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Why wouldn’t a club want Tebow in organization?

January 11, 2010

We have had some discussions in the newsroom recently about Tim Tebow and his chance to be an NFL quarterback.

I, for one, would love to see my San Diego Chargers draft him.

I like him taking a shotgun snap in the Wildcat with a first-and-goal from the 5. He can handoff, run, pitch or pass. I like those odds.

I like a quarterback who won two national championships - one as the backup and one as the starter.

I like a quarterback who finished his career at the University of Florida 661-for-995 for 9,285 yards, 88 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.

He also ran the ball 692 times for 2,947 yards and 57 touchdowns and zero, yes, zero, fumbles.

The guy is a leader.

He leads players on the field and inmates to Christ.

He has had more of an impact on Gators coach Urban Meyer than any player Meyer has had in his programs.

I understand Tebow has problems with his mechanics and throwing motion.

I understand the reasons why the general managers and experts say he will not be an NFL quarterback.

But, those are the same general managers who picked guys like Ryan Leaf, Heath Shuler, Akili Smith, Todd Marinovich, Joey Harrington, Tim Couch, Kyle Boller, J.P. Losman, Matt Leinart, JaMarcus Russell, David Carr, Patrick Ramsey, Rick Mirer, Cade McNown, Dave Brown, Jim Druckenmiller, Andre Ware, Dan McGwire and David Klingler in the first round.

Why don't you want Tebow as a part of your organization?

I tend to peruse the Internet to find items of discussion for this column.

I came across the following on

It said "Coach hits player during game."

I thought it would be an interesting read considering what has been going on in the college football world with Mark Mangino, Jim Leavitt and Mike Leach.

It then said, "Kansas State coach Frank Martin let his emotions go way too far and took it out on a player."

The headline above the article said, "Martin apologizes for popping player on arm."

So, did the coach hit the player or pop him on the arm?

My son knows the difference.

And, I am guessing so does a college coach.

From the Associated Press article:

Kansas State's Frank Martin is a fiery old-school screamer who expects his players to play with the same kind of passion he coaches with.

That passion got the better of Martin on Saturday-and he feels bad about it.

Caught up in the heat of a tight road game, Martin hit senior Chris Merriewether on the arm with the back of his hand late in the No. 11 Wildcats' 74-68 loss to Missouri. Martin wasted little time in apologizing, telling reporters he was wrong before taking questions during his postgame news conference.

"That's a mistake on my part," Martin said. "I'm an old-school guy, but I understand the times are real sensitive now. I love him. I don't know what to tell you. It's wrong on my part and is completely out of line and has no part in the game. I need to apologize for that."

Martin's swipe came during a timeout with 1:17 left after a turnover by Merriewether led to a foul at the other end.

Before Marcus Denmon hit one of two free throws to put Missouri up 66-63, Martin called timeout and gathered his team in front of the bench. He immediately started screaming at Merriewether and flicked the back of his hand at the senior, striking him on the arm with his fingers.

The crowd at Kansas State's end of the floor reacted and Martin, realizing he had made a mistake, flipped his hand again, appearing as if he were trying to high-five Merriewether.

Martin sought out Merriewether in the locker room after the game and apologized for popping him.

"It was just in the heat of the moment; big game, lot of heated plays going on," Merriewether said. "I mean, he hit me in the arm, it was nothing serious. (Teammate) Jacob Pullen came back right after and he hit me in the arm, too. It really wasn't too much. I trust Frank and Frank trusts me and it was just a heat of the moment-type deal. It's not a big deal at all."

Political correctness is going way too far.

This is not like Mangino allegedly ripping his players saying some utterly stupid and disgusting things.

This is not like Leach allegedly locking a player in a shed.

This is not like Leavitt allegedly grabbing a player by the throat and hitting him (Woody Hayes, anyone?)

Martin's stance at the beginning of the press conference also Kansas State athletic director John Currie.

"Coach Martin clearly understands his contact with Chris at the end of the game was unacceptable, regardless of the emotion of the moment," Currie said in a statement.

"I am proud of coach Martin for immediately apologizing and I expect that there will be no further such incidents."

I understand where Martin was coming from, making sure he brought up the incident first before the press started peppering him with questions about the incident.

I understand where Merriweather was coming from, saying it was no big deal and that he just wanted to move on after the six-point loss, the Wildcats' first of the year.

I understand sports is an emotional game. I've been around sports for almost 45 years.

You ask kids to spill their guts, play with emotion and stop at the sound of a whistle.

Old school and political correctness do not mix.

"I was taught you never, ever disrespect your opponent or your teammates or your organization or your manager and never, ever your uniform." - Ryne Sandberg

I have preached over and over here about being good teammates.

I have listened to the local high school coaches talk over and over about what it takes to be a good teammate.

"People have to understand what my game is. It's not all about numbers. There's a bigger picture here. I don't create off the dribble. I rely on my teammates; my role is to set screens and get rebounds." - Rebecca Lobo

Notice how the word points was not in that quote by Lobo?

If you are the 10th player on a basketball team that means you are on the court during practice.

That means you can bemoan the fact that you are the 10th player on the team and practice like it (which the coach will see) or you can give every ounce of energy you have to get better and get your teammates better (which the coach will see.)

You can complain about being open and not getting the ball, or you can continue to play hard, do your job, be a good teammate and eventually get the ball.

At the same time, you can't complain about not getting the ball and forget what you are supposed to do on offense, or forget that the team is playing man defense while you're playing zone.

"To all the positions, I just bring the determination to win. Me being an unselfish player, I think that can carry on to my teammates. When you have one of the best players on the court being unselfish, I think that transfers to the other players." - LeBron James

At the same time, if you have one of the best players on the court being selfish, that will also transfer to the other players.

You choose.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at

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