Randy Shannon and Miami in 2009 – The “Absurdity” of the NCAA and its ruling in Alabama case – Battle of Little Bighorn “VACATED!” – What the Hell was going on at Alabama? – Boise State President: BCS system fundamentally flawed, unfair – Reforming our Health Care/Insurance System – Jazz in San Francisco, Starting with Dave Brubek and Take Five, Louis Armstrong and more…
From the Coaches Hot Seat Analysis:
Randy Shannon is now entering the third year of instituting fundamental change to the Miami football program and the open question is will Shannon be able to completely make that change before he loses his job. Going back to the Howard Schnellenberger era at Miami thru Larry Coker there has been general, if mostly unspoken agreement by the people running Miami football that it was OK for the Hurricanes to carry an attitude that the generally accepted behavior in our society was not really all that important. “Thug U” was not an aberration, but a real world reality that was Miami football for many years and it finally got the point where new UM president Donna Shalala was just not going to tolerate it anymore, and the man to end that was hired to end that attitude was Randy Shannon. A former Miami player from the glory days (played on 1987 National Title team) of Hurricane football, Shannon earned his chops as the Miami defensive coordinator and was elevated to the head coaching job at Miami to both change the culture and to win football games. As Randy Shannon has found out in his two seasons in the head coaching job, it is enormously difficult to both fundamentally change a culture and still have that organization performing at a very high level, and we believe that is why Shannon has one of the longest leases in college football today. Because Shannon is trying to bring such a major change to the Miami program, we believe that the UM administration will give him at least 5 years, as long as steady progress is being made both on and off the field and from where we sit the Miami football program has made some major strides, but most of the progress to this point has been focused off the field. A few of us here at Coaches Hot Seat got to see Miami up close last season at the Emerald Bowl against Cal and the Hurricanes to us look as if they are starting to rebuild their talent level and they are a noticeably better coached and disciplined team than they were just a few years ago. After 5-7 and 7-6 records in his first two years at Miami, Randy Shannon knows that he must continue to press forward on the “change” front, but that he must also win more football games, because only by winning football games will Shannon be able to build on his early recruiting success and ultimately challenge for championships in the ACC and beyond. The only problem in the momentum at Miami is that Randy Shannon has a huge challenge facing him in the upcoming ’09 Miami schedule and that is where we now go….
Coaches Hot Seat Bottom Line
We predict that Randy Shannon and Miami will have a ____ record in 2009.
Alabama and the NCAA
“The absurd is the essential concept and first truth.” Albert Camus
No doubt, if Albert Camus was around today he would find the NCAA as one of the most “absurd” of organizations in human history. Listening to the Paul Dee and NCAA Infractions Committee’s report on the Alabama textbook case and the punishment of Alabama having to “vacate” 21 wins has convinced us here at Coaches Hot Seat that the NCAA and anyone that supports this bogus and punish “the last generation” ruling have no better reasoning than the NCAA, which is nothing less than: “ABSURD!”
Now let’s see if we can get this straight. The University of Alabama is running one of the most slip-shod policies we have ever heard of relative to student-athletes procuring textbooks for their classes (more on our experience with textbooks below) and a group of Alabama student-athletes took advantage of Alabama’s very foolish and slip-shod process by getting textbooks for their friends and that leads to Alabama having to “vacate” 21 wins? What? Could anything be more stupid, because the NCAA moving to a policy of punishing teams by having them “vacate” past wins defies all logic and common sense. What does Alabama care if they “vacate” past wins or not, because where the rubber really meets the road in the real world and what is only the real legitimate punishment is the loss of athletic scholarships and/or the loss of postseason eligibility. (Please don’t sing us a song about the NCAA giving out the death penalty or not allowing college football teams to play on TV, because those two punishments are not only off the table at the NCAA right now, boosters could be caught buying players and teams would not receive the above two punishments, the college game cannot afford for a team to shut down its program or not appear on TV).
