Coach Fired For Profanity-Laced Rant
It seemed strange a school would fire its head coach the day before facing its rival. Now we know why.
The 11-46 overall record, 1-8 this year, didn't help, and it's possible that Eastern Michigan coach Ron English already was on his way out. But after firing English on Friday along with a generic statement, media covering the team's game against Western Michigan on Saturday were greeted with another release in the press box.
"I received a tape of a situation in which Coach English had addressed the team and used wholly inappropriate language," Eastern Michigan athletic director Heather Lycke said in a statement.
The audio, apparently recorded by a player in recent weeks, is available on the Detroit News website. Although most of the tirade includes bleeped cursing and can't specifically be quoted, the general message from English was that he didn't respect the players, thought they didn't take the game seriously and felt it was the worst football team he'd been around.
Unless other details emerge, this doesn't seem on par with Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice, who was fired for throwing a ball at a players and using anti-gay slurs. Long an unreported part of sports, though, stories like this continue to emerge with greater frequency. Earlier this year, Grambling State players effectively got its interim coach fired amid a team-wide protest of facility conditions and a lack of support from the athletic department.
Coaches have been warned. They can't give a tough-love rant any more without first writing a script and giving major consideration to its phrasing. Players have no qualms about releasing incriminating information or going public if they feel wronged or belittled.