• @wrwlumpy

    That sure was a different time.

    I had an eighth grade football coach that would often walk up to players and punch them in their jewels. As he was doing that he would shout “cup.”

    This started after we scrimmaged an older team outside of our conference that played dirty. Several of our players were temporarily hurt because they didn’t wear a cup. From that point forward, he made sure every player wore a cup for every practice and game. The motivation for players to wear one came only after he started punching them in their junk. Later, we were all “cupped up” and had another scrimmage with that team and we stomped them.

    We went undefeated that year and won our league. We called him “lead bottom” (not to his face) and we all loved and hated him at the same time. He pushed us to excellence and did it by being verbally abusive.

    That was over 40 years ago. Do I feel like I am damaged today from that situation? No. I feel a bit tougher. I know I’m not overly sensitive to name-calling. I tend to look past that and address the real issue or issues at hand.

    I’m not trying to defend this kind of behavior. It would be better to find alternative ways to get results. I’m just sharing my personal situation.

  • @drgnslayr “It would be better to find alternatives to get results.” Lol, yeah I’m sure there are better ways. Barbaric if you ask me.

  • We might still have a viable football team if one coach hadn’t resorted to these tactics that in another era would have been wink wink acceptable.

  • I thank the powers what be that I never got toughened up by a Bob Knight or any nut punching coaches. But I did play football for a high school coach who was very stingy concerning rehydration during late summer and early fall sweltering practices. I would imagine that most of us oldsters faced such ignorance in our schooltime athletic years. After Bear Bryant lost an Alabama player due to dehydration, water breaks for athletes became a national concern. One of my best buddies was almost lost to heat stroke during one of our football practices. I recall the wife of the coach stomping onto the practice field, lambasting her husband for his insensitivity.

  • @drgnslayr

    I love it!!

    I played football for a. Coach that used head but guys and give them bloody noses cuz they didn’t “kill a cripple!” In Bull in the Ring. He used to walk around the practice field shouting “practice ain’t over till some one draws blood!”

    I remember watching Taxi Driver and Mean Streets by Marty Scorcese thinking what an effing pussy. He should have made a movie about my junior high football practices. That was REAL BLOOD RITUAL and acrobatic violence!!!

    And my cousin who played in the Deep South thought we were light weights.

  • @REHawk

    For 3 years of junior high football we were never allowed water. When we got to highschool they gave us Gatorade breaks during 3 a days and we thought we had died and gone to heaven.

    Of course back in my dad’s small town in 1930s you had to practice without helmet and pads till you made the team. I always thought that was kind of harsh!

  • I never believed in all the coaching violence toward players. When you’re 14 and over and you are out for football you are already looking for some one to crush-- looking to payback all the beatings you ever took from anyone. I.needed zero encouragement. I needed someone to tell me NOT to spear opponents and they didn’t do that. They gave me oak leaf stickers for my helmet every time I did it.

    Water with held was the stupidest.

    But human beings are mostly fantastically stupid creatures; this is why love and compassion are so important to nurture.

    Rock Chalk!

  • All these sensies in Hollywood don’t have a flipping clue what jocks went through. The story is always told from the mensch’s POV and the jocks are the big bad guys. What a flipping joke!!! All my pals were so sore and exhausted and their aggression was so spent we never even thought twice about harassing non jocks. That’s all plot contrivance by kids that wished they had not gotten cut, or never had the balls to go out.

  • @wrwlumpy I was trying to rack my brain thinking if any other coach had ever done that.

  • @jaybate-1.0 Had a coach in peewee football that was going to take us to the heights of glory- had us watch film on OU’s wishbone back in early seventies,etc. I remember it was about 10 degrees freezing Saturday morning at practice, and I dropped a pass, and he swung me on my ass by the facemask in a fit of rage. I think I was 10 or 11. Those were some very mean bastards coaching back in the day.

  • @HawkChamp

    Definitely barbaric!

    Barbarism has been a part of humanity’s past… and still in the present… and unless the world totally changes, the future.

    But how do you train people to be “tougher?” My experiences always tell me that struggle is a key ingredient to growth and toughening. I think some of these toughening techniques (like “boot camp”) are very helpful. Coach Self is also known for being aggressively verbal with his players.

