A Call to Hold Cranky Coaches Accountable

ROYThe NCAA tourney has come and gone, with the beloved Tarheels having their hearts crushed by a buzzer beater for the ages.

Their coach, Roy Williams, has seen his fair share of tough losses. For some, losses temper and humble. For others, the personality remains, well, same as it ever was.

I really get a kick out of watching coaches act like maniacs. And not to single out good ‘ol Roy, but let’s single him out. If you took a video tape of this guy and showed it to a village in Africa, they would conclude this is the angriest man alive. And if they didn’t know he was a basketball coach, they would probably guess he was a dictator whose country was falling apart.

But it’s not just Roy. Most college basketball coaches are like this, from Coach K to Bill Self. They yell and scream like children the whole game and we excuse it because “that’s what coaches do.”

But it’s not what anyone else does. If we acted like that in any other professional setting, we would be promptly fired.

A manager at a company will tactfully tell their employee what they need to work on. A college basketball coach will berate their pupil for throwing an errant ball. They’ll ream on their team during a timeout as if the guys were guilty of grand larceny, when in fact all they’ve done is allowed a 10-2 run.

And how about the ruleskeepers and their treatment? When an auditor reports a foul, we humbly ask what we can can do to resolve it. A referee calls a foul and the coach screams at him like a sailor being devoured by a shark.

Every year I watch college basketball coaches throw tantrums like seven-year-olds. What if I did that at work when I didn’t get my way?

We told Carson this morning the project wasn’t going to move forward, and you should’ve seen him react. He got all red, started to stomp, and then he called Pete a bleeping dingaling. But what are you gonna do? Carson’s the content guy, and that’s what content guys do. And he’s a solid content guy.

Whatever. In 10 minutes I’d have a security guard at my cube with a file box. My workplace would not excuse a grownup for acting like a boy.

So why do we excuse college basketball coaches, or any coach for that matter, for showing zero professional tact and displaying an unending series of juvenile conniptions? The fact that “they’re good coaches and that’s what they do” now sounds so foolish that I’m a man and don’t expect people to take me seriously when I’m cranky and explode uncontrollably.

Alright, the diatribe is over. Should I just give in and say this is sports and people in that arena can do whatever they want?


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