What can really help one understand the “absurdity” of the NCAA forcing teams to “vacate” wins can really be brought home if we hear at Coaches Hot Seat do some “vacating” of our own:
As the Grand Poo-Bahs, reigning over all that is foolish and absurd, Coaches Hot Seat “vacates” Sitting Bull’s win over General Armstrong Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in June 1876! After exhaustive and meaningless research, Sitting Bull was found by Coaches Hot Seat to have stolen some rifles from the US Cavalry outpost at Sheridan, Wyoming prior to the Battle of Little Bighorn and thus Sitting Bull had an unfair advantage over Custer. We thus, “vacate” Sitting Bull’s win over Custer, but remember echoing the clueless Paul Dee, “vacating does not equal forfeiture,” so Custer cannot claim the Victory at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, only that Sitting Bull has “vacated” the win. That General Armstrong Custer and the US Seventh Cavalry got their ass kicked by Sitting Bull does not change one iota, but we are “vacating” Sitting Bull’s great victory!
As the Grand Poo-Bahs, reigning over all that is foolish and absurd, Coaches Hot Seat “vacates” Wellington’s victory over Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815! After much exhaustive and meaningless research, Wellington and his Army was found by Coaches Hot Seat to have stopped in Brussels for three nights prior to the battle where they had entirely too much fun and frivolity which led to Wellington’s Army being better prepared for the Battle of Waterloo! Yes, you got it, since Wellington’s men had way too much fun in Brussels prior to the battle we thus “vacate” Wellington’s win over Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo, but that does not mean Napoleon won that day or didn’t get exiled to Saint Helena where he later died. No, remember that “vacating does not mean forfeiture,” thus Napoleon still got his ass kicked at The Battle of Waterloo, although the record books will reflect a meaningless “vacating” of Wellington’s victory.
As the Grand Poo-Bahs, reigning over all that is foolish and absurd, Coaches Hot Seat “vacates” the American victory over the Japanese at the Battle of Midway in June 1942! After much exhaustive and meaningless research, the US Naval forces were found to have been way too tricky and sneaky by Coaches Hot Seat and that the Americans should have no better than surprising the Japanese the way they did at the Battle of Midway. Yes, since US Naval forces were way too tricky and sneaky we thus “vacate” the Americans win over the Japanese at the Battle of Midway, but remember that “vacate does not mean forfeiture,” and thus the Americans really did kick the Japanese’s ass at Midway, although the history books will be changed to reflect that the Americans “vacated” their win at Midway.
Does the above sounds foolish and stupid? Of course it does, and that is why the NCAA sounds doubly foolish and stupid when they “vacate” wins as a punishment for a football program that has broken the rules. Let’s just face facts, whether the NCAA wants to admit it or not, we are right in the midst of the greatest recruiting violation period in the history of collegiate athletics and the NCAA does not have the guts to stand up to its members and enforce their own rules. If the Alabama football and athletic department had student-athletes that broke the rules of the NCAA then the NCAA should have the guts to punish Alabama with real penalties not bogus “vacated” wins. The NCAA should not be concerned about penalties being levied today that will somehow impact current student-athletes, because of the actions of the past student-athletes. The Alabama football program is the Alabama football program and if a group of student-athletes, coaches, boosters, etc., break NCAA rules then the only real way punish a school is apply concurrent punishment that affects the schools and the rule-breaking athletic programs today. What happened yesterday relative to wins and “vacating” wins is meaningless and the NCAA should be ashamed that they do not have the guts to actually enforce their own rules.
If the NCAA is really serious about enforcing its own rules and holding its member institutions responsible for their actions then it needs to punish schools that break rules with the only two “sticks” that it can and will actually use, those being loss of scholarships and loss of postseason play. “Vacating” wins is absurd idea, but not a surprising one from the NCAA, because as student-athletes at Alabama were getting a few free textbooks for their friends, there is all kinds of nonsense going on all over the country that the NCAA doesn’t have the will, or the guts to investigate.
Yes, certainly for the NCAA, Albert Camus was “Oh So Right….”
“The absurd is the essential concept and first truth.”
Someone please let us know when this absurdity ends….
