Definition Of A Bad Coach

Bobby Curran
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Friday - June 29, 2011
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U.S. Open champ Rrory McIlroy. AP photo

A recent development in a Florida wrongful death suit involved testimony from a former University of Central Florida football player about the practice at which a teammate collapsed and eventually died. He said that head coach George O’Leary ordered water and trainers to be removed from the indoor practice facility during a spring workout in 2008.

I had to read it twice to be sure and then recheck the date. Depriving players of water in 2008? If that report is true, how could UCF allow O’Leary to remain as head coach?

It reminded me of what was once fairly common practice during the ‘60s and early ‘70s, when athletic personnel would withhold water as punishment.

But those days are long gone. Everyone has been made well aware of the critical function of hydration at any time, and especially when heat and humidity are a factor.

If a youth coach were to attempt to use the withholding of water as a disciplinary tool, he would be removed immediately and properly so. It is mind-boggling that a college coach could be unaware of the hazardous consequences of forced dehydration, but that such a thing could happen is a reminder that unchecked power for coaches is never a good thing.


By the way, this is the same George O’Leary who left Notre Dame in disgrace without coaching a game because of academic fraud on his resume.

* U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy became a sympathetic figure to many golf fans worldwide because his record-setting victory at Congressional followed a huge Sunday back nine meltdown at the Masters. At the time, the 22-year-old from Northern Ireland faced every camera and answered every question with uncommon patience and grace.

Another charming aspect to the story was the presence at Congressional of McIlroy’s father Gerry, who stayed behind the scenes, walking the course mostly unrecognized and happy to be ignored. After introducing his son to the game, Gerry McIlroy recognized when it was time to turn the coaching over to a pro. He also caddied for his son until he was 17, and then made a similar decision.

In the course of Rory’s development, he juggled three jobs to support his son’s pursuit of excellence. And no one could have appeared to enjoy that Sunday in Bethesda more than Gerry McIlroy.

Pretty special Father’s Day gift!

* With an unspectacular NBA draft now complete, we await the lockout that could cost fans the entire 2011-2012 season.


We don’t know when we’ll again watch the NBA, but we do know that when it returns, we’ll see Eric Spoelstra back as the coach of the Miami Heat.† Heat GM Pat Riley believes in the young coach, and most basketball insiders credit him with the extraordinary defense that Miami showed last year. Now, if he can just do something about that half-court offense ...

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