Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A Difference in Two Coaches

Last night's Creighton-Miami NIT game featured an occurance that we've seen quite a bit of lately; the head coach gets steamed over a non-call that potentially decided the game, reacts inappropriately, and the fans start throwing things. Does this sound familiar?

It does at first, but that's where the similarity ends. That's because Creighton coach Dana Altman acknowledged that he was in the wrong and accepted responsibility immediately after the game:
"I'm disappointed for our players, and my frustration at the end of the ballgame was that I wanted that opportunity to play one more time for them," Altman said. "That's where your frustration boils over, and you act like a fool. That's what I did, and there's no sense to that.

"The officials made their calls, and I apologize to the fans and the officials and to everybody else. I have done that too often in 12 years, but there's no excuse for that. We shouldn't have done that as a crowd, but that's my fault. They reacted to my reaction, and that's not the way we do things here."

Contrast that to the response from Husker football coach Bill Callahan after "GestureGate". When originally contacted hours after the Nebraska-Oklahoma game, Nebraska's Sports Information Department didn't respond to inquiries about the incident. On the Big XII conference call on Monday, Callahan feigned ignorance. And at Tuesday's press conference, he once again refused to acknowledge responsibility for his actions. Three missed opportunities to make amends for his actions, and Callahan ended up being reprimanded by the Big XII conference for his actions. The whole incident would have never gotten as far as it did if Callahan and the Nebraska Sports Information department would have handled this late Saturday night or Sunday. Even a response on Monday might have limited the damage.

Creighton's Altman showed a lot of class in how he handled his mistake. I sure hope that the folks in Lincoln followed this and learned something.

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