How much responsibility does the coach carry?

Most everyone is expressing shock or disbelief that Alhambra wide receiver Zion Babb, an early commit to Michigan, was declared academically ineligible for Friday’s game against Santa Fe.

The question has been asked, how could he do that to his team, and to himself after being offered such a golden opportunity (to attend a university such as Michigan)?
Such things happen with teenagers who lose sight of the future and lean too heavily on the present. It is sad, even tragic, but it shouldn’t be shocking.
The evolvement of this academic predicament didn’t happen overnight, so the more obvious question should be, where was the coaching staff through the development of his academic downfall?
Many coaches keep a close watch on their athletes, marking for close scrutinization those who indicate a tendency toward academic delinquency.
It is not difficult (the classroom instructors do all the work), but it does require time and commitment and a line of communication. And even then, it is possible for an athlete to slip through the cracks.
Was this the case with Babb? Did he slip through the cracks?
Or was he left alone to his own devices, and finding the challenge to be not only more difficult but clearly less interesting than juking a defensive back and winning the race to the end zone, he chose to enjoy the present’s gratification in favor of the future’s promise?

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  • Hard Times

    The fault lies with Babb and his parents. His parents should have kept a better watch on their son. Babb obviously is not mature enough to handle both football and academics at an institution of higher learning. it is not that hard to maintain a 2.0 grade point average. Don’t blame the coach or any administrators. Babb had a bigger ressponsibility than he could handle. Have fun trying to get offered in 2 years from a JC.

  • La Serna AND Cal High parent

    With our sons, School work comes first, and there have been struggles. It is the parent’s responsibility along with the student athlete to make sure they are maintaining at least the minimum required grade point average. Coaches are there to teach the sport and to guide a young person and they do need to keep an eye on their student’s grades and encourage them to keep up. However the responsibility and any blame belongs to the student and the parent. It is such a shame that ALL involved were not vigilant with young Mr. Babb as now it seems he has lost a great opportunity for a wonderful college career.

  • Just a Coach

    Remember, the first grading period fro most schools is only a progress report. Yes it does play a factor in eligibility and it looks bad to a college recruiter. The fact still remains that he will have an opportunity to get his butt in gear to make better marks for the semester, which are the grades, which go on the transcripts. I feel the responsibility in the classroom is a team effort, and the team consists of the student athlete, parent, teacher and coach.

  • Anonymous

    The responsibility starts and ends with the player. How bad do you want to play and how bad are you willing to do the right thing. We have all been young and in a situation where you ask yourself, should I do my work or not? And more often than not, we make the decision not to do the work and play. However, once it has been determined that the player is lagging behind, some motivation from mom & dad should kick in as well as a coach looking at the bigger picture than himself, and saying, your butt will not play or practice if you are not in gear, PERIOD. By allowing a player to play so the team can compete is not only selfish, but a disservice to all when it is known what actually happened and what could have been prevented. So coaches, listen to this the next time you come into this situation, “If you can’t help them, don’t hurt them,” and you cant go wrong.

  • Chieftain Alumni

    This quote from Muir football coach Ken Howard in the Pasadena Star News on 11/27/06 after 14 players were declared academically ineligible for Friday’s Central Division quarterfinal loss against visiting Colony pretty much says it all:

    “I’m not making excuses for anyone, including myself,” Howard said. “I’m the head coach of this team so I blame myself for not following it as closely as I should.
    “I saw it coming with a couple of players, but to have that many (ineligible), whether they’re starters or not, is not acceptable. You blame the kids, and the parents for not holding them accountable. And you have to blame the coaches, because keeping track of grades is one of your jobs.”

  • Babb

    You’re right it all falls on me. Its not being mature but not taking care of the class room. Belive me I know my faults. I let my team, community, and myself down.What should I know? I went to Alhambra all my four years not like others.

  • 97Spartan

    Back when I played for Schurr, we had to show up early before, and after school, and practice, and do study hall, where the coaches had you do your homework.

    Personally, it all lies with the player, then the parents, and coaches.