Random Thoughts on Black Males, Coaches, and Athletics

Published March 19, 2012 by Leonard Moore

Just my random thoughts on a Monday morning after watching a weekend of March Madness:


1. Do one-and-done players attend class in the spring semester? If they are headed to the NBA then why waste time going to class. Maybe they are encouraged to go to class because of the APR ramifications. I don't know. 

2. Why do coaches get academic bonuses for graduation rates? Why are we giving them a bonus to do something they should be doing anyway? Or are we admitting that we don't expect black males to do well academically.

3. Shouldn't the academic bonus actually go to the academic staff? Giving a coach an academic bonus is like giving professors a bonus when the team wins a conference championship.

4. Do you realize that the strength coach arguably plays the most important role in your organization. Why? Because he can see the young men year-round. By the way AD's and Coaches--this is your most important hire.

5. Is your summer bridge program for incoming freshman designed to help them transition athletically or is it designed to help them adjust academically? Weight training, lifting, and conditioning is important, but not at the expense of spending time on academic issues.

6. White college basketball players at high-level programs are becoming extinct. Do coaches not believe that white guys can play at the top level?

7. Do we realize that athletes expect us to keep the promises that were made while we were recruiting them? Coaches, be honest while recruiting. If you need to lie to get a recruit then that says a ton about your character.

8. Has anyone ever wondered why all of the athletes often sit together in class?

9. Have you done all that you can in your capacity at your school to ensure that black males are successful in the classroom? We need you to challenge these young men by raising academic expectations. We as black males are not products of our environment we are products of the expectations placed on us.

10. If you are a coach ask yourself what do you want them to say at your funeral? Some of us will have or have had amazing careers but we have not made an impact on society because we have been singularly focused on winning games. My  nine year-old daughter asked me the other day "Daddy, why is Muhammad Ali so popular? Was he the first black boxer?" I said, "No. He's popular beacuse he understood that life was bigger than meaningless sporting events."

Until next time. Peace.