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Record: 7264 (3/12/2012)

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Thank God our coach knows how to treat the players

  • http://ajbarker82.tumblr.com/
    worth the read

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by thebluman 17 months ago

  • Wow. I wouldn't be surprised if Jerry Kill got fired over this.

  • Jerry Kill can kiss my left nut

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  • I wouldn't make too much of it. I doubt Kill is much different from a lot of coaches. We all know it happens. In this instance it goes public because this kid doesn't have a scholarship, so he has no reason to ride it out, he knows he's probably not gonna play in the NFL and seems to be from the background where he can accept that, so he has no reason to stick with the usual routine.

    Remember college football is a schizophrenic environment, coaches are supposed to be mentors and teachers but it's also a multi-million dollar industry in which coaches are solely judged based on wins and losses. A coach is also your boss, as in, he expects you to do a job for him and if there's problems with that he has to answer the question whether he is earning his salary from officials, donors, the media, fans. In an office, there's always going to be manipulations, like being "encouraged" to work certain shifts or much longer than scheduled, where vacation authorization can be used as the carrot as well as the stick. Coaches manipulate players (and subordinate coaches) all the time, it's part of handling a competitive situation and around a hundred employees - a good portion of whom are very young men with very questionable judgment. There's nicer words for it, but from the perspective of someone on the "downside" of it, it's manipulation. The situation is made particularly dicey by the fact that football teams have a quasi-military atmosphere to them. So while coaches are meant to care for their players, it's also to some extent accepted and condoned that they will treat them like crap at times akin to a drill sergeant in boot camp.

    Different coaches will have different approaches to all that, some will be fair but tough, others will be nice but passive-aggressive, another one will sound like a TV preacher or used car salesman whereas others act like the CEO of a trucking company. It's a personality thing. Honestly, I think in this instance you have a personality conflict. Even through the lines of a frustrated and angry kid what Kill said sounds very "coach-like". You know who was famous for alternating threats with praise in pretty quick order? Vince Lombardi. I think if any of us worked for a Lombardi character in an office, we'd hand in two weeks notice within days. But football coaches are in that small category of jobs where "old-fashioned" pre-1960s conduct is still acceptable. The thing is that a kid like Barker isn't from a background where that still is acceptable and you're going to see more of these stories coming up in the future because of that gap between the "football standard" and the "21st century middle-class standard".

  • I don't really feel much sympathy for the kid on this. None of this, at least to me, qualifies as "abuse."

    A coach saying that a kid's never going to earn a scholarship? I mean there are stories about how Bo used to tell guys they'd never see the field at Michigan.

    "I had 5 of you at Northern Illinois." Again, what's the big deal?

    "You're a dime a dozen." What's he want him to say, "You're a Superstar?"

    "There's nothing special about you." Umm ok, you're not particularly big, not particularly fast, not particularly tall, and you're no different than anyone else. Last I checked, Barker wasn't the #1 receiver in the nation, and even if he was, I'd expect Kill to still tell him there's nothing special about him

    I mean, some of this stuff I heard in 8th grade basketball lol. Our coach told us we couldn't beat our school's girls team haha. Coaches at all levels will belittle your ability in an effort to get more for you.

    To be honest, even reading the account of his injury stuff doesn't bother me too much. Kill saying he should be back by the msu game or the trainer saying he would have been back before if he'd done everything asked of him doesn't sound like disrespect to me. It's their opinion. People in authoritative positions always think that if things are done their way, everything will work out. That's a situation where Barker just needs to say "yeah ok whatever you say dude" and walk away.

    A coach saying "you're not ready for the bright lights"?? Dude, suck it up and prove them wrong.

    Also last time I checked, the coach can give a scholarship to whoever he wants to give it to for whatever reason he wants to give it to them and vice versa. If he doesn't want to give you a scholarship because you've played in 5 games a season, then that's his right. If he wants to give it to the kicker, then he gets to give it to the kicker. You knew you may or may not get a scholarship when you signed up.

    Really, the only issue I saw in that whole letter was being called a derogatory term for his spiritual views.

    I don't see Hoke doing this stuff, because he's not that kind of coach. But I also don't feel like if he did any of this (except the slur), I'd be particularly turned off by it.

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