By Ellen Chlumecky
March 2, 2015
There have been some great coaches in the history of sports. Coaches like Mike Ditka, Herb Brooks, Pat Riley, Pat Summit, and Vince Lombardi, made history by being dedicated, courageous, and obviously very tough. I’m sure that one of them has given their share of screaming matches with their players; however they probably weren’t broadcasted on television. I don’t think Kevin Stallings will be making the top 10 coaches of all-time list in the near future. This incident might be the reason why:
As you can very clearly hear in the video, Stallings says to Wade Baldwin, “I’ll kill you.” The reasoning behind his screaming was because he heard that Baldwin was clapping in Tennessee players’ faces after the final buzzer sounded. After Stallings heard of this poor sportsmanship, Stallings confronted Baldwin during postgame handshakes and demanded that he apologize. Baldwin appeared to ignore the Vanderbilt coach. This resulted in Stallings’ outburst.
While Stallings apologized for his comments in a release by the university, does it really make it acceptable? While he did mention that it was his haste to resolve the situation the spurred the inappropriate reaction, it doesn’t exactly make it acceptable. While everyone has their flaws, a statement of that nature should never be uttered by a coach to one of their athletes or one of their students.
Stallings said that Baldwin has “got some things to learn, some growing up to do if he’s going to play in this program.” Isn’t that a little ironic? It seems as if Stallings might want to join Baldwin in that little “growing up” process he’s supposed to be participating in. While he’s apologized to the student, you never know what Baldwin is thinking either. While he tweeted that he wasn’t offended or took not offense, do we know for sure if he’s nervous or scared about what Stallings said to him?
At the end of the day, the coach is someone who is supposed to be a role model and someone the athletes are not supposed to be scared of to come to with problems or concerns. Most of the time, they’re their first line of contact whenever something is happening in their life. Would you feel safe reporting to a coach that has once threatened to harm you? It’s hard to understand why someone would feel so comfortable screaming such obscenities on the court in front of fans, families, other fellow athletes, and students. There is a fine line between being tough and being cruel. While I understand what Baldwin did was immature and selfish, hold in your anger till you can calm down and rationally talk to your players.