October 2015

Coach’s dismissal should not distract the football team

There’s never a dull moment at Saint Augustine’s University and recent news out of the Athletics Department is a good example. With the sudden dismissal of the head football coach, Michael Morand, the campus is buzzing about the possible reasons behind it. Two weeks of administrative leave with no pay for Coach Morand came first, and then came the bombshell announcement that he was being dismissed right after the season began. And students are still in the dark about this puzzling decision.

Now, I actively support all of the athletic programs of our institution but this latest news has raised a lot of questions in my mind. Saint Augustine’s University hasn’t released any details surrounding the investigation and has kept it quite discreet We don’t know a lot of facts, but here’s what I do know: The coach was dismissed after an internal investigation by the highly respected athletic director, George Williams, who is a prominent leader not only on campus but throughout the CIAA and in all of college track and field, and even among Olympic athletes.

I also know that the show must go on, with the talented assistant coaches of the football team taking charge. The football team still has most of the season to play and they have not gotten off to a good start. They need our full support.

There are still many unanswered questions but the lack of details isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There may be good reasons for the details surrounding Coach Morand’s dismissal to remain private. This news has made headlines and the local media is eating this up, which is not surprising because it’s the media’s job to dig for information. But, while his departure is a major blow to the football team, the negativity surrounding all of this shouldn’t be a smudge on the university’s reputation. And it should not ruin the rest of the season.

The team has to reach their goals for the season no matter the turmoil that they’re facing due to coaching changes. This campus is full of strong student athletes who can overcome adversity and erase the headlines that loom over this recent incident.

I’m confident that this school can get through this if we focus on the task ahead.

— Monica Pittman