TAO OF BEAR

Jack Shafer has an excellent piece on the Paul “Bear” Bryant lessons on leadership Howell Raines failed to absorb. Some excerpts:

The Times blamed the Blair debacle on Blair. Here’s Bear on accepting responsibility and delegating credit:

If we have an intercepted pass, I threw it. I’m the head coach. If we get a punt blocked, I caused it. A bad practice, a bad game, it’s up to the head coach to assume his responsibility. … If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes semi-good, we did it. If anything goes really good, then you did it.

***

Raines and the Times tried to save Jayson Blair from himself. Bear knew better:

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.

***

And, finally, the Raines regime disregarded Blair’s personal deficiency and promoted him beyond his abilities. Bear cautioned against such double standards:

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.

Raines ain’t no Bear.

FILED UNDER: Media, Sports
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Nick says:

    Man, great invocation of the Bear! As an LSU fan, I officially hate him…but he was great!

  2. I assume that means Raines isn’t infatuated with teenage girls…