Apparently, there is no right to privacy if you play for the Pittsburgh Panthers. On ESPN’s Outside The Lines on Sunday, Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon was discussing some of the practices he uses to ensure that his players care about their grades. Most of it was the normal, mundane stuff all other coaches claim they do. Then, well, then there was a little nugget about him releasing players’ GPA to each other if they prevent the team from reaching a collective 3.0.
I get the idea of what Jamie Dixon is trying to do. The gist of doing something like that would hold players accountable for their grades. That, if they failed to help the team hit the 3.0 mark, that those individuals who failed the team should be known. It is similar to how you would call out a toddler in front of their sibling if they didn’t eat all of their lunch.
#wait did jamie dixon say he tells his team a guy’s grades if that player kept the team short of a 3.0 team gpa? wait…what?
— Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) July 6, 2014
The problem here, though, is that the players in the program aren’t toddlers. They are young people who should have — at least — some notion that they have privacy.
It is also strange that Jamie Dixon, a usually well respected person and coach, would fail to realize some of the things that would make this idea of his not really that swell and pretty demeaning. I mean, a player failing to hit a 3.0 doesn’t necessarily mean he wasn’t trying. Some folks are just better at learning those books than others. There is also the chance of some players having learning disabilities, outside obligations that prevent stringent study (like, I don’t know, practicing and playing basketball) and/or just struggling in certain areas. Seriously, sometimes bad grades just happen.
Being called out for your grades is okay if it is your parents doing so. They are your parents. Plus, you know, they generally don’t do so in front of a group of friends, colleagues and possible gossip mongers.
This isn’t the worst thing in the world. Jamie Dixon shouldn’t be punished for this. However, his misguided practices of holding players accountable through public shame should be put to rest.