Issues Off the Field

Sep 5, 2011

Coaches at the collegiate level have responsibilities that extend beyond instructing players on the x’s and o’s of their specific sport.  Coaches are asked to help mold and shape the character of team members.  Eastern Kentucky University football coach Dean Hood admits that comes with challenges.

“And you are working hard as you can as a coach and  I think a coach is in a tough spot.  You are limited to 20 hours a week that you are allowed to be with the kids, but then you are responsible for them for anything that they do.  You can’t manage that.  It’s just impossible,” said Hood.

The coach at E-K-U believes team building goes far beyond execution on the field.   While coming up with a game plan to defeat the opponent is important, Dean Hood says it’s not everything.

“We do something every day with our program every day on in the area of life skills, character development, and leadership training.  We don’t skip a day.  Just like we don’t skip a day on working a D-B- on back pedaling,” added Hood.

A growing scandal at the University of Miami has fans again questioning the nation’s management of collegiate sports.  Published reports say Hurricane boosters gave inappropriate gifts to coaches and players.  With millions of dollars at stake, some people argue college players should be paid.  It’s something which coach Hood calls ‘ridiculous.’

 “Let’s work on their character before we make them millionaires.  I mean, we’ve all seen hundreds of examples of not working on anybody’s character, just keep patting them on the back cause they can catch a ball or run fast and then give them millionaires of dollars when they are of low character, haven’t been developed.  Haven’t been helped in that area at all and then their life’s out of whack,” said Hood.

Hood admits it’s difficult to police 105 players when they’re not on the football field.  Nevertheless, each day, he says coaches teach life skills to their players every day.