16 November 2017


By Andy Weddington
Thursday, 16 November 2017

Discipline yourself, and others won't need to. John Wooden 

Well, come the 2020 election President Trump surely should enjoy aplenty new votes - for rescuing three (UCLA) Bruins from the land of the giant panda (how ironic a black and white bear).

Does anyone doubt Steve Alford - Head Coach, UCLA Men's Basketball - spoke to his team about being on their best behavior while in China?

And yet three players were anything but.

Thieves (panderers, of sort).  

Mulling over this international incident, a few questions ...

1. Were not the players taught, since childhood, at home, school, church, etc. that stealing is wrong?

2. Any of the players have police records?

3. If 2., any jail time?

4. If 3., did not that experience get their attention?

5. If 4., then what will it take to straighten them out?

Gut: So, would an extended stay in China, for their due process to run its course, have taken care of question 5.?


Rational: Though there is so much to say in argument for and against preferential treatment, President Trump did the right thing by asking China's President to engage for the release of the three Americans (not basketball players). 

Yesterday I caught a few minutes of the three at a press conference reading prepared statements thanking President Trump. 

I wonder how much that reading had to be rehearsed for them to get right what should have been easy, natural, and heartfelt sans ghost writers and paper?

Thoughts ...

1. Each player, and family, best add President Trump to their Christmas card list - for life.

2. Each player, and family, best become outspoken supporters of President Trump. And vote for him in 2020.

3. Steve Alford, a successor of the great John Wooden, best think long and hard about the character of his teams - shaped by the undisciplined (and criminal) characters he recruits.

4. Considering the graciousness of China's President, "Made in China" is not so offensive; especially on basketballs. Shoot, how about bamboo to replace hardwoods? 

In closing ...

John Wooden - AKA: Wizard of Westwood - UCLA Men's Basketball Head Coach 1948-1975. His teams won 10 (seven in a row) NCAA national championships during a 12-year period. Through his "Pyramid of Success" he taught his players how to win - in life and in basketball. 

Character mattered to Coach Wooden. Panderers would not have been Bruins.

So, remembering the character of Coach Wooden, were I Coach Alford, the three would be dismissed from the team.

That disciplinary measure, in the long run, will best serve them, the team, and anyone (aspiring to be in their shoes) watching who needs a wakeup call as to right and wrong and personal responsibility and accountability and consequences thereof.  

Remorse is fine. Apologies are fine. But remorse and apology without incurred high personal cost is not enduring. 

Anyone else noticed the deafening silence - from Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Maxine Waters, the Congressional Black Caucus - thanking President Trump? 

Perhaps their alibi is lack of fluency in Chinese (which their President "speaks" ably). 

No jive. 


President Trump, thank you; for leadership (ala John Wooden). 

Happy Thanksgiving! 


Unknown said...

A good piece Colonel. This entire event was a failure. And on many levels. Trum, successful in securing their release, while “nice” to have done so, taught them nothing. They should’ve sat in China for the duration of the basketball season. Thinking about it. Thinking about how they let their families, their friends, their classmates, UCLA fans, teammates and coaches down. These young men have not learned a thing. Quite the contrary. Their privileged attitudes were only reinforced by the outcome. What punishment have they received? Not a single lesson learned. And don’t kid yourself for a minute thinking this is the first time they’ve ever done such a thing. Your solution appropriate. Gone from the team. Expelled from UCLA. Get on with the season. Oh, and the coach should have his ass chewed as well. He is accountable too.

Jim said...

Many lessons were leaned over my time as an active duty Marine, but one stands out even to this day as I am Unit Commander of a Young Marine unit here in Illinois. A leader is responsible for everything his/her unit does or fails to do. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Will the coach be held accountable? I mean he is there coach, right? And what about the players, will they keep their scholarships? Will the university continue to allow these interlopers to play and be role models for younger upcoming stars. My bet is on the money, for it always comes into play. I am not an NCAA basketball fan. My bride and I became Lady Vol fans lead by a coach that knew a thing or two about responsibilities, and held her players accountable. There is no doubt in my mind what Pat Summitt and the University would do in this case. bUt than they aren't in CA. Some one keep me posted as I do not watch their trashy performances