Coach Ron Meyer: Petrino's Perils
Normally I try to stay "in season" when talking about coaching. I'll focus on college and pro football coaches in the Fall and through the pro playoffs. Then, it's college basketball coaching through March, and NBA coaching into the playoffs. The start of baseball will bring articles about managers.
But, this Bobby Petrino story is grabbing so many headlines that I wanted to comment while everyone was still talking about it.
My first point, it's not uncommon at all for football coaches to put themselves on a pedestal and decide that the rules don't apply to them. They're special. They can do what they want. This is why so many college coaches get in trouble with the NCAA (and there would be a lot more if the NCAA was really serious about enforcement). This is why so many NFL coaches develop reputations as being strict disciplinarians. Power can go to your head if you're not careful.
Secondly, it's also not uncommon for others near that coach to look the other way because they don't want to ruffle any feathers or risk their own positions. You think NOBODY in Arkansas noticed that Coach Petrino was spending time with a blond Amazon volleyball player? Or, at the very least, spending too much time on the phone talking or texting with somebody? This story didn't get out until the motorcycle accident.
Just in the past few months, we've heard stories of people looking the other way at Penn State at the college level, and people looking the other way in New Orleans during the bounty era. Not only are coaches often not held accountable for their actions (or inactions). They're actually getting help covering up their misdeeds, or at least some elbow room to do what they want without ramifications.
- Thirdly, and ironically, THIS WORKS! Arkansas hasn't been struggling during the Petrino years. They've done well in a brutal conference, and were positioned to possibly have a breakthrough season in 2012 with several veteran stars. Did the Hogs suffer last year because Petrino was distracted? Their only losses were to Alabama and LSU. Maybe they could have done even better. But, you'll find in a lot of these cases that on-field performance didn't suffer for the teams involved (and may have been better in the case of the NFL bounties), and that one reason onlookers didn't get involved was because they didn't want to rock a WINNING boat.
Now, I'm not suggesting that all married college football coaches should start dating volleyball players on the side so they can make a run at the top ten. What I want you to realize today is that the men you watch on the sidelines each week aren't necessarily the paragons of virtue that PR departments make them out to be. And, don't even get me started on athletic directors, or the front office types where the money is spent in college sports. Power corrupts. Money makes people do crazy things.
Those of you reading this article are HANDICAPPERS and LAS VEGAS SPORTS BETTORS. What matters to us is WHAT HAPPENS ON THE FIELD! It's not our job to legislate or preach. It's our job to pick winners, and we need to focus on what strengths and weaknesses head coaches or baseball managers bring into play.
I'm not betting on a saint if he can't teach defense. I often bet on the SAINTS when they were getting all those takeaways!
If you're a fan and a family man, I have no problem with you condemning this kind of behavior on a personal level. There's just way too much happening right now in the world of sports that's inexcusable. When it's time for a bettor to pick winners, you have to focus on the fundamentals. Even if you hate the one-and-done rule and don't trust John Calipari as far as you can throw him...Kentucky did cover the national championship game.
It's too bad the Petrino story is getting so much run this week. There are a lot of great stories breaking in both pro basketball and major league baseball that deserve your attention as handicappers. I'm the only man in the industry who handicaps from a coaching perspective. That gives me a HUGE edge over the oddsmakers and my colleagues because I see keys that everyone else is missing.
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I can promise you I won't be distracted when it comes to making you money. My handicapping track record speaks for itself. I'm grateful so many of you gave me a chance to show you what a football coach can do during March Madness. You're going to LOVE what you see in the NBA Playoffs and Major League Baseball. Sign up today with COACH RON MEYER!
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