On Monday of this week the University of Washington announced that their head football coach had accepted a new coaching position at the University of Southern California. Now since I bleed purple and gold and have been a Husky fan all my life, I was floored by this news. How could Coach Sarkisian go to the dreaded USC Trojans?
But such is life in college athletics. This is not the first time by a long shot that this sort of thing has happened and it certainly won’t be the last. Coaches make decisions like these based on pay packages, family and a myriad of other factors, and in truth his decision really didn’t bother me that much.
What did bother me is that he lied about it. Asked two days earlier if he would take the USC job if it were offered, he flat out lied about it, saying he was a Husky through and through and he looked forward to many more years as a Husky. Mind you, he had already interviewed for the USC job when he stated his allegiance to the University of Washington.
So now we find ourselves in some questionable water. I’m sure Sarkisian had his reasons for lying, but I’m not sure I agree with them no matter what they were. Here is a man who is in the middle of recruiting season. He has already reached out to nine high school seniors who signed on to the University of Washington in part because Sarkisian was the coach. Didn’t those high school seniors deserve to know that Sarkisian was planning on interviewing elsewhere?
And where is the loyalty to the existing players? To the school administration? To the ticket holders? For the record, Sarkisian was in the second year of a five year contract. Do contracts mean anything in sports today? Do contracts mean anything in any profession? Is not a contract a promise? Is not a contract a written agreement that services will be rendered for payment?
I think it is so very easy to give your word and then break it in today’s society, and that is what really bothers me. Ultimately I really don’t care about the football aspect. The U of W will find a good coach and all will be well. What I really care about is this tendency to blatantly lie, or to consider a contract meaningless.
At some point our word has to stand for something, doesn’t it?
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”