As for the actual charges against Alabama that a group of student-athletes were able to take advantage of loophole in the textbook system, we can only ask:
“Who in the Hell is running things at Alabama?”
The reason we ask that question is that when those of us here at Coaches Hot Seat that were on athletic scholarships in college remember back to how we got our textbooks we can really only wonder “what in the Hell was going on at Alabama? We remember that when we needed to get the textbooks for our classes we went to the customer service desk at the student bookstore where we talked with a university employee that worked with student-athletes. We then showed our class schedule to this university employee and they retrieved the textbooks we would need for those classes and before we left the bookstore a stamp was put in the textbooks that the book was the property of the university. When we finished with the class we took the textbook back to the bookstore and they put the textbook back onto the shelf for someone else to use. Why the University of Alabama had a system for student-athletes to get the textbooks for their classes that was not something similar to what several of us experienced in college over 20 years ago is something we cannot understand, but we would bet big money Alabama has a system like that today.
Again, the question we must ask: “Who the Hell is running things at Alabama?” Clearly the answer to that question relative to textbooks for student-athletes up until the fall of 2007 is: “Someone that did not have a clue to what they were doing.”
The Bogus BCS
Boise State president Bob Kustra recently addressed the BCS system in a commentary in the Idaho Statesman:
From President Kustra’s commentary:
“When the Presidential Oversight Committee of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) meets next week (June 15-19 in Colorado Springs), perhaps it will consider how to apply the same values espoused and celebrated by American higher education across the nation to the most recognizable pastime and the biggest business on many university campuses — intercollegiate football. There is considerable irony in the fact that in the highest temple of political correctness, American higher education, the BCS worships the false idols of monopoly, inequity and greed at the expense of the virtues of fairness, access and competition.”
Well said. Bravo to President Kustra for standing up for what is right and in fact is what America is supposed to stand for, “the virtues of fairness, access and competition.” If there is any American citizen that can actually argue in favor of the bogus BCS after reading President Kustra’s commentary we would really love to know where they were raised, because there is no way an American citizen raised in the United States could be for something that is so patently unfair as the BCS. Oh, yes there are the Grant Teaff’s (clearly, one of the most gutless men on the planet for being afraid to releases the coaches’ votes) and Jim Delaney’s (a man that lives in the past much as much as any American in the country) of the world that can prop up something as unfair as the BCS, but these two men have a vested interest in propping up something that has is clearly seen as bogus to the vast majority of Americans. No, it is an impossibility that anyone that believes in the principles of America can possibly support the BCS. Just a damn impossibility…..
We would encourage everyone to read Boise State President Bob Kustra’s commentary, BCS system fundamentally flawed, unfair, and we especially recommend that the BCS Boys and their enablers throughout the landscape of collegiate athletics read the commentary very carefully as well. If there is an athletic director, college president, or especially a head football coach that actually believes that the BCS is appropriate or even a just way to decide the national champion in college football, all we can say is that you should be ashamed of yourself, because you are supporting a system that runs counter to everything the United States of America stands for. A day is coming very soon when the BCS Boys and their enablers in collegiate athletics, ADs, college presidents, head coaches will have to actually stand up and say whether they believe in the principles of America or if they believe in the bogus principles of something akin to the cartel OPEC. Frankly, we cannot understand that there is any American that can stand for treating one group of Americans differently and in a very unfair way compared to another group of Americans, but as we all have seen there are some in college football that do take that very stance.
This is very simple: If you are involved in or support the BCS, you are supporting an un-American system and you should be mightily ashamed for doing so and how proud you must be of yourself.
President Kustra finishes his commentary by saying:
“The time has come for the Football Bowl Subdivision to go the way of the other three divisions of NCAA football, basketball and its other sports and base its national championship on actual play rather than opinion polls and computers. A playoff system that is organized by the NCAA and fairly addresses access, governance and revenue distribution is the next step. Even the President of the United States has publicly endorsed a playoff system. Only then will there be alignment between the values of fairness and access so often invoked in higher education and the policies and practices of the BCS and the NCAA.”
