UMiami should be ashamed, and Larry Coker should be fired

Even if you don’t follow college football, you probably heard about the on-field fight on Saturday between the University of Miami and Florida International University. It was a major fight involving a majority of the players on both teams, including at least one injured player swinging their crutch as a weapon. One player swung his helmet as a club, others kicked players, others punched. It was a huge fight that required the state police to be called in, and then apparently even carried into the stands between fans.

I even heard on the Dan Patrick radio show that it was “Join a Team, Not a Gang” day at the stadium, where the Miami-Dade police brought in kids to watch the game and encourage them to go to college. What a great lesson for those 700 students!

Larry Coker should be fired. He was quoted as saying
“I do have a grip on this program. Don’t ever doubt that. Don’t ever doubt that.” He also said that you can’t control every player all the time.

Coker is right…you can’t control every player all the time, just like I can’t control every one of my students. But every one of my students know that when you break a rule you will be punished. Players at the University of Miami don’t get that same message from their coach.

Only 1 player has been suspended indefinitely as a result of the fight…the one swinging the helmet. 12 others for Miami got 1 suspended, and FIU suspended a few more. Even this is wrong for Miami…they play winless DUKE next week, so it’s not a 1 game suspension, it’s a day off to rest and relax. They’ll be sitting in their posh dorm room, playing XBox, driving around campus, while their team plays a game. I hope Duke beats Miami.

What message does 13 suspensions send to the players, and future players, of the University of Miami? A message that if you don’t behave, we’ll be upset.

What message should be sent? If you don’t behave, you will not walk on our campus. Turn in your jersey and your dorm room key, and go home to live with your parents. Go play for someone else, if they will accept your thug-like behavior. Any university who buys food for players that misbehave like this should rethink their athletic program. Restraining orders should be placed on these players, not jerseys representing any university.

All those suspended for 1 game should be out for the season. If you swung a helmut or a crutch, you should be kicked off campus. Any school that does anything less is saying that this behavior, while bad, isn’t all that bad.

Both schools should forfet any Bowl Eligiblity, and with it the cash payout that comes with it. The players on both teams should have no reason to continue playing this season…no incentive at the end, no light at the end of the tunnel. With the light at the end of the tunnel comes a reason to swing a helmut or throw a punch. Both seasons should be a waste of the players time.

Like it or not, my students (and your children) learn from athletes and others in the news. The big talk the Monday after the Carolina/Clemson fight 2 years ago was about the fight, not the Clemson victory. By punishing the players involved in the fight last weekend, not only are you making sure that neither school does it again, but you’re also educating the future athletes in sportsmanship.

This sort of thing will happen again, somewhere, sometime. Will it take a stretcher on the field, or a death, to send the message that this sort of thing is wrong?

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