Having spent 5 years of my life playing on a Division IA college football team, I am getting very excited because the football season is here. I have my season tickets to my alma mater and have been reading and listening for the polls, predictions, and hoopla. It all makes me reflect back to this summer, I noticed a sad trend this last summer of negative publicity at many colleges.
• Big name schools are facing probation for ethics issues
• Players are being arrested for burglary and drug use
• Some top players have been dismissed from established teams and are finding themselves on new teams
• Coach’s are being sued for hiring away skilled coaches from other schools
Is this negative publicity just or unjust, right or wrong? Regardless of your opinion one question that keeps running through my mind is, “Do I really want that player or that coach on my team?” It has made me think about following the advice and research in the book Good to Great in the chapter “First Who… Then What.” What the author is referring to is that you need to get the right people first, then the ability to create a vision or direction and strategy will follow. I don’t see recruiting coach’s or recruiting players to be any different than hiring employees and executives, as these are the resources that will ultimately determine the success of the organization. The author of Good to Great quotes one executive in his research as saying.
“Look, I don’t really know where we should take this bus. But I know this much: if we get the right people on the bus, the right people in the right seats, and the wrong people off the bus, then we’ll figure out how to take it someplace great.”
It appears this is occurring with several of these schools and football programs this summer. A football team is just like a business, literally. The highly paid Head Coach’s are the CEO’s of the team and are making important decisions about who will help or hurt their team. I think more and more of these “CEO’s” are figuring out that you must do as the author suggests, get the right people on the bus in order to achieve success. You have to have the right kind of players to perform as a team. One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch!