I don't have a big problem with Vanderbilt deciding not to suspend Stallings. The bigger issue is the on-going prevalence of boorish, autocratic, "kick-'em in the butt" style coaches in this country, especially at the high school and youth levels.
You're in the news trying to clear your name and say that you're not a monster. Unfortunately for you, millions of people saw the footage, and millions of people know the truth.
There is little doubt: the Rutgers athletic department has been a mess for the better half of the past year, damaging a great university's image nationally. There are important lessons to be learned from how this happened.
To the extent that Rutgers offers a lesson, it is about the need for institutional leadership to provide a higher level of attention to athletics programs, most especially those programs that are or have moved more intentionally to greater national prominence.
I was deeply disappointed to hear about the abusive coaching tactics allegedly used by Julie Hermann, the new Athletic Director at Rutgers. It made me wonder if abusive coaching is more rampant than we know -- not only in sports, but in other arenas as well.
If we can learn anything from this latest Rutgers controversy, it is that in a "student-centered" athletic environment, the student athletes ought to be consulted and taken seriously, particularly when allegations of abuse arise.
The bold move of hiring Julie Hermann as the new athletic director of Rutgers University signaled an important recognition in the sports world: not only can women do a 'man's job', but a female touch may be just what that world needs.
The NCAA and President Mark Emmert seem incapable of reorienting college athletics within higher education as a positive component of the campus experience, instead embarking on a Darwinian chase for revenue. Student welfare and development is no longer the priority but an afterthought.
There is no need for a coach to abuse his power in order to gain the respect of his players. The players at Rutgers deserve a coach that mentors, not a bully that demoralizes.
Where was the Rutgers administration during the unfolding of Penn State's Sandusky scandal? Certainly a far worse tragedy, but the lessons were there, once again, to be learned.
I can tell you from personal experience that the bureaucratic inefficiency at Rutgers makes transferring classes or campuses an absolute administrative nightmare. But transferring blame takes almost no effort at all.
College athletics is supposed to be a learning and personal growth experience for young men. It is supposed to teach values like teamwork, self-discipline, honesty and courage.
Progress on social issues, like beauty in the stereotypical phrase, is in the eye of the beholder.
With Rutgers University's Mike Rice video and subsequent firing now in the news, many are tempted to talk about the special treatment given to sports. This conversation makes me wonder, which special treatment are they talking about?
As long as schools place winning -- and the ticket sales winning generates -- above the welfare of the students, it seems unlikely we are going to see athletic directors and presidents alter their behavior.
What did the president know and when did he know it? If the answer is absolutely nothing, then the president cannot lead.