Jeremiah Masoli to Ole Miss – It’s Not A Matter of What Masoli Might Do….But How He Will Impact the Ole Miss Football Team That Houston Nutt Should Be Worried About – Paul “Bear” Bryant On “Troubled” Players and Building A TEAM – What A CEO Would Be Thinking In The Same Spot Houston Nutt Was In With the Masoli Decision – How Will the Hire Impact the Entire Company Going Forward, Not How Will This Hire Add to the Company Should Be Paramount
There is so much being said and written about Jeremiah Masoli being admitted to Ole Miss to play QB for the Rebels this season that it would be hard to add much to the basic facts of the situation. Ole Miss head coach Houston Nutt was quoted as saying…
“I got eyes on me for taking a thug,” which is an interesting comment on the newest member of this football team which is really the point here, Jeremiah Masoli is again on a football TEAM there at Ole Miss.
After reading the Sports Illustrated story last week by Michael McKnight of Sports Illustrated, The untold story behind Jeremiah Masoli’s past, downfall at Oregon, we were more confused than ever of what Masoli has actually done in his life relative to the law and while he was with Oregon. Rob Moseley of the Register-Guard up in Oregon did a nice job of following up on some of the things that were in the SI story, Jeremiah Masoli: Spin cycle starts with SI, but like most things in life the more one reads about what someone has or hasn’t done in their life the more unclear everything seems to be. That is certainly the case here, but it seems unarguable that Masoli has had his share of problems with law enforcement in his life.
Now that Houston Nutt and the powers to be at Ole Miss have made the decision that allowing a good QB that is carrying a lot of baggage on his football TEAM, going forward Masoli will clearly be under a gigantic microscope in an area of the country that he has never lived which is going be very uncomfortable reality for Mr. Masoli.
If we were the head coach at any school that was considering the idea of bringing on a QB that had multiple run-ins with the law and had been tossed by his old coach and school for not following rules and stipulations that the student-athlete had agreed to we would of course be concerned what he might do once he was my responsibility……but the greater concern to us would be the impact that he would have on the football TEAM as a whole and if he might negatively impact the mental state of the team going forward.
On this subject Paul “Bear Bryant said it best:
“The biggest mistake coaches make is taking borderline cases and trying to save them. I’m not talking about grades now, I’m talking about character. I want to know before a boy enrolls about his home life, and what his parents want him to be.”
“We can’t have two standards, one set for the dedicated young men who want to do something ambitious and one set for those who don’t.”
Is there anyone with a working brain that has the task of leading a football team or a company for that matter that could possibly disagree with the above two statements by Coach Bryant? If so, you are a complete and utter fool.
This issue of whether to hire a talented employee, but someone that has a checkered or troubled past, especially someone that has had problems interacting and working with other people in the workplace comes up all the time in private business. Imagine for a moment a very real life scenario where a high tech company is presented with the opportunity to hire a incredibly talented engineer that could change the future prospects of the company in a very positive way, but the talented engineer also has a reputation of being impossible to work with and someone that does not take kindly to being told what to do….even if you ask him nicely (Oh, the prima donna engineers!).
What is the CEO of the company to do when he has the chance to hire a talented but troubled new employee that if he works up to his potential can change the future direction of the company and make the CEO and all of employees very rich? What does one do in such a situation and what should the CEO be considering under this scenario?
From where we sit here at Coaches Hot Seat, the Number 1 consideration should not be what the very talented engineer will add to the company, but rather will this person negatively impact the company and employees in a way that would create resentment and other negative feelings within the company. A strong CEO, or head football coach for that matter, will have already set the company on a path to succeed regardless of whether or not the talented engineer is hired or not, so what the decision will really comes down to is not will the engineer add to the company in the future (that the new hire will add to the company should be a given since why would anyone hire someone who would not add to the company in a positive way), but what kind of negative impact could his hiring have on the company going forward.
It is always a tough decision when a CEO is presented with the opportunity to hire someone that is incredibly talented and the smart CEO (or football coach) will in the interview (in this scenario) with the talented engineer be very direct about the fact that there are a lot of things that will be allowed, but one thing that will not be tolerated is anyone coming into this company and impacting the company and employees in a negative way. Great talent needs space to operate in, but we have an expectations on how one should and will behave in the workplace and how one will treat one’s fellow employees and if you cannot become part of the TEAM and work to move the goals of the company forward then there is no way we can hire you.
Often when a talented person is presented with the above demands the CEO knows within seconds if the person sitting across from him will be able to work for the company in a positive way or not because any hesitation by the person being interviewed means that their idea of what they want to do in the job will probably not mesh with the overall goals of the company and the company’s employees. If on the other hand the person being interviewed is unequivocal about their ability to work within the structure of the company (which at most high tech companies is VERY laid back) then one might very well have a great hire sitting in front of them.
Getting back to Jeremiah Masoli joining the Ole Miss football team, if we were Houston Nutt our greatest concern would not be Masoli going out and breaking the law or doing something stupid, because there is a chance that will happen and Nutt and Ole Miss will just send Masoli packing in that case. The greater danger for Houston Nutt is how the decision to allow Masoli to join the team will impact on the other players and the team as whole, in either a positive or negative way, going forward. A head football coach is charged with building a football TEAM that is made up of very talented football players, who work together to win football games. There is no room on a football team for anyone that is not interested in being a member of the TEAM and working with his teammates for the overall stated goals of the program, but there is especially no room for anyone that can negatively impact individual players or the team as a whole and that line of thinking must have surely kept Houston Nutt up late the last few nights.
Another quote by Paul Bryant doesn’t quite fit this situation with Jeremiah Masoli, because we would not classify him as a “quitter,” but it does speak to the danger that Houston Nutt puts the entire Ole Miss football program under by rolling the dice with this guy:
“But there’s one thing about quitters you have to guard against – they are contagious. If one boy goes, the chances are he’ll take somebody with him, and you don’t want that. So when they would start acting that way, I used to pack them up and get them out, or embarrass them, or do something to turn them around.”
If Masoli does turn out to be a player that starts to have a negative attitude or a negative affect on other Ole Miss players then Houston Nutt will have to decide if his behavior is negatively affecting the rest of team which could hurt the Ole Miss football program for years to come even though it might at first just damage the 2010 football season.
Since we have never spoken with Jeremiah Masoli we haven’t a clue if we would allow him on our football team, but one thing’s for sure if we were Masoli’s father and Houston Nutt and Ole Miss were gracious enough to give him another chance to play college football, in the SEC no less, our conversation with Jeremiah would go something like this:
“First, you should thank Coach Nutt and the Administration there at Ole Miss for giving you another chance. Second, you should do anything and everything that Coach Nutt, his staff and the folks there at Ole Miss tell you to do. Third, and I want to make this very clear, if you do something down there to embarrass yourself, your name, my name, your mother, Coach Nutt and Ole Miss I would recommend you call the FBI and have them put in their Witness Protection Program because when I get a hold of you, you and I are going to have an “interaction” that you will never forget for the rest of your life. Don’t embarrass your family and your parents again, but especially your mother. Understand? Good. Now, good luck to you son and make us all proud of you and never forget we love you and we will be pulling for you.”
Would Jeremiah Masoli’s father be straight-up with his son on his past and expected future behavior? We haven’t a clue, but we have seen hundreds of parents in California excuse all kinds of Outrageous behavior in recent years that 30 years ago would have drawn a strong rebuke from every father and mother we ever knew or interacted with and parents that allow their children to act in inappropriate ways are not only hurting the kids, their kids sports teams, the local community, but the entire country as well.
Good Luck to you Jeremiah Masoli…and to you Houston Nutt….because this is a pretty big roll of the dice for Ole Miss football and for the University of Mississippi.
2010 Analysis of Head Coaching Changes – Home Run Hires coming next…..