Friday, October 04, 2013

A Rough Period at UMass

In case you missed it, the UMass Minutemen have been going through a rough period with some controversy related to the football coach, Charlie Molnar, and some of the training techniques he used.  Essentially, in the off-season, he would pit the players against each other in man-on-man wrestling matches, apparently sometimes in the snow.  They also boxed.  While he called it "team building," it was not that, really.  Here is how Molnar explained it to the New Hampshire Gazette.

“We tried to get these guys to feel that fear, but go out there and do it anyway,” he added. “We never had one guy not go out and box or wrestle. Some of them went out with a lot of trepidation, but by the end of the cycle were thoroughly enjoying the activity. We did all these activities with safety in mind. I’m a fanatic about player safety. I thought it aided in team-building. Guys faced the fear and fought through it. That was the objective.”
How did the world find out about this?

Well, UMass put it on YouTube to promote the football program.  Here's the video, if you are interested.  (Note that it happened before the 2012 season.  The NCAA has since clarified that Festivus-style Feats of Strength are not "conditioning.")  Here's the video that caused all the trouble.

Oh...QB Brandon Hill said he has a season-ending injury wrestling a LB.  So there's that.

Some former UMass footballers have taken to the internet to protest these training techniques and then some of them have joined up to support Molnar.

The larger context is that UMass continues to have a bumpy entry into FBS.  First, there is all the losing, then the controversy the faculty created about whether it makes sense to enter FBS in these economic times, they still play their games an hour from campus and now this.  It hasn't been an easy ride.

The players all came out this week and said that they are focused on the BG game and not on the controversy.  I don't believe that is ever has to have some impact on the team.

No comments :