Holland Still Impressing

I admit that I’m biased. I liked Terry Holland long before he became the Athletic Director at East Carolina. He was the basketball coach at Virginia when I first discovered college basketball and swore my allegiance to the Cavaliers. Sure, I criticised him plenty, but I always liked and respected him. That respect grew after he left and began his career as an administrator, first at Davidson (his alma mater) and later at UVA. The guy’s just classy (ignore, if you will his curiously high technical foul ratio as a coach.).
Since he’s been at ECU, he’s pretty much cleaned house, but he’s not a hatchet man. Instead, he just has very high standards, particularly on the academic side. It seems that Holland is really putting his foot down and stressing academics at a school that’s not really known for the bookwork of its athletes. Now, before you Pirate fans send me any hate mail, you have to admit that generally speaking, ECU’s entrance requirements aren’t as strict as nearby ACC schools, particularly for athletes. In fact, a good hunk of ECU’s best players end up there because they can’t get accepted to other schools.
And that’s fine. Every school can’t be Harvard, and those kids deserve a chance. The key though is to make sure that they get the most out of their opportunity. It’s very easy for a school to turn a blind eye when Joe Linebacker skips classes while he’s averaging 12 tackles a game.
Holland has put in a pretty stringent set of rules though. Miss class and you miss a practice. You know how coaches love it when players miss practice. Miss two or three classes and you have to sit out a game. Miss a fourth and your scholarship is yanked.
Atta boy, Terry! If more ADs were that tough on the student-athletes, the college game would be a whole lot cleaner.

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