As tomorrow’s Scarlet and Gray game approaches and NBC is reporting that the rosters are set, it is making me look forward to the fall and college football.
It is also a good opportunity to comment on the very public scandals that rocked college sports in the last year and point out lessons that can be learned by employers.
Before I get into that however, for those uninitiated folks, the Scarlet and Gray game is the close of the Ohio State Buckeyes’ spring football practices and gives anxious Buckeye fans a chance to see how the team is going to look in a game situation.
I am hoping for a good show and that Jake Stoneburner has a good year. Although I do not believe I am any relation to Jake, he does come from a town very close to where I grew up. Plus, let’s face it, Stoneburner is not a common name, so it is cool to think one might be playing in the NFL someday.
I am also hoping that the focus will be on the new coach Urban Meyer and not on the NCAA violations and fines. The most surprising thing about the NCAA issues that plagued Ohio State in 2011, was not that players had used their influence to get free tattoos, but rather the downfall of Coach Jim Tressel, a man previously known affectionately as the Vest (as in sweater) and thought of first and foremost as a conservative coach – not a rule breaker.
So, what went wrong? Well, I am sure a detailed discussion of this could be the subject of many blog posts.
My first thought is, if Coach Tressel is given the benefit of the doubt, that Ohio State failed as an organization in not properly training its employees in how to report and deal with violations.
Now I know some of you reading this think that is not true, coaches have the NCAA rules beat into them. That may be true but this was a situation where the information was leaked to Coach Tressel by an alumnus who was aware of an FBI investigation. A criminal investigation where the FBI is notoriously testy about any person disclosing details of an investigation.
It begs the question, do your employees know what to do if they are contacted by law enforcement? Although hopefully a worst case scenario, employers should consider addressing these situations in their handbooks and policies to cover both what has to be reported to management and who is responsible for communicating with law enforcement.
Now, back to football – GO BUCKS!