Coach's Corner - feedback

Hi Dawg fans. It would appear that the series on coaching in the college ranks and how money is changing both the profession and the sport has struck a chord with many of you. I thought I'd share some of the letters I've received, the ones that weren't asking for an answer but rather providing feedback. Enjoy, and thank you . . . .

From James Robinson
Great article. However, you may have missed your own point. Loyalty is gone from our society. On one of my early days in law school, I was sitting in Contracts class and the professor was discussing "Efficient Breach of Contract". Efficient Breach says that parties to a contract are allowed to breach and pay damages if doing so would be more economical than performing under the contract. I am sure that you are as shocked as I was when I first heard this "Law".

The point is that PSA's need to learn that life isn't fair and that people are not loyal. If you are loyal, you are in peril. People will use your loyalty and hurt you because of it. How many coaches do you know who use their player's loyalty against them? Companies do it all the time to their employees. Universities do it all the time to their students. Generals do it to their soldiers. Republicans and Democrats do it to all of us.

Hypocrisy is profitable. The trick is to convince people that you are loyal when in reality you are looking out for Number One. It's going to get a lot worse before it ever gets better. These facts used to upset me. I've grown to simply accept them. It isn't good or bad, it's just the way it is. The sooner young men and women learn these lessons, the sooner they can protect themselves and be less offended by the way things are.
From Scott Williams in Yakima, WA
Dick, I just read your "Coaches Corner" article on Dawgman. I couldn't agree with you more!!! It used to be sad to see what big money was doing to the game we love. Now, I'm afraid it's just plain obscene. I have been so pleased to see how Coach Willingham and his staff have gone about their business in rebuilding a program literally ravaged by a previous president and "his" athletic director. I, like you, hope the present administration is astute and farsighted enough to keep this team of coaches in place. It might interest you to know that an official who officiates D-1 through D-3 recently commented to the Whitworth AD following Whitworth's playoff game with Occidental how much he enjoys the competition and sportsmanship at the D-3 level. As I recall, he stated that it was a refreshing change from what D-1 had become. Sounds like further validation of your thesis. As fans sometimes I wonder if we shouldn't all just lighten up and return to enjoying the game for the great event that it is.

It is always more fun to win but if that is the only parameter by which we measure success then we validate and facilitate the financial excesses you so accurately described in your article. I truly appreciate your insights and the positive impact at Washington.
From Drew Russell
I 100% agree but you have to leave sometime, otherwise the best college coaches would be stuck at the high school level or coaching the heck out of Eastern Oregon University. Right? And even though I hate seeing 40k people in the stands, I have improved my Tyee seats like you wouldn't believe. I am trying to get the best seats possible before the mighty purple and gold come back with a vengeance. It is a minor blessing in the face of adversity but you got to look on the bright side sometimes!

Of course I would trade it all and sit in the rafters for the days of 10 wins. Don't get me wrong. Love you column. Keep it up! GO DAWGS!
From Curt Smith UW class of ‘60
Amen brother. You summed up what I've been thinking for some time. The constant inflation in Tyee and ticket prices is another side of the same question. I'm retired now, age 72 and I can see the time coming when I will have to decide between football and basketball season tickets or perhaps no tickets at all. I have had football tickets (4) since 1960. I hate to see that end, but nearly $3000 is getting too rich for my blood. I have had a great relationship with Husky athletics as an athlete and alum. My years as a Husky Hunter made me feel close to the program. That, of course, is long gone. In the future it may be simply a relationship with a television version of the team. I regret that.
From James Robinson
If you want to pay the kids more in order to compete with other schools, (or just help balance the AD books a bit), all you have to do is strike a deal with the administration to pay tuition from the AD to upper campus at "In-State" rate on ALL student athletes no matter where they came from. You can't tell me that it costs upper campus MORE to educate a kid from CA than a kid from WA.

If the parents are paying the freight, sure, you can charge for out-of-state more than in-state, BUT THE AD IS PAYING. Isn't the AD part of the University? EVERY BUSINESS I KNOW SELLS ITS PRODUCTS TO ITS EMPLOYEES AT A SUBSTANTIAL DISCOUNT, (IF NOT AT COST), EXCEPT THE UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON. The AD pays FULL RETAIL!

Emmert told me that other schools, (especially private ones), cut the AD a break for tuition paid for scholarship athletes. IT ISN'T THAT THE UW JUST BREAKS EVEN ON THE AD; IT MAKES TONS OF MONEY OFF OF IT. Between tuition and facilities, the University makes PLENTY off the AD.

You can't tell me that out-of-state vs. in-state isn't part of the consideration when offering PSA's. Why is our baseball team exclusively an in-state team? If the next Roger Clemens wanted to play BB at the UW he wouldn't be offered a scholarship if he happened to go to high school out-of-state. Wouldn't a national championship BB or soccer team create more revenue than an above-average one? This whole set-up is STUPID!

Our AD is already strapped by having to make or break it on its own while the legislature funds every other AD in the state, (Western, Eastern, Central, and WAZZU). (Interesting that the Legislature can afford to pay for WAZZU to have home and away football helmets.) AT THE SAME TIME, THE AD RUNS AROUND BEGGING FOR MONEY TO UPGRADE FACILITIES THAT IT DOESN'T OWN; THE UNIVERSITY OWNS THEM!

When the discussion started between the Business School and the University to make the Business School independent and self-sustaining, (i.e., make it a 501(c) (3) corporation exactly like the AD), the issue quickly turned to facilities and accounting. The University wanted to control the facilities and charge the Business School rent for buildings that the Business School independently raised the money TO BUILD. In addition, renting facilities like the Conference Center would be controlled by the University, NOT the Business School.

Even worse, the University didn't want to give 100% of the tuition for Business School credits to the Business School.

The SAME THING happens at the AD. Why do you think Dempsey, (an inferior facility), cost 4 times what the Oregon indoor facility cost? It's because the University had to control the building process. The University, NOT the AD owns Dempsey. The University made millions on it while the AD had to pay for it. Thanks again Babs!

The UNIVERSITY, not the AD owns Husky Stadium. Want to save some money? Quit claim deed Husky Stadium to the AD, and then let Turner raise the money to upgrade it. All of a sudden, the price will drop.

Want to compete IN ALL SPORTS? Get the University to stop screwing the AD. After you fix that, if you still have trouble paying the football coach $3 million, THEN YOU CAN BITCH! While you're at it, Quit Claim deed E-11 to the AD or the Medical School and make the Governor have to steal it from them instead of the University in order to build 520. One thing the Governor's plan did not include was the cost to acquire that land. The University is separate from the State, just like the AD is supposed to be separate from the University. columnist and KJR 950 Sports Radio personality, Dick Baird.
Dick Baird was an Assistant Coach (Linebackers) and Recruiting Coordinator at the UW from 1985-1998. He has joined the staff as a featured columnist for both the web site and Sports Washington magazine. In addition to his regular editorial columns, Coach Baird will try to provide some of his unique perspective by answering a few of your selected questions online. If you would like to send in your questions, please CLICK HERE. Top Stories