During the course of contests, coaches and officials make many mistakes – not as many as spectators might think, of course – but mistakes certainly do happen. In the heat of competition, most are quickly forgotten.
Those mistakes that occur near the end of games or are caught on camera can live longer than dozens of more consequential decisions earlier in the event that might later be determined to be incorrect in the 20/20 hindsight of “Monday morning quarterbacking.” But it is extraordinarily rare that any decision during a contest defines a career, or ends it.
No, the decisions that do most to damage, detour or destroy a coaching or officiating career are those made away from the contest. A bad impulse during a social outing, indiscreet comments or conduct caught on video and sent worldwide overnight, or an inappropriate email or website search . . . these are the decisions that end up defining the career.
The stakes may be higher for decisions made away from the sport by coaches and officials than the decisions they make in the athletic arena. Every week’s sports news tells me this is correct. Hundreds or even thousands of people may witness a judgment call during a contest, while millions upon millions will be exposed to poor judgment exercised away from the contest.
From the Director is the official MHSAA Blog which will touch on pertinent school sports topics periodically throughout the school year from various MHSAA Staff.