Randy Smith: Can Coaches Really Go Too Far?

Thursday, February 27, 2014
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

Coach Jim Boeheim of Syracuse said earlier this week, “There’s no question I went too far. In my mind, the game was over. That was really the call that got to me.” Boeheim’s comments came on ESPN Radio’s “The Herd” on Wednesday after he was hit with a pair of technical fouls and was ejected from the fourth-ranked Orange’s game with Duke on Saturday.

I’m sure you’ve seen the video of Coach Boeheims’ explosion near the end of the game following a charging call against his team. He ran out on the floor pulling his navy sport coat up over his neck, as if in a futile attempt to run and discard the coat at the same time. More than 30 years as a head coach and more than 900 wins and Coach Boeheim still has that burning competitive fire inside. Yet, even he knows you’re not going to get many calls to go your way at Cameron Indoor Stadium at Duke.

Jim Boeheim isn’t the first coach to ever “lose it” during a game and he surely won’t be the last. He is also not the first head coach to ever come out of his coat (or try to come out of it.) The first coach I ever saw shed his sport coat was Cal Luther at Murray State University in the 1970s. The officials calling a Murray State game would know how long their night would be in dealing with Coach Luther by how early he ripped his jacket off in disgust. Other coaches have tried to shed a coat like Cal Luther, but none have ever done it better or more smoothly than he did.

Of course, the all-time greatest coach’s rant has to be Indiana’s Bobby Knight who once got so angry at the officials he threw a chair across the floor after being ejected from the game.  That’s not the only world-famous Bobby Knight rant but it is perhaps the most famous. Coach Knight was known for his profanity-laced post-game press conferences as much as for his on the floor antics.

The late Norm Sloan, who once coached North Carolina State to an NCAA Championship, was notorious for his verbal abuse of officials. During the early part of his career, he became so incensed at one particular referee he challenged him to a fist fight. The man in stripes agreed and even ended the game early, so they could go to the locker room area, where they fought each other in the showers.  I got to know Coach Sloan in his later years and worked many television broadcasts with him. He was always cordial and nice to me, but he did have a quick trigger, especially to officials.

 My all-time favorite line from a head coach to an official came from former Georgia Coach Hugh Durham. It seems that an official had made several calls in a game that Coach Durham did not agree with. As the official stood on the floor during a time out, Coach Hugh approached him and asked this question; “Can you tee me up for what I’m thinking?

The official replied, “No, coach, I can’t give you a technical foul for what you’re thinking. I really can’t tell what you’re thinking.”

Coach Durham told him, “Good…… then I think you’re a real *&%#@^+.” 

-----

Randy Smith has been covering sports on radio, television and print for the past 45 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has written two books, and has continued to free-lance as a play-by-play announcer. He is currently teaching Broadcasting at Coahulla Creek High School near Dalton, Ga.

His career has included a 17-year stretch as host of the Kickoff Call In Show on the University of Tennessee’s prestigious Vol Network. He has been a member of the Vol Network staff for thirty years.

He has done play-by-play on ESPN, ESPN II, CSS, and Fox SportSouth, totaling more than 500 games, and served as a well-known sports anchor on Chattanooga Television for more than a quarter-century.

In 2003, he became the first television broadcaster to be inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame. Randy and his wife Shelia reside in Hixson. They have two married children, (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith.) They have three grandchildren, Coleman, Boone and DellaMae.

To contact Randy: rsmithsports@epbfi.com


Tuesday's Complete Prep Cross Country Results

Varsity Boys 5000 Meter Run                   =================================================================     Name                  Yr ... (click for more)

Randy Smith: Mocs Could Be Like 1998 Vols

I've never really liked  to compare teams from one era to another. It's really not fair to either team, but when I look at the 2016 UTC football team, I see a lot of similarities with the 1998 Tennessee Volunteers. In case you might need to be reminded, those Vols finished 13-0 and won the national championship. The Tennessee team the year before made a lot of noise, ... (click for more)

City To Begin Shipping Much Of Its Garbage To Bradley County

City Public Works Administrator Justin Holland said the city plans to begin shipping much of its garbage to Bradley County. He said the deal is projected to extend the life of the city landfill at Birchwood by 15 years. Mr. Holland said Bradley County "has a huge landfill and takes garbage from Knoxville and other municipalities. It's regional." He said Bradley County charges ... (click for more)

Man Says He Did Nothing To Provoke Shooting At Bakewell Gas Station; Suspect Says Victim Was Coming Toward Him

A 33-year-old man who was shot in the face during a clash at a Bakewell gas station said he did nothing to provoke the shooting. The man charged said the victim cursed him, then started toward him. General Sessions Court Judge Clarence Shattuck, after a hearing on Tuesday, bound to the Grand Jury a charge of attempted first-degree murder against Donald Stuard II, 29, of Old Washington ... (click for more)

Something Beautiful Happened Monday Night - Not The Debate

Monday, Sept. 26, our first presidential debate happened; no minds were changed.  Yet something beautiful and important happened.  The Atlanta Falcons, my team, played the New Orleans Saints.  Instead of some irrelevant, broad based, screw America protest, the opposing teams locked arms in unity. I was impressed. I have been a Falcon Fan since 1971 when WMOC AM ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our 2.0 Embarrassment

Let’s pretend you are coming to a new and exciting world. You are on the jolly good ship “Mayflower” when some Miles Standish-type of a guy (he was the Pilgrim’s first cop) calls you into is presence and says, “Within two hours we are expected to stand on Plymouth Rock. Please come up with ten primary goals we should have in our public schools.” I believe you could do it within ... (click for more)