Miami Football-The Beast Unleashed: Communication Confusion
It’s certainly been an odd bye week for the ‘Canes. Despite the fact that the media was pretty much banned from campus all week long, there were a handful of stories that made their way to the sports section this week. It all started Monday when Luther Robinson’s dad called into Joe Rose’s show on WQAM to complain about his son’s playing time and the way Golden has handled the situation. We also had to deal with Kelvin Cain, who we were told quit the team, only to find out that situation wasn’t as simple as that. Of course there has been other news, like Denzel Perryman being seen on crutches and the recent addition of Eduardo Clements to the list of players who are done for the year. For the purposes of this column though, let’s focus on the some of the communication issues on the defensive side of the football.
There’s been more than one issue with what seems to be communication issues on the defensive side of the football this year. We know that Tracy Howard got into it with Coach D earlier in the year. We know that Luther Robinson went AWOL for a week. We know that Robinson’s dad has had his issues with Golden, both publicly and privately, and now we know that Kelvin Cain didn’t seem to get the proper message about his role on the team last week. While some have tried to make this an issue of Shannon guys vs Golden guys etc, I don’t think that has anything to do with it. The Miami Herald’s Manny Navarro did a great job of pointing out that it’s pretty even, as far as playing time goes between Shannon guys and Golden guys. I am, however, concerned about the way things are communicated, especially on the defensive side of the football.
Saturday Al Golden was asked about the line of communication between the coaches, players, and parents.
” Again there should be no problem with communication on our team because every player gets graded on every play, every day,” Golden said. “So there’s constant communication, so there should be no communication break down.”
It all sounds good, but if that really was the case, why do we continue to hear about situations where guys seem to not understand where they stand?
I can tell you from experience, having traveled with this team (although not with this coaching staff) for a decade, that the public explanation and the truth are sometimes different things. That’s just the nature of this sport, and I don’t think it’s any different anywhere else.
More often than not, the truth does get out. I think there’s some ignorance from the staff, football and support, that they can keep things in house. There’s always someone willing to talk. We may not have found out about Tracy Howard and Coach D getting into a verbal spat the day it happened, but it wasn’t too much after that we had it on the insider board at CANEINSIDER.com. We may not have had the entire Kelvin Cain story when he was missing at the FSU game, but it didn’t take too long for Susan Miller Degnan to get to the bottom of the story when she was able to reach Cain’s mother on the west coast. So we get one message from inside the Hecht, and then learn the rest of the story when we go report on it. That leads to confusion not only with us, the media, but with you, the fan. So there’s evidently confusion inside the program, and outside.
I love Coach D, and I think, if he had his group of guys, with experience, all on the same page, he’d have a great defense. But something seems to be wrong on that side of the football as far as getting the message across goes. I can’t tell you I can put my finger on the exact issues, but it’s been mostly defensive guys that we’ve seen issues with. The other thing I know is that Coach D is Al’s boy. If there is any coach on that staff that has the backing of the head coach it’s Mark D’Onofrio. Plus, the defense has actually been making strides the last few weeks, and if we’re just talking about on-the-field issues, I’m starting to be more concerned with the offense