Grayson Allen has been far more known foe his antics off the court than his play on it this season. Allen has had several incidents of,”dirty play throughout the 2017 season. Allen was indefinitely suspended by Coach K earlier this season, after tripping an opponent during a non-conference game. After the suspendible offense, Allen went off on coaches and teammates who attempted to calm after the tripping incident occurred. Sadly, this is not the first season Allen has had aggression issues. Last season Allen was given a flagrant foul for separate tripping incidents during the 2015-2016. While Grayson Allen’s actions are troubling enough, he is just a symptom of a larger issue in sports today- entitlement.
Sports is the ultimate microcosm of society, there are haves and have nots. Athletes who posses superior talent are allowed to get away with behavior that their less talented peers would face consequences for. This type of favoritism truly begins at the youth level, where coaches and parents alike seem more concerned with winning than teaching life lessons. Yes, winning is very important! after all, why do we play if not to win? There is nothing wrong with having a competitive fire. In fact, competition should be encouraged! However, it is also a coach’s job to impart life lessons and correct detrimental behavior, no matter how talented the player. Somewhere around 1 percent of all athletes will compete at the highest level of sports. Thus, it is vital that coaches do not treat gifted athletes different from their teammates. We have witnessed multiple senerios in which athletes have verbally and or physically assaulted coaches and teammates, yet, they were never punished for such behavior. It is highly likely that, at some point, such inappropriate will not be tolerated in the work place or otherwise. When someone has never encountered consequences for bad behavior rather at home or on the playing field, they will have difficulty dealing with the consequences of their actions, when the time comes to do so.
Playing sports is a privilege, not a right! the only way to change behavior is to punish behavior that should to be corrected, thus, some time on the bench is not necessarily a bad thing. True, sports at the highest levels are businesses, and coaches are, all to often, judged by their performance on the playing field. However, it is also important to understand that there is life after sports. Star athlete or not, actions have consequences. It is time that coaches, parents, and other influencers focus not just on the athlete, but the whole person as well.