January 16, 2010 at 5:52 am (Daily Offerings, Sports) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

“…But don’t forget to call me godly.”—Blu “Spanish Winter” (GODleeBarneslp)

It appears that many coaches of the collegiate ranks borrow from LA gem emcee Blu’s book of rhymes.

In recent times, we have bore witness to a host of college coaches, who consider themselves above the universities, above the law, and above human decency and respect. Thus, the god complex.

HC Pete Carroll is now embracing Seattle

Whether it’s former USC HC Pete Carroll jumping the ship after a not so stellar season with the Trojan football program, or duplicitous University of Kentucky HC John Calipari being lauded as the savior of the Bluegrass State’s storied basketball program, coaches across the country cannot help but feel godlike.

And why shouldn’t they, when no one holds them accountable anymore?

Pete Carroll swiftly rebuilt the allure of USC, when he arrived in December of 2000. But his days were numbered just as fast as they were heralded.

USC is seeing a recent influx of scandals and rumors, with the only saving grace being RB Stafon Johnson’s miraculous recovery from an unforeseen weightlifting accident.

Nevertheless, all eyes are on USC, but more so outside the lines than within the field of play.

The luster began to wear off when the Texas Longhorns, led by the multi-talented QB Vince Young, defeated the USC Trojans in a Rose Bowl for the ages. From then on USC won three consecutive Rose Bowls beating each opponent by at least two touchdowns.

However, allegations of RB Reggie Bush receiving improper financial benefits crept into the national spotlight, taking time and space from the victories.

As Pete Carroll leaves USC, rumors of his alleged affair with a graduate student, according to rival Notre Dame’s former HC Charlie Weis, have taken more press. And USC RB Joe McKnight’s “car troubles” only further taints the program’s Tinsel Town prestige.

In short, USC’s big stage presence is giving way to the behind the scenes turmoil.

Now, Lane Kiffin is headed to coach USC after one mediocre year at Tennessee, leaving his own drama with some of his players being charged with robbery. Perhaps, his stay at UT was on volunteer time, in order to prep him for his real dream gig.

Calipari is a gift and a curse for programs

Meanwhile a couple nights ago, UK’s John Calipari led his resurgent Wildcats over UF’s Billy Donovan’s Gators, whose back-to-back Championship teams of last decade will forever live on as great feats in Florida basketball history.

But this showdown had less to do about freshman phenom G John Wall, and more to do about two coaches who dress in the finest pressed suits and who are reportedly the two highest paid coaches in college basketball. But both have reached this financial summit in different ways. And this clash speaks more on state of college athletics more than anything else.

Just in case you don’t know, Calipari was a one-time protégé of Hall of Fame Coach Larry Brown, both at Kansas and with the Philadelphia 76ers.

However, it was his swift and unbelievable rise as head coach of UMass that garnered him accolades and protest alike. Named Atlantic-10 Coach of the Year three times and National Coach of the Year during his stint with the Minutemen, Calipari led UMass to its first ever Final Four appearance on the shoulders of the Naismith College Player of the Year Marcus Camby.

But like his position as UMass head coach that Final Four appearance was vacated due to findings that Camby accepted money from two sports agents.

And these sorts of NCAA violations continue to be the loose threads of all the schools that follow suit in hiring Calipari.

Recently, he just signed an 8-year $31.65 million deal to head the Kentucky basketball program, despite his previous program Memphis vacating wins, stemming from allegations that former standout G Derrick Rose (Chicago Bulls) was appointed someone to take his SAT.

Even while he’s only coached half the season at Kentucky, Calipari gained national spotlight again for all the wrong reasons when ESPN reported on how Calipari avoided NCAA violations, despite clearing major scholarship space for “his recruits.”

And as the sporting world turns, more and more coaches are pushing the limits, because there is a pressure to win, universities are sacrificing integrity (for money), and newfound fame and adulation is one of the most addictive things known to coaches and programs alike.

But like any drug, it ruins those addicted to it and the surrounding figures serve as collateral damage, as players, recruits, universities and families are left to scramble.

“Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High. 7But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.”- Psalm 82 excerpt (NKJ)

The Journalist



  1. Lane Kiffin is Headed to Coach USC « Phresh Graffiti said,

    […] } God complex , anyone? One and done without even a […]

  2. New Journalist Post « WERW | REAL COLLEGE RADIO said,

    […] –The Journalist tackles recent collegiate coaches leaving recruits, players, families and programs in limbo […]

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