Well said, very well said. We will be back later this week to show exactly what in dollars (and we mean tens of millions of dollars) that the Bogus BCS is costing collegiate athletics in 2009, but also over the life of the BCS. Yes, that’s right, not only is the BCS a Bogus way to determine a national champion in college football, it is also costing collegiate athletics tens of millions of dollars every year.
Read the commentary of true American, Boise State President Bob Kustra: BCS system fundamentally flawed, unfair
Moving to the issue of health insurance and the very important issue of the reforming of the US health care system and control of the spiraling and out-of-control health care spending in the US, we here at Coaches Hot Seat cannot help but again weigh in on this issue. Very simply, the current health insurance and health care situation in the state of California is not sustainable. With health care premiums rising at an average annual rate of between 5 and 10 percent for almost 7 years now, it is getting to the point where only the very largest of companies will be able to offer health insurance to their employees, because both the cost and even worse, the actual quality of the health insurance that companies can buy is reaching unsustainable and outrageous levels.
It is bad enough that the cost of a company to purchase a health insurance policy for a family in the state of California is approaching $1000 dollars a month, but even worse the quality of that health insurance policy and how much both our employees and companies have to fight with health insurance companies to honor their own contracts has reached a breaking point. The Obama Administration and many on Capitol Hill are completely right to work towards a reform of our health insurance system where all Americans will have the right to purchase insurance and that it should be the duty for every American to carry health insurance. These folks in Washington are also right to require insurance companies to provide insurance for all that apply for health insurance, but there has been far too little talk about the real world behavior of the very large health insurance companies towards the people that they supposedly cover with their insurance policies. Over the past decade the rising cost of health care in the state of California has led to what seems like ever-increasing health insurance policy price increases, but it has also lead to insurance companies acting in ways that have very little do with actually serving their customers, and more with increasing their bottom-lines. Cancelled policies when people get sick, not covering items that are clearly covered under their own health insurance policies, making doctors jump through hoops even to get basic health issues/procedures covered, and many other similar items have been all been part of the health insurance companies war on the people of California and this battle between the insurance companies and their customers has led to a health care system in California that is on the brink of collapse.
Just imagine a company with 100 employees that has committed to covering everyone with health insurance having to write a monthly health insurance premium check between $75,000 and $100,000 a month. That is approaching $1 million dollars a year just for health insurance for a 100 person company and that $1 million dollars does not reflect the co-pays and annual deductibles that the employees have to pay that are required under the health insurance policies. Those kinds of health insurance costs for health insurance just cannot continue or it will get to the point that even healthy and profitable companies will not be able to offer health insurance to their employees because the cost of that health insurance would eat up all of the profits of the company.
Thinking about solutions to fixing the problems in health care and health insurance in America of course starts with the federal government getting control of Medicare and Medicaid spending, but equally important is getting the 50 million or so people into the health care system with health insurance AND getting control of the skyrocketing costs of health insurance that small and medium-sized companies in the US face everyday. Since a few of us here at Coaches Hot Seat worked for the federal government in our much younger days, we decided to take a look at the health insurance and other personal insurance items that are offered to US government employees today. On the website at the US Office of Personnel Management/Insurance Programs the average American citizen can see the many and varied different types of insurance that are offered to government workers and those of us that run private companies can only wish and dream that we were offered a similar type of website that we could to purchase insurance of all types for our companies. Instead of something like the US Office of Personnel Management offers for US government employees, private companies have to go into the marketplace and spend a lot of time, effort and money to find insurance policies that will fit with the requirements of our employees. Far too often we end up getting “sold” an insurance policy to cover our employees instead of being able to choose from a wide-spectrum of different insurance products and when one is trying to run a business, there is just very little time to make these very important choices for our employees.
Looking over the US Office of Personnel Management health insurance website we find almost a dozen different private health insurance policies that are offered to government employees in the state of California and the opportunity to choose between so many different health insurance plans makes a lot more sense to us than forcing business owner to work like hell to even determine the costs and the offerings that are available to our companies/employees.
