple should do the right thing, but they won't. So the A-10 or NCAA should step in. I daresay any other coach in a similar situation would be fired or, at the least, face a much, much stiffer penalty. And Chaney's one-game self-suspension? Give me a break. That is a joke. That's like a bank robber tunring himself in and sentencing himself to an overnight stay in jail.

Sure, all this seems worse because the kid's arm was broken. Chaney is like the little kid whose parents tell him not to play ball in the backyard, then while they are gone or not looking, he disobeys them and accidentally breaks a window. Would the kid have gotten in trouble if the window hadn't been broken? Probably not. But it was, and he is. I understand this is much more serious than a broken window, but hopefully the point is understood. Someone has to pay for the window, and that someone is clearly John Chaney. If for no other reason than for the unique position he is in of influencing and teaching 18-21-year-olds. How will opposing players view Chaney in the future? How else could they be expected to view him? Not to mention his own players and the example he is supposed to be setting for them.

"Do I sit here and try to stand it, or do I try to catch them red-handed? Do I trust some and get fooled by phoniness, or do I trust nobody and live in loneliness?"

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