With all the bad publicity that college basketball coaches have been getting recently, its been hard not to become a complete cynic and write-off the whole damn thing. But as most of you have probably read by now, a feel-good story about Vanderbilt head coach Kevin Stallings "doing the right thing" by deferring $100K of a salary raise in order to fulfill his promise to his team that they would be going to Australia for a road trip this upcoming season, despite funding problems with Vandy's athletic department due to the current economic downturn.
Coach Stallings and his story remind me of that old adage "actions speak louder than words." We tell our players all the time, "don't just say it, do it," but do we as coaches practice what we preach? I know for myself I try to hold myself to a higher standard but I know that I can always do better. I am constantly evaluating my actions as a coach but also as a person to see how my actions are interpreted by the people around me and the students that I teach and coach in particular. Because ultimately, the actions you make will be reflected in the team that you coach and the players who play for you. Your actions will define who you are and how you are perceived.
In the 24-hour news cycle that we currently live in, its understandable why the negative stories get all the run and the positive stories get swept under the rug. I think of all the people I talk to everywhere and anywhere and I always listen to the great stories people like to tell about tremendous coaches, tremendous human beings doing great things each and every day. We should celebrate that, honor that. To remind each other as coaches of exactly why we got into coaching to begin with, and the greater responsibility which requires that we meet a higher standard as leaders in the community.