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When coaches behave badly

POSTED November 20, 2009 10:26 p.m.
I’ve written about my former coaches before and the impact they made on my life. For the most part, they’ve been good memories. And even the bad ones, which included them yelling in my face, were beneficial because I know it was for my own good.
They’ve helped me become a good citizen of the world. I’m lucky to have been coached by some excellent coaches in the past.
So that’s why I was angered to hear about University of Kansas football coach Mark Mangino, who’s in the media spotlight for allegedly using abusive language and inappropriate physical behavior toward a player. And lately, former Kansas players have come forward, telling stories that are downright appalling and unjust.
Of course, I’m not going to jump to conclusions and say he did all that until the facts are known. But to hear a coach is possibly using personal stories about a certain player just to prove a point is enough to have Mangino placed on a deserted island, in hopes of having him learn about the wrongs and rights of life.
Mangino is accused of grabbing, yelling at and putting his finger in the chest of a senior linebacker, who was spotted laughing prior to a game in October. Other Mangino stories have come to light, including him personally attacking a player when the player did something wrong on the field.
Mangino has been on the record saying that he’s done a lot of good for the Kansas program, and he has. He also added that the players are bitter and that he can only do so much as a coach to change someone’s life.
“We are sending kids out into the world prepared,” Mangino said on a radio show, according to ESPN.com. “But I can’t do the work of some parents, what they should have done before (the players) got to me. Some of these guys are bitter, they are bitter and (the allegations) are about that.”
This story of a coach allegedly misbehaving is very intriguing.
Again, I’ve been grateful to be surrounded by good coaches, who, at times, were teachers and parents.
Here’s another coaching story of mine.
It happened after a junior varsity boys basketball loss, and my eighth-grade basketball coach happened to be at the game and noticed the pain that we all had on our faces. It was a close loss, so a lot of us were going to lose sleep because of it. The eighth-grade coach gave me and a teammate a ride home. He reminded us that we played a good game, and that was all it was — a good game. He didn’t berate us for losing, though we had our chances to win.
For a teenager, nothing means more than an adult reminding us that we played our best and we shouldn’t believe the world is going to end because of a loss. It’s going to hurt, he said, but let it run its course. You’ll learn from it.
And I believe we have.
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail csun@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.

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