In his first year as Kansas State University���s basketball coach, Bob Huggins led his team to a 23-12 record and the school's best Big 12 record in 11 years. That will also prove to be his last year coaching at K-State. Huggins has chosen to turn his back on a school that, based on his track record, took a pretty big chance on him. Huggins even admitted that leaving wasn't the right thing to do.
I empathize with the incoming freshman class of athletes who will put their collegiate careers in the hands of a coach they've never met and an entirely different program than they signed up for in the first place. This happened to me the summer before my freshman year of college. I received a devastating phone call a few weeks before moving into college from the coach that recruited me to say she was taking a position elsewhere. She was the person I knew the best in the place that would be my home for four years and the leader of what would soon be my second family. Luckily, everything ended up working out.
There are athletes like Cobi Jones and Kevin Garnett, who have each stuck with their respective teams for 12 seasons, through trying times and probably bigger money offers from other organizations. Likewise, there are coaches in college sports who have stuck with the same school out of pride and the desire to build a tradition, to leave a legacy in a program that they built from the ground up.
Is it just me, or is this becoming increasingly hard to come by these days? I can't help but feel like coaches and players alike are making moves based on immediate and usually monetary gratification instead of doing the right thing. Since free agency began in the early 1970s, team compositions change quickly as players will move teams often, even to teams that have no viable chance at a successful season, if the money is right. Is this behavior, from players and coaches, in mainstream sports encouraging similar team-hopping in youth and college sports?
(Photo provided by Getty Images/Donald Miralle)