So, what to do? This is really very simple. If the United States of America does not get control of its health care spending the US is finished. That’s right, if the US does not get control of its out-of-control health care spending then the US will be bankrupt and insolvent and unable to sell its own bonds sometime within the next 25 years. With the United States now sitting with a $12 trillion dollar national debt and having somewhere around $50 trillion dollars in unfunded mandates between now and 2050, there is no option but to get control of our health care spending or there will be no United States of America, at least the way we all understand it, for our children and grandchildren to live in.
Therefore, realizing doing nothing is no option, below are our recommendations to reform the US health care/insurance system:
The “All-In” for the good of America Plan – Everyone in America needs to carry health insurance so we need “Everyone In” with health insurance if we have any hope of getting control of health cares costs in the US.
No denial of health insurance for “pre-existing” conditions – Everyone applying for health insurance would have the ability to purchase insurance.
One standard minimum of health insurance offered and unlimited number of other types of health insurance plans – The United States needs a minimum health insurance benefits plan that all insurance plans must offer and the government should encourage an unlimited number of other health insurance options for companies/individuals to choose from. The American people and companies should have the ability to go to a website similar to the US Office of Personnel Management to choose which type of health insurance they would like to purchase.
Public health insurance or Public Co-Opt option – The United States should set-up a system that allows for individuals to choose a “public option” where they can purchase health insurance directly from the US government or at the very least thru a regional co-opt. The government can make sure that the “public option” does not undermine private insurance plans by benchmarking both the benefits and costs of the “public option” against private insurance plans benefits and costs. The primary reason for a “public option” is to provide both competition and a check on private insurance companies to make sure that they are actually in the business of serving their policy-holders. Several of us here at Coaches Hot Seat have dealt with health insurance companies on behalf of our companies and employees and it our opinion that the private health insurance companies are no longer in the business of serving their policy holders, but are in fact in the business of denying legitimate claims and care wherever and whenever possible and to pay out as little as legally possible for their policyholders. Maybe that is good for the bottom-line of insurance companies, but it is very detrimental to our society.
If you like your current health insurance, you can keep it – This one is very simple, if you like your current health insurance plan, you will be able to keep it.
Paying for health care/insurance reform – There have been a lot of proposals on how to pay for the cost of both reforming the health care/insurance system and getting the 50 million or so uninsured Americans insured (something we estimate would cost over $1 trillion dollars over the next 10 years), including taxing private health insurance policies, taxes on sodas and other sin taxes, etc., but we believe there is only one way to pay for health care/insurance and it can only be done with a complete re-writing and overhaul of the United States tax system. The US currently has a perverse tax code that actually inhibits the economic growth of our Republic and provides all kinds of asinine benefits that have nothing to do with collecting the maximum amount of revenue coupled with generating the maximum amount of economic growth. The bottom-line is that the United States both needs to generate more tax revenue and needs a much higher growth rate in the next 50 years or we will have no chance to meet the commitments that have been made to our fellow citizens or to continue to be the leading country on the planet. Since we here at Coaches Hot Seat believe that it is imperative that America continue to lead the world and that we sustain at the very least our current position, we also believe it is imperative that we reform our tax/revenue system so that it can both raise the revenue will need in the coming years and provide the greatest amount of growth so we can keep our Republic strong, vibrant, and growing at a healthy pace into the future.
Up Next: How America can reform its tax system to both collect the maximum amount of revenue and provide the maximum amount of growth for the United States.
North Beach Festival – Jazz Music
One of the great things about living near San Francisco is that one is able to see and attend so many different cultural, music, art, concerts, etc.. On Saturday after hitting the North Beach Festival a few of caught a cab over to a local restaurant/bar and as we walked thru the door the band started to play some of the following songs (Yes, with this music bring us another round of drinks….)
Dave Brubek – Take Five
Louis Armstrong – What a Wonderful World
Duke Ellington – Satin Doll
B. B. King
John Coltrane – Every Time We Say Goodbye