Dec 17, 2008

Irresponsible and Dangerous

Occasionally I listen to sports talk radio when I'm driving. The ipod can get stale on me, and I apparently punish myself by listening to this drivel. This morning, someone attempted to 'call out' Charles Barkley for playing the 'race card' regarding Auburn's overlooking of Tuner Gill. Chuck said that race was the number one deciding factor in their decision, and the radio host (who was filling in for Colin Cowherd) said that a claim like that is irresponsible and dangerous.


Some would say that ignoring the dearth of African American coaches in the DI-A ranks is irresponsible and dangerous.

Some would say that ignoring Charles Barkley, who so often dealt with institutional racism during his time at the university, is irresponsible and dangerous.

Some would say that your assertion that Chizik belongs because they 'know him', that he's part of some secret old boys network is irresponsible and dangerous.

Some would say the fact that Barkley was on the committee to look for Auburn's last basketball coach would give him insight into how the athletic department works, and that ignoring his input would be, you guessed it, irresponsible and dangerous.

This really got on my nerves, and I don't even know why.


Sully said...

Some would say Charles Barkley likes to hear himself talk.

They hired a guy they new. Good old boys network? Was the whole Auburn coaching staff white? Because that is the good ole boys network he was a part of. This isn't recycling NFL coaches. They hired a guy that was a part of the most successful years in Auburn football.

An in Sir Charles own words, you can't win at New Mexico or Kansas State. So why does this guy's record in two years rebuilding at Iowa State matter more than what they know about him from his years as defensive coordinator?

I don't have any doubts whether there are pieces of truth in what Charles says but he marginalizes it by how he chooses to present them. Charles has to exaggerate and be bigger than life. It was not 100% about race. Chizik is not underqualified. Having worked for someone before counts for a lot and by all accounts Iowa Sate is not happy he is leaving (they were offering a new contract).

Dangerous and irresponsible? I don't think so but it was definitely Charles being Charles and it is sad that people won't take it seriously because of that.

DPalm66 said...

I know on like a million levels that you're right. Something about the way it was delivered on the radio made me mad enough to write like that. Sorry bout that.

Couldn't agree more with your last two paragraphs, but something that stuck with me was the second half of Chuck's statements: Auburn needed a splash. If they hire the second black head coach in the history of the SEC, that's a freaking splash. You fired someone who averaged 8.5 wins a year over 10 years. You need a splash to replace him, and who's to say that a African American coach in the SEC doesn't positively affect recruiting.

Sully said...

No worries. Glad you are writing again brother.

Last I heard Auburn was still saying they didn't fire him. If that is the case, makes sense to dip into the same formula. If not, then ya you need to make splash and by splash I mean someone that compete with Nick Saban for recruits in Alabama and I have no idea who that is or what looks. An African American coach very well might have been an a recruiting asset but where do we draw the line on identity politics. It would be okay to hire one guy because he is black and that might make a splash or help recruiting but its not okay to hire the other guy because he is white? If we pick a black coach because he is black and then kids go there because he is black is that a good thing? ...or are propagating race as a factor in decision making? We know it is wrong to exclude because of race. I guess that is all we know. The other lines are pretty blurry.

DPalm66 said...

A point you made last time was that you can't win at places like Iowa State. Turner Gill won at Buffalo.

I'll let that sink in.

I agree that identity politics isn't pretty, but in places with deep rooted racial identity issues (see: Alabama), it is futile to ignore the potential impact of a black coach. These lines are extremely blurry.

Please use paragraph breaks next time, your block of text made me want to gouge my eyes out.

Sully said...

I didn't make that point. Charles Barkley made that point. I was merely pointing out his double standard.

Turner Gill was 7-17 in his first years at Buffalo and he was playing in the MAC. It isn't like he won at Columbia.

DPalm66 said...

1st things first, I'm glad you're becoming a staple of the blog.

Secondly, he took a team that hasn't been to a bowl since the sixties to a MAC championship and a decent bowl game this year.

No one wins at Columbia.

Sully said...

I'm not downplaying. Just saying it isn't apples to apples. He also hasn't done it for more than a year.