    It seems like the answer that may work best in today’s world (not necessarily tomorrow’s world), is for coaches to push to the edge of being abusive and then use some techniques like boot camp.

    I’m saying all of this but I can’t say it was the way of someone like Wooden. He was blessed with some sick talent, far above all other programs, but talent isn’t the only element to winning championships.

    What helped me most as a player and as a human being, was only a bit of the barbaric approach. What helped me most was having a coach that mentored me. I couldn’t stand to let him down on anything, on court and off court. We have remained close friends for almost half a century now. He came to town last weekend and taught me how to make and bake pie! (Ha!)

    This is a different time. It would almost seem like young players today would hunger for a mentor, but I don’t know…

  • @drgnslayr

    What doesn’t kill you…or leaves you unable to have kids, makes you stronger. LOL.

  • I think there is a happy medium between the 2, I’ve had coaches grab me bye the face mask and throw me around a little. Didn’t bother me. I’m okay with yelling, my dad yelled at me a ton so it didn’t bother me what so ever. When coaching I never have or would do anything remotely physical but I’m very intense and yell a ton. Sometimes I’m yelling good things too, I believe a team takes after their coach I’m aggressive and intense because that how the game should be played IMO don’t be out hustled or over powered, take it to them. “Uncoachable kids become unemployable adults, let them get used to being held accountable and someone being tough on them, its life, get over it.”- Patrick Murphy Alabama Softball HC

  • @kjayhawks there is a difference between being scolded/chewed out and physically assaulted - one I am fine with and the other crosses the line. Such actions remind me of ancient Sparta, which was brutal in how they raised their children with the intent to be warriors and fighters. I resent such anti-intellectual behavior that some coaches use/used as tactics - completely immature behavior. That’s the rest of what I have to say about this matter.

  • @HawkChamp I agree, I wasn’t trying to defend Knight or his actions was just stating some of my experiences and what id be okay with as a parent.

  • @HawkChamp

    You have high ground to stand on. Without question.

    Do the barbaric tactics work? This is up for debate. I have little question in their ability to get players’ attention.

    But even if it works, that doesn’t make it right.

    I look at it this way… coaches should be SMARTER than that. They should develop other ways to reach a player. If they have to resort to barbaric behavior then they should consider another job, and they may end up getting pushed out of coaching, and rightly so.

    Next question is: Where do we place the line in the sand?

    I feel like there is as much danger in going too far on the “politically correct” path. It can go so far that every word spoken, every action committed, can be viewed as harmful, depending on the athlete. Our national political scene today is starting to deal with this issue because there seems to be two sides BOTH outside of the comfort zone of the masses.

    Scolding an athlete can be every bit as harmful as punching him in the nuts.

    I don’t pretend to know ANY answers on this. I have my experiences which were definitely “old school” and I feel like I’m a better man because of the harsh treatment. Just because it “worked for me” doesn’t mean it is right or helpful to others who face the same thing.

    I know one thing… we are going to be constantly addressing this issue now and in the future. I’m not necessarily talking about at Kansas… but there will be cases all over America that will make the headlines.

  • I kind of have a strange opinion on the whole thing. To me, playing sports in college is a great opportunity and also a choice. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to do it. If you don’t like that your coach MF’s you up and down the court/field then quit. Mangino being fired for “verbal abuse” was a joke. I’m sure Nick Saban has never said a curse word on the field…

    With that being said, coaches assaulting players is not ok. Coaches literally have no reason to EVER put their hands on a player unless it is in celebration. Coming from a guy that coached football and baseball, I NEVER thought about doing that. Grabbing a guy by the facemask, hitting them in the helmet, cup checking them, etc. I couldn’t even relate to the impulse. That is probably some type of physiological complex for coaches do that. Like they love the feeling of the power.

    Building tougher players is about finding out what each individuals weak spot is and helping them make it stronger. I have made some of the high school kids I coached cry. I’m sure I made them accidentally pee themselves before. But in the whole scheme of things, players knew I was always tough but fair. And that while I was yelling at the number on their jersey when they messed up, I always cared about the person who was wearing it.

