Monday, August 11, 2008

Football coaches grapple with gun policies

I always assumed that college football coaches were strict with their players. They set curfews, attempt to limit partying, and try to keep them squared away enough to play football.

A couple go to far.

From the St. Petersburg Times:

By Brian Landman

I don't see much in the way of "grappling" here.
Miami's Randy Shannon hasn't received a phone call from a single coaching brethren, a single athletic director, to chat about his zero-tolerance policy toward guns.

While his university bans its students from possessing legally owned guns on campus (not off of it, however) — a rule similarly imposed at Florida, Florida State and USF — the Hurricanes' second-year coach has gone a step further:

Have a gun and you're done.

The Second Amendment, the NRA, be darned.

"Everybody deals with things differently," he said. "It may be wrong or it may be right, but that's just the way I feel."
So coach, you are taking the way you feel and imposing an immoral and unconstitutional regulation upon your adult players. You would require them to decide between being responsible for their own safety, or playing on your football team. I understand that your prejudice can destroy a budding career and cost an athlete millions of dollars over his lifetime. It sure seems you enjoy having that power over your team.

Oh, I'm sorry, you are doing it for the children. That makes it okay.

"A lot of times, the modern athlete thinks he needs to have a gun to protect himself," Shannon said. "We have guys on the team that have kids. You could have a gun lying around in the room, under the bed, anywhere. Kids can find anything. Are you willing to take that chance that somebody gets injured or your kid gets injured because of the gun?
You know coach, the guys on the team that have kids should be the ones shouldering the responsibility of providing for and protecting those kids. You would deny a father the most efficient means of defending his family? What kind of a morally corrupt bastard are you?

I see you have quite the image of your fellow man.
"Most of the time road rage comes from getting cut off, guys taking your parking spot, and the first thing you want to do is reach under the seat and now you're going to have problems. Don't do it."
That may be your initial reaction to getting cut off, but that is not the reaction of a mature, stable adult. You, sir, should not assume that the rest of us are as unstable as you are. We handle those minor irritations without becoming, or even wishing to become violent. Maybe you should go get some help.

Coach Meyer agrees with Coach Shannon.

"I'm a parent. My daughter (Nicole) is going to college and a college campus is supposed to be the safest place in America," he said. "That made me think. Certainly, if they're going to play on our team, there's no place for them. If you have to have a gun, the Constitution says you're allowed to have one, but not at the University of Florida. I'm old school. I don't believe in that."
As many times I've read the Second Amendment, I have never noticed that University of Florida exception.

One coach interviewed has his head on straight. Bobby Bowden of FSU.

Bowden, for one, doesn't believe in banning his players from lawfully owning guns off campus.

"I've got one," he said...

...he offered this sober take on why someone might want a legally owned firearm:

"I hate to say this, there are some neighborhoods, you better have a gun," Bowden said. "I hate to say that. Our country has gotten that drastic, but there are some neighborhoods where you nearly have to have a gun just to protect yourself and your family."
Just who do these coaches think they are? They use their position to force adult players to give up their natural right to self defense.

The fact that the coach can make a public statement like this shows just how far we have to go (or how far we have strayed). If that same coach would have forbid interracial or gay relationships, or the Koran, or even vegetarians, the so-called civil libertarians would have been all up in arms. But since it's just guns he is against, no problem.


Anonymous said...

Bobby Bowden will never, ever, ever be replaced. That man is the pinnacle of all that is right in the world of sports.

Florida & Miami? Not so much.

Those other coaches are idiots. Plain and simple.

Fits said...

JR. If they let the elephants in the room have guns they know full well there'd be unadulterated mayhem. It isn't the average law abiding person they fear, its their pampered athletes that can spend as much time in the precinct house as in practice.

I've seen plenty of UF athletes. Damned few could legally buy a gun what with their records and most I wouldn't want owning one anyway but since we can't simply lock em all up...the boosters would have a best thing is for the coaches to ban all guns everywhere they can. The bigtime college sports programs make me sick as it is without listening to the staff whining about blood in the hallways when they're the ones bringing in these misfits to punt kick and throw.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

Despite the fact that many of these athletes are nothing more than thugs in training (a la the Vick brothers), many of them have more "reason" to own and carry a gun than the average person.

Think about it. A wide receiver fumbles in a key game, and the opposing team recovers and scores because of it. How many people think they wouldn't get at least one death threat? There are people who will easily put down an entire months salary (or more) on these games! Irresponsible, yes, but I'm surprised some college player hasn't already been killed over something like that!

If he can legally own one, it's none of the coach's business if he owns a gun or not. (As long as he follows the university's rules that he agreed to when he signed up.)

John R said...

Maybe the coach should have a zero tolerance policy on gang affiliation and getting arrested. That policy might actually accomplish something.