I understand the pandemic has stressed out everyone, college football coaches included. Now that we’ve reached December and it appears we’re headed for a postseason, the coaches aren’t just trying to keep their team together, they’re jockeying for playoff/bowl/conference championship position. So that’s another layer of tension.
And yet this does not justify adults acting like children.
Remember August, when we decided to proceed with the season? We entrusted the coaches to live up to their role-model responsibilities, to take extra care of their players by being extra mature in the face of difficulties we all knew were coming.
The coaches have gotten a lot of those responsibilities right since then. That helps explain why so much of the season has been played.
There are no free passes, however, when silly gamesmanship causes bad behavior. Coaches can’t lose their way just because it’s late in the season and championships and postseason appearances are at stake.
They are still at stake for Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Tulsa, but Lincoln Riley, Mike Gundy and Philip Montgomery can’t lose their way. There’s too much riding on them, and no I’m not talking about contract bonuses or bowl game payouts.
They have to be adults, every second of every day, so their kids can meet the challenges of this season unlike any other, and everyone can make it through.