Bobby Petrino is no Coach Cal
I did a lengthy Google image search and did not find a comparable Coach Cal pic. Coincidence?
Seems obvious enough, right? Two different coaches from two different backgrounds. Two different people completely right?
Well, in the madness that has surrounded the UK coaching search to this point, people are using the reasoning that there were people who were hesitant to hire Coach Cal as a reason that we should be alright with UK taking a chance on Bobby Petrino.
And it couldn’t be a dumber argument.
One of the two has been found with no wrong doing in two NCAA investigations, both of which he could not have possibly prevented. There’s no way you can prevent a player from speaking to an agent in his free time, other than telling him not to do it. But it was after Camby had already decided he was going to the NBA. It is what it is. You also can’t go back in time to make sure that a player takes their own SAT. You just can’t. Again, it is what it is.
You know what you can help though? Who you hire to an administrative position in your department. You know, to actually hire someone qualified for the position. Oh, and to also make sure you’re not sleeping with that person. Seems reasonable enough, right?
One gracefully finished out his career as a professional franchise’s head coach. Though things never turned out like he hoped they would, he stayed until he was fired, and gave it everything he had, it just didn’t work out.
The other though, left towards the end of his first year in the pros after things had not turned out like he hoped, leaving the franchise in disaster. After only winning 3 games on the season, left in week 14, letting his players and staff know about his decision via post-it note, and his boss know by telephone. Classy enough, right?
One is selfless, constantly giving back at every turn. Raising money for those in the Northeast after Hurricane Sandy. Raising money through Hoops for Haiti. Helping out in West Liberty after the tornadoes that ravaged the city. Taking every possibility given to him to turn around and give back.
The other is selfish, forfeiting the good of his family for a few affairs, and leaving franchise after franchise in worse shape then he found them.
One is a players coach. A coach who is constantly working to get the best out of his players, and helping them reach heights they weren’t even sure they could reach themselves. Not only working to make sure their NBA stock rises, but making sure they are ready for life after college. Looking at his results, you couldn’t argue that he’s been wildly successful.
The other has left his players at his former schools in horrible situations. Brian Brohm was supposed to be a sure-fire first round pick, before Petrino left for Atlanta during his senior year. Brohm slipped to the second round after a less than stellar senior season, and was a back up his entire career. He is no longer in the NFL. Tyler Wilson was also left behind at Atlanta, and while his story is still being told, you could definitely argue his stock has taken a huge hit for staying his senior year. Not to mention the fact his team is currently 4-6, and looking less than likely to be playing in a bowl game this season.
The point of all this has been to say this, yes people had reservations about Coach Cal. He had a bad stigma that was given to him by the media, who actively portrayed him as the villain of college basketball, a stigma they still stick to him to this day. But the reason he’s the villain is because he challenges the norm. He goes against the grain. Before him college basketball was this glorified sport where most players did the “right thing” and stayed at least until they got their degree before going to the NBA, or went straight to the NBA out of high school. Then of course the one and done rule came about and the rest is history. A policy meant to convince players to stay in college went down the drain as Cal convinced players to leave after their first year, take the money and run, as its their right. Cal looked at it as him costing players money if he refused to let them lose money by staying in school.
Coach Petrino on the other hand has been vilified for completely different reasons. He’s left every place he’s been worse off than he found it. He got administrators fired at Auburn for setting up a meeting with administrators behind the current coaches back. He left Louisville prematurely. He left Atlanta in the middle of his first season (you should see what Mike Zimmer has to say about Petrino). He left Arkansas in turmoil and forced their hand by violating many Code of Conduct policies.
Unlike Coach Cal, Bobby Petrino deserves his bad reputation.
So stop comparing Coach Cal to Bobby Petrino, it’s just gross.
Go Big Blue!
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