I’m going to go off on a little bit of a rant here, so bear with me. I’m generally a fan of the show Mike and Mike on ESPN Radio, and of Mike Golic in particular. I just want to make that clear first and foremost. In the past, they’ve typically been fair to Jim Boeheim and the Syracuse University men’s basketball program. But this morning, Mike Golic took the stance that Boeheim deserved to be punished, because he should have been aware of everything going on within his program.
Honestly, that is a massive example of hypocrisy being shown by Mike Golic.
I’m going to back up to October 1, 2014, when there was a controversy swirling around the Michigan Wolverines football team, and in particular former head coach Brady Hoke. This came in the wake of Michigan quarterback Shane Morris suffering a concussion, and then being sent back into the game. The national fallout centered on Hoke, who journalists claimed should have known was unfit to return to action. After all, he had taken a massive hit, and had to be checked out by the team doctors. It should have seemed clear to Hoke that his quarterback wasn’t healthy enough to head back out onto the field.
But this is where Golic, along with other coaches and former players like Mack Brown and Kirk Herbstreit, chimed in with claims that there is absolutely no way a head football coach can be aware of everything going on down on the sideline during a football game. He’s got other things to focus on, and he’s got staff members in place to inform him when a player has gotten his bell rung and should be pulled from the action.
Fast forward to this morning, when Golic took the stance that Jim Boeheim should have been aware of everything that took place within the Syracuse University men’s basketball program. Fortunately, Jay Bilas was on hand to set him straight, but it doesn’t change the fact that Golic took a completely contradictory stance to the one he held during the Brady Hoke situation.
And I’m not singling out Mike Golic here, I’m actually just using him as an example representing almost all national media members. But Golic has now very publicly come out defending one coach for not knowing everything about his team, while taking to task another while saying he doesn’t buy that he doesn’t know what’s happening with his team members, and it is the height of hypocrisy.
The bottom line is you simply can’t have it both ways. Yes, a lot happens on the sideline of a football game. It’s incredibly difficult for a coach to know what’s happening with all of his players, and that’s part of why a football team has so many assistant coaches and trainers, who are meant to inform the head coach about what’s happening in situations like the one with Shane Morris.
However, Golic, Brown, and Herbstreit were perfectly willing to give Brady Hoke a pass, because the people under him didn’t properly inform him about what was happening.
Gee, does that sound a little bit familiar? It should, because it’s exactly what Jim Boeheim has said took place within his own program. People were hired and appointed to positions to monitor the players within the Syracuse basketball program, and they failed in several areas. First, they failed to do their jobs with integrity. Second, they failed to properly inform the coach about what was going on.
Tell me, what is different between Stan Kissel failing to properly do his job, and failing to tell Jim Boeheim the details surrounding Fab Melo’s homework, and the Michigan team doctors presumably failing to adequately inform Brady Hoke what the situation was with Shane Morris? You simply cannot have it both ways, especially when you consider that in Hoke’s case, he was only being asked to monitor what was happening with his players during an actual game.
Boeheim, on the other hand, was expected to be omnipotent with regard to the day to day study activities of his students over the entire course of their careers. Why is it okay for Brady Hoke to lose track of what’s happening with his starting quarterback in the middle of a game, but Jim Boeheim should know exactly what Fab Melo is doing at every second of every day over the two year period he was a student-athlete at Syracuse University?
The answer is, it’s not okay. It’s the height of hypocrisy, coming from a group of football guys defending a football coach because they have first hand knowledge of how difficult it is to monitor all of your players at any given time, no matter how much support staff you have to aid you. That’s why you see people like Dick Vitale, and Jay Bilas, and Seth Greenberg, and Mike Krzyzewski, and Scoop Jardine all coming out in support of Jim Boeheim. These are people who understand the business of college basketball, and realize that you cannot possibly know what’s happening at all times within your program.
If Jim Boeheim is guilty of failure to monitor his student-athletes, then so, too, is a guy like Brady Hoke. Personally, I don’t think Brady Hoke should have been taken to task for the way he handled his situation with Shane Morris, because I firmly believe that there’s too much happening in a game for him to know everything taking place on the sideline. Again, that’s why you hire people like trainers and assistant coaches. You hire these people to keep you informed. It’s called management.
But you can’t have it both ways, Mike Golic. You can’t come out in defense of Brady Hoke, while also going after Jim Boeheim for not knowing what’s happening with his players at all times. If you’re going with the defense that one coach shouldn’t be held accountable for things he probably has no way of knowing about, that defense has to exist for all coaches in similar situations.
To suggest otherwise makes you nothing more than a hypocrite.