POD: In Defense of Randy Walker

The rumbles have started again...as some of the more vocal fans have again fallen off the NU Bandwagon.<br> <br> After each loss this season, and now that the season ended too early for most, the calls got more empassioned - calling for a coaching changes in Evanston.<br> <br> Here's one fans reasoned reply...

One of the board posters raised the issue of firing the Coach. Here's Frank's reply...
I was in your camp for quite a while this year. In the end I still have mixed feelings about Walker the coach. I qualify all my comments by admitting I know not the truth on this or many other matters. I know not what is said in the huddle, who cuts the wrong way on any given play, who was up all night partying before a game and all the other intangibles the sum of which impact on the sucess of every football team not just the Cats.

Walker has said himself he is too loyal. His loyalty to his kicking game hurt the team throughout the year. Moreover, achievemnet msut be rewarded in any system. The best players must play. I'm not sure this occurred at every position, but I wasn't at practice either.

Walker seems quite committed to his assisitant coaches which would be a subset of the overall loyalty issue. Not sure either of his coordinators on offense or defense are particulary sharp or creative. Too many strange defensive calls, too may three and outs and lack of balance in the offensive schemes. However, I didn't review film, grade out the oppostion or talk to scouts.

He has recruited well although not great during a time of up and down records and the Wheeler disaster. To his credit his recruits have improved every year as have the overall team play. Again, I'm not kissing 17 year old behinds and selling them on the idea of playing college football at Northwestern which must be one of the most distastefull aspects of his job.

I am guilty, as we all are, of weighting the end more than means at times. I called for Walker's dissmisal more than once on this very board. I like many of us perhaps lacked the perspective to view the forrest from the trees. Perhaps what's really important is not the ulimate victory but the definition of victory that is sought. Running a clean program, helping young men become better men, emphasizing the value of team play, competiton and togetherness may outweigh the value of plain, old victories. The concepts are not mutually exclusive only rarley found in the same program.

Are there better coaches who would personify the same values with better on field results? Perhaps the answer is yes but to hire them at what cost to the exisiting program and to send what message to the world? College athletics was suppose to be an adjunct to the formal education process. In this world athletics seems to have subsumed and in many case disgraced the very institutions that have promoted the importance of sports.

Northwestern was dangerously close to the edge of this unethical abyss with the footballl and basketball point shaving scandals. Walker has restored integrity to the program which in my mind tops my list of coaching dos and dont's. The more I read about Walker, his recruits, his philosophies and his own words I like the man more and more. Then again how well do I know Randy Walker?

Anyone else have a comment, or idea? [ Here's the link to the topic on the Purple Reign Board]

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to Coach Roy [CoachRoy74 on AIM]
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