Where Have You Gone, Joe Paterno?
The fall of coaching genius.
Posted Friday, Sept. 7, 2001, at 8:30 PM
Boneheaded Coaching Move of the Week:
In the wake of several heat-related football deaths this summer, coaches across the land unanimously disavowed the old practice of depriving their players of water and embraced the modern view that physical deprivation for its own sake is not necessarily a good thing. It appeared that, several hundred years after the Enlightenment, humanism had finally caught on in the world of football coaching. But one exception stands out: Fresno State coach Pat Hill. Even during the hottest games, Hill refuses to allow his players to cool off with sideline fans, explaining that "if you give kids an excuse to lose, they will." Oddly enough, Hill, who has been the subject of the last two (OK, the only two) Slate Boneheaded Coaching Moves of the Week, is also the hottest coach in America, having posted two consecutive upsets. Perhaps his success will inspire other coaches to emulate his throwback style, and it will soon become regular practice for coaches to, say, forbid the wearing of cleats (no using slippery grass as an excuse!) or treat injured players by applying leeches.