What's wrong with America

People ask me what is wrong with America and I say that in a nutshell it is lack of courage. People of weak spine are unwilling to lay aside temporary notions of pleasure to stand for what is right. Case in point, the firing of coach Bobby Petrino as head coach of the Razorbacks.

Notice: apparently, the coach was not fired for having an affair with a staff member half his age. He was fired for his lies, deceits and cover ups. Here is what Petrino did:

Though married, Petrino was involved with the staff member for quite some time and hid that from his athletic director.

In March, Petrino hired said staff member, over 158 other candidates, and gave her a $20K gift.

Petrino was involved in a motorcycle accident and he gave an interview in which he stated that there was nobody else involved in the accident.

The university then issued a statement confirming that Petrino was alone. Why? Because they trusted his word.

Four days went by and the coach chose not to reveal the truth until the facts came out and he was forced to take the mask off.

Petrino lost his post, which means forfeiting 21 million on the remainder of his contract.

He let down his family (wife and four children) and brought shame and negative publicity to the university and its football program.

You would think that under the circumstances, there would be an overwhelming clamor for the coach to be let go and most people would agree with the difficult decision the university had to make. In the words of the athletic director, Jeff Long, Petrino had engaged in a “pattern of misleading and manipulative behavior to deceive me…” He went on to say that the coach had “multiple opportunities over a four-day period to be forthcoming, and he chose not to.”

Of course, we should sympathize with a flawed man, because we all have the same propensity to go bad. Perfection is certainly not a requirement to being a football coach. Transparency, truth-telling, and taking responsibility for mistakes probably are. And on those counts, the coach failed. He failed because while failing he tried to act like he didn’t. He failed because he was unwilling to promptly face up to his indiscretions. He failed because he tried to be someone he was not and thought no one would notice.

That’s usually how great men fall. Yes, cheating on your partner is a great failure, but trying to cover it up and deceiving others in the process is worse than the initial failure. It shows a character deficiency that goes deeper than sleeping around with someone other than your wife.

So the question is: How can some people fail to see this? Some people are enraged that the coach was fired. Not because they agree with his behavior. Not because they are concerned for the welfare of his family. They don’t even care whether the “punishment” fit the “crime.” So what is it that they care about? One thing and one thing only: the fact that the Razorbacks may go back to being a losing team again!

That’s it!

Here is a pearl from 72-year-old Judy Grisso: “I hope he stays. He’s a winner. I don’t want to judge his indiscretions. We’ve seen so much of this lately, everywhere. Who are we to judge?” And more to the point, let’s hear from a 33-year-old student majoring in Criminal Justice, an expert in character judgement: “Obviously, he was stupid, but I’m more concerned about winning. All I care about is beating Alabama and LSU. If we beat them I’m okay with it, short of him stringing someone up.”

Coming to a court of law near you… the same student, now robed as a judge or a defense attorney. Hope you won’t ever need his services!

So what’s wrong with America again?

Ivanildo C. Trindade