  • @kjayhawks Knight had a player way back named Todd Jadlow. I used to work with his mother and she RAVED about Bob Knight. In a good way. She said that the players who went to Indiana knew what they were getting into and it should not have come to them as any surprise that he would yell, scream, punch occasionally and throw chairs. But he was a basketball genius,and believe it or not - very compassionate off the court. I don’t condone the physical violence, although a poke to the chest or a shove once in a while wouldn’t bother me. I’m almost 60 and i’m sick and tired of how pussified our nation has become. By the way - this is nothing against you, i’m just ranting in general.

  • Good discussion on this. I’m enjoying and learning from every post.


    I think we need to address both. I grew up in a fairly rough place and all kids had to fight. If you didn’t fight you would just get beat up constantly. Because of that upbringing, I believe I could heal much better from a coach punching me in the nuts versus him telling me I’m worthless.

    I can imagine people who grew up without the physical violence might see this different. These people might look at physical abuse as worse than verbal abuse.

    Maybe we should go broader and just say PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE instead of VERBAL ABUSE. Sometimes words are not used as the weapon but other actions are.


    I’m a big fan of Bill’s BOOT CAMP. That is a tool which creates struggle for the players in a controlled fashion and doesn’t appear to be abusive. Obviously, there is a limit to how hard coaches can push players to perform.

    Tools like boot camp can be positive for creating struggle without making it abusive.

    Many groups have used “hazing” as a tool. Bad idea. I think we can all come to that conclusion. But the idea of making a hill newbies have to climb and cross is not necessarily a bad idea. My God son is a Marine. Marines face “The Crucible” as their hill to climb, their final “challenge” in earning the title of “Marine.” Some don’t make it through. It helps build team spirit. It helps build confidence. It helps them understand how to focus and execute.

    I really liked it when Bill brought in military guys to share their inspiration with our team, and also show how to focus on execution, leadership, etc.

  • We had two football coaches in middle school. One ripped our butts up and down- tore us down and built us up better. We won our league under him - lost one game, but they had to forfeit. The next coach was nice built us up, never got too hard on anyone and tried to inspire us to victory. We won two games all year.

    I suppose it takes a balance. Tough love - tearing you down to build you up better. Not the my kid is perfect the way he is, how dare you mentality that pervases the masses. But not the total d-bag moves of punching and degrading the athletes.

    Unfortunately many of the current crop of kids don’t understand that. Any criticism is an attack and they don’t understand it’s to make them better. I’m not just talking athletes. Finding competent summer help is near impossible.

    From what I can see Bill gets it. He tears them down in boot camp to create comradery. He’s hard on them in practice, but embraces them after it’s over.

  • @drgnslayr I think that Physical Abuse crosses the line 100% of the time. Only because in any other situation, it wouldn’t be ok. In what other scenario would it be ok to smack someone, toss them to the ground, or hit them in the nuts? A WWE wrestling match maybe?And the only reason coaches do it is because they know the person on the other end just has to take it. They have all the power in that scenario. The player isn’t going to fight back because he has a lot to lose. They could lose their scholarship. Get kicked off of the team. Upset their family. Get kicked out of that school. etc etc etc. To me, it is a very similar psychological scenario of a child molestation. One party has a perceived psychological power over the party being abused. And instead of fighting back or getting help, they just take it. Because if they don’t, bad things may happen to them or their family.

    Verbal “abuse”, yea it may hurt. Sometimes the truth does hurt. Especially when it is preceded and followed by expletives. But when someone can master being psychologically tough, that is when they can finally push themselves to do something special. Look at TRob. After all his family issues, he was broken. All the way broken. But he learned to push through it. He mastered his emotions. And that allowed him to become something special. That is why the best coaches are all hard on players. They do have to break them down. You do need to feel like a pile of crap sometimes. Because nothing is more motivating than wanting to prove something to yourself.

  • @nuleafjhawk Pussified?

  • @wrwlumpy Too politically correct ??

  • Draymon Green is nuts, nuts, nuts also

  • @Kcmatt7

    "I think that Physical Abuse crosses the line 100% of the time. Only because in any other situation, it wouldn’t be ok. In what other scenario would it be ok to smack someone, toss them to the ground, or hit them in the nuts? "

    I agree.

  • @wissoxfan83 I forgot about him.

  • @nuleafjhawk Agreed if some one grabs my kid bye his junk they better be a big SOB. Nothing wrong with a poke or push, something of that nature. Unless you are Wright our former LB that started the Mangino witch hunt bye saying he was poked.

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