Coaches Have It Made in Hypocritical NCAA

By Knott, Tom | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), July 7, 1997 | Go to article overview

Coaches Have It Made in Hypocritical NCAA


Knott, Tom, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


Steve Robinson is feeling good right now, if not euphoric, getting used to his new job at Florida State.

He has taken a significant step up in basketball class, moving from the Western Athletic Conference to the Atlantic Coast Conference. He is living the American Dream. He has worked hard and done well, and now he has earned the right to go against some of the supposedly best college basketball minds in the country. He has improved his lot in life, and now more people will know that he is somebody special. More people will genuflect in his presence and kiss the back of his hand if he offers it.

Robinson does not have a lot of time to get accustomed to his new surroundings in Tallahassee. It is July, and July is the most important month of the year in college basketball, even more important than March. July does not have a name, like March Madness. It is not Indentured Servant Month, although it should be. It is the month when coaches are allowed to follow the latest batch of potential indentured servants across the country. It is the month when coaches have the most access and fewest restrictions.

Robinson will be in all the right gymnasiums, wearing his new garb from Florida State, making player evaluations, doing the wink-and-nod bit, writing letters, making telephone calls, forging relationships with adolescents.

He will tell them about Florida State and what a great school it is. He will tell them about himself and what he has done and what he plans to do. He will sell himself to the potential indentured servants. He probably will leave out the details of his seven-year contract at Tulsa.

Robinson completed only 97 days of his seven-year contract at Tulsa before making the switch to Florida State. Try to see it from his point of view. People break contracts all the time. He couldn't pass up Florida State. He couldn't pass up the ACC.

He can't help it if people are hurt by this unseemly process. He can't help it if the players at Tulsa are upset by his departure. He can't help it if the incoming freshmen at Tulsa feel abandoned. That's the system. It's not Robinson's system.

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