New College Football Season Means More Dumb, Insensitive Coaching Pronouncements | WYPR

New College Football Season Means More Dumb, Insensitive Coaching Pronouncements

Jul 31, 2018

Credit Tom Newby/flickr

The onset of football training camps serves as a reminder that there is no group of humans more inclined to obliviousness than college football coaches.

They consistently show an uncanny ability to tune the rest of the world out to focus on their team and their sport, often to their own embarrassment and the shame of the school.

We present, for your consideration, the recent contributions of leaders of two prominent programs to the assemblage of asinine utterings.

First up, North Carolina coach Larry Fedora, who told a gathering of media two weeks ago that it hadn’t been proven that football causes chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE.

CTE, an ailment believed caused by trauma from repeated blows to the head and resulting concussions, was found during research conducted in Boston in the brains of 110 of 111 deceased NFL players.

Because CTE research is relatively new and can only be conducted on the brains of the dead, Fedora may technically be right.

But, in the wake of mounting evidence, he’s entirely tone deaf.

Think not? Try this on for size: Fedora went onto say that with continued concerns over CTE, football will be altered from the game we currently know enough to be unrecognizable just a decade from now.

And if that happens, Fedora said, quote, “Our country will go down, too.”

As is often the case with many football coaches, Fedora seems to suffer from severe delusions of grandeur, though the usual coach’s misconception is to inflate their own importance.

In this case, Fedora has conflated the significance of football with the very fate of the nation itself.

Don’t worry, Larry. If football changes or goes away because it can’t figure out a way to tame its savage nature, it will only be self-important coaches who will be out of work. And you and your ilk will deservedly be at the top of the list.

Actually, there may be a more deserving coach to go to the head of the class of ignorance.

That’s Ohio State coach Urban Meyer, who apparently hasn’t gotten the memo about the MeToo movement.

It seems that until last week, Meyer had under his employ Zach Smith, a receivers coach and recruiting coordinator, who played for Meyer at Bowling Green and is a grandson of Earle Bruce, a former Ohio State coach.

Smith’s ex-wife, Courtney, swore out a civil protection order against him dating back to a 2015 arrest on felonious assault and domestic battery charge.

This followed an incident six years earlier when Zach Smith, while a graduate assistant with Meyer at Florida, was arrested on charges of aggravated assault against Courtney Smith while she was pregnant.

Meyer knew about all of the instances, but only fired Smith last week, when ESPN reported the 2009 incidents.

At a press conference, Meyer said quote “Domestic issues are a lot of he said, she said. We care about people as they move forward unquote.

It’s clear that Urban Meyer cares about Zach Smith. When Ohio State visits Maryland on November 17, perhaps a few people could remind Meyer that he should care about Courtney Smith and women like her as well.

And that’s how I see it for this week.