On Tuesday evening we had the opportunity to play host to Jesup in a varsity double header. We had a pretty nice crowd on hand, considering just up the road a mere five miles UNI was hosting the University of Iowa in a Men's basketball game.
Now I have been around here for long enough that most of you know that I take sportsmanship pretty seriously. In fact, when I have the chance to visit with coaches and talk about expectations they get to hear my thoughts. It is pretty simple for me, winning is certainly important. Losing gracefully is an equally valuable learning tool. It would be pretty unreasonable to have the expectation that we win every game. Who could live up to that? What is a reasonable expectation is that we always react and interact in a respectful way to those around us. Win, lose, or draw I tell the coaches that while they are playing to win the game, above all they are to teach our student athletes honor. They are there to teach our youngsters how to be young men and women.
The University of Iowa's Men's Basketball coach Fran McCaffery failed miserably at that on Tuesday evening when he received a technical foul and was then escorted to the locker room by law enforcement. His press conference following the game was equally disturbing. Instead of owning up to his behavior and publicly apologizing to his team, he focused his comments on short sentence fragments about how well he thought his team had played.
Athletics and competition are an important learning tool in education. They teach our students the value of teamwork, collaboration, and fair play. Above all else they should teach respect and grace. Who better than to model this than coaches?
Tuesday evening at Hudson, we saw a graceful display of sportsmanship on both sides of the basketball court. Athletes and coaches from both Hudson and Jesup are to be commended for honoring their commitment to the students they coach and the communities they serve.
Coach, young high school athletes all across Iowa look to you for leadership and inspiration. The right thing for you to do now is apologize to all the fans and young athletes you let down with your completely inappropriate behavior.
On Tuesday evening six miles to the North we saw a disgraceful embarrassment. Perhaps Coach McCaffery should borrow a page from our playbook?