Should Coaches Do Character Building?

Last week, three University of Oregon football players were hospitalized following a workout supervised by the strength and conditioning coach. The suggestion from many media outlets is that the workload was sufficiently excessive that it posed a danger to the participating athletes. Whether the ultimate suspension of the strength coach for one month without pay is a reflection of his complicity or a capitulation to political pressure (e.g. scapegoating) is something we may never know. Hopefully, the university conducts a thorough internal investigation and addresses whatever issues, systemic and personal, contributed to this unfortunate outcome. Regardless of the strength coach’s culpability here, the popular narrative that certain coaching practices build character warrants further scrutiny.

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