22.4.07

DID WE DEMORALIZE HER? Long-time Illinois women's basketball coach Theresa Grentz, last featured here, has taken her pension. Fox Valley Daily Herald columnist Patricia Babcock McGraw is not displeased.

My first thought when I heard the news?

Check that. My first printable thought?

“Free at last. Free at last. Thank God, almighty, free at last.”

Finally, this program is free from Grentz’s tyrannical reign of bullying and bull-you-know-what.

This is a woman who, from my observations, systematically sucked the life out of not only the program, but its players.

Read on. I was under the impression that college sports was supposed to be for the play value, or perhaps for Title IX compliance, not about the money.

(Via Kathy at Women's Hoops, who also comes up with a column that says more than the author intends about the Faustian bargain that success at the highest level sometimes entails, leaving aside the complications of identity politics in a game that I follow for the play value. OK, a few bottles of Beck's Dark and the odd sweatshirt can buy a lot of loyalty.)
[Mary Jo] Kane, the sports sociologist at Minnesota, said she once heard a female coach say that the best coaching qualifications for a woman are to be divorced with no children. This ostensibly establishes her heterosexuality while leaving her free to hit the road on recruiting trips.
Thus the flip side of a competition in which the greatest rewards, whether as wins or as publications or as traffic generated, can be purchased by the performer's willingness to sacrifice other dimensions of her or his life.

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