Queenstown airport evacuated after suspected bomb threat ... Read more

Hamilton: US coaches not leading by example

Last updated 05:00 04/12/2013

Relevant offers


Julian Dean: Beyond the winner, there's still plenty of interest in the Tour Highlanders primed to win it all again after edging the Brumbies in Canberra Kiwi sports fans shortchanged in Olympic coverage stranglehold Head to Head: Which NZ team can win the Super Rugby title? James Corrigan: Women golfers lose again in battle of the sexes Christopher Reive: Leicester need to make sure Riyad Mahrez stays put Andrew Voerman: Chiefs fall short of greatness, but still offer plenty to love Russian flag cannot fly in Rio in wake of WADA report into state-backed doping Mark Reason: Golf and Henrik Stenson find redemption with the swoon at Troon Andrew Webster: Why Parramatta Eels need to ban Corey Norman for the rest of the NRL season

Are there any adults left in the room?

OPINION: Twice in just one week, American coaches have tried to win games with amateurish cheating. First Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd, out of timeouts, dropped a soft drink on the basketball court in the dying seconds of a close loss so he could force a stoppage to draw up a play.

Then, on the same day the NBA fined Kidd $50,000 for his offence, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin obstructed Ravens kick returner Jacoby Jones as he ran down the sideline.

Fortunately for the leagues, both offending teams lost. Tomlin has said he was unaware of how far into the field he was but his claim doesn't ring true. He stepped out into Jones' path before jumping back, forcing Jones to cut infield. Jones may not have scored a touchdown anyway but Tomlin's jink certainly helped make the tackler's job a little easier. USA Today's website includes footage of Tomlin's reaction afterwards and as they note, he's "like a kid who reached in the cookie jar without anyone noticing."

The officials should have ruled a touchdown for sideline interference but didn't with the Ravens forced to eventually settle for a field goal.

It's not the first time coaching staff have got way too involved in an NFL game. A Jets assistant coach, Sal Alosi, was suspended and fined three years ago after he tripped a player chasing a kick down the sideline.

The NFL will come down hard on Tomlin and so they should. It's a ridiculous thing to do, particularly with all the cameras on the field making it hard to get away with any little thing nowadays, let alone something as blatant as this.

The rules require coaches to be off the six-feet (two metres) border during plays but it is a rule largely ignored by both coaches and officials. If the officials started penalising them every time they transgressed it would stamp out the problem pretty quickly.

Ideally they would make the border twice the size because players charging down the sideline are regularly tackled into bystanders (a coach seems to break a bone every other year from this).

Coaches encroaching on the field of play is not an issue restricted to the NFL. It has long been a problem in the NBA, too.

Funnily enough Kidd, when he was still playing, used it to milk a technical foul for the Dallas Mavericks by intentionally running into an opposition coach, Mike Woodson, as he dribbled the ball up the sideline two years ago.

Again it is a problem that is easy to fix if the will is there. Enforce the rule every time instead of only when it actually affects the play. A raft of technical fouls would quickly deal with it.

Ad Feedback

But the bigger problem is that these two incidents came from head coaches. In one sense it's easy to understand - their jobs depend on wins and they're prepared to do anything to get those wins.

However, they are the men who set the standards and rules for their teams. Rules they expect their players to follow. What moral authority do they have when their players see them break rules when it suits them?


With leadership like this, it's not a question of if things will go wrong at these teams but when.

- Fairfax Media


Special offers
Opinion poll

Is Dan Carter still the first-choice No 10 for the ABs?

Absolutely. He's just a bit rusty.

I'm going to sit on the fence.

No way. He's past his best.

Aaron Cruden is the answer.

I'm a Beauden Barrett fan.

Colin Slade is definitely the right choice.

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content