If so, I pose the following question.
Are these two positions consistent?
1) I wish that people would just leave Kelvin Sampson alone. He messed up and broke the rules about phoning recruits. He has paid for it with losing a hefty bonus (half-million $$ or so?) from IU and lose a player by forfeiting a scholarship. Even if did it before, was punished for that, and promised to toe the line, it was a collection of simple mistakes this time. We have to let it go and move on. He was just trying too hard. He is a good coach and is returning IU to glory.
2) Bill Belichick is a demon. He should be forever tagged as a cheater, no matter what he ever has done before or will do in the future. Every single accomplishment should be labelled a fraud. That's right, pull out those asterisks. The NFL thought so badly of him that they made him pay a hefty fine (half-million $$ or so?) and lose a player by forfeiting a draft pick.
Personally I am a fan of both IU basketball and New England football. Both coaches disappointed me. I don't think that the transgressions of either one are so bad that they should be vilified as the scum of the Earth. I don't want either one fired and I don't think either's accomplishments should be minimized.
-Both DID cheat. Sampson was punished at least twice, Belichick probably got away with it before he was finally punished.
-Both deserves his punishment (hefty fine).
-Both teams deserves their punishment (loss of a player).
-The incident is an embarrassment to fans of both teams.
There are some differences. Belichick's offense could have been used more directly to gain an advantage, while Sampson was just cutting some corners. The Patriots ownership at least openly owned up to the violation. Sampson apparently minimized it. After the offense, Belichick was put on zero tolerance by an angry owner. After the second offense, I'm not sure whether Sampson has yet had a fire lit under his butt. Belichick is respected as a great football coach with 3 championships. Sampson has been simply a pretty good coach. While I am a little rough on Kelvin Sampson, I think that both incidents are comparably minor. For some reason though I am more worried as an IU fan of this happening again than I am as a Pats fan of Belichick doing any illegal taping ever again.
Now as a fan, when your team does something lousy, what do you do?
there have been three personal examples for me as a fan:
I have always been a fan of the Pacers. After the brawl the team supported Artest and Jackson, kept them on the team, Bird posed with Artest, the organization thought the league was too hard on them. The team imploded after Artest flaked out again. Sure they were not cheating, but the idiots that run the team darn-near ruined the franchise. Do I quit being a fan? Not yet-- I have hope that now they are "getting it" and will be worth following again.
IU hired a coach with a tainted record with NCAA compliance. As a fan, I hoped that it was an anomaly and he will make IU basketball relevant again. I could not believe it when he was alleged to have done the the same damn thing. But it was true! Do I quit being a fan? Not yet-- I have hope that he finally is "getting it" and will behave ethically and also coach and recruit well.
New England has a hall of fame level coach. Multiple rings. Great talent evaluator and teacher. I could not believe it when he was alleged to have taped coach's calls. But it was true! Do I quit being a fan? No, I was satisfied that the angry owner has made sure that he "gets it" and he will behave ethically and also coach well.
I am willing to give my teams an opportunity to rise above the flaws of their head coach.
I have a big problem with people demonizing Belichick and praising Sampson for getting caught "trying too hard"
to me these groups of people are analogous:
type A: people who think Belichick has never done anything that was seriously wrong or different from anybody else, and the league is just picking on him (never met anybody of that opinion, but maybe there is an idiot like that out there)
Type A-prime: people who think Sampson has never done anything seriously wrong, and his critics are just picking on him for next to nothing
type B: People who think that Belichick is a demon, should be banned orand forever humiliated no matter what he ever has done before or will do in the future, and every single accomplishment should be labelled a fraud (at least in part because I love the Colts and I hate the Patriots)
type B-prime: People who think that Sampson is a demon and tarnishes IU by his mere presence, he cannot succeed and we must not let him succeed (at least in part because I worship the almighty coach Knight, and he is not RMK)
type C: People who are mad at the Patriots & Belichick for their audacity to try to cheat, but realize that it is silly to wipe out 7 years and assume that cheating was at the core of every accomplishment, and are willing to at least appreciate the team for its ability and give it credit so long as they are clean
type C-prime: People who are mad at the IU & Sampson for their rule-bending, but realize that it is silly or at least a little premature to assume that they are rotten to the core and can't run a clean and competitive program
I am a type C/type C-prime person.
I find people holding up Belichick as the antichrist but at the same time clinging to the idea that "Sampson just got caught trying too hard" to be not just a little hypocritical, and they should realize that they are taking this Pats-Colts rivalry a bit too seriously.
But if you would like to tell me how those positions are consistent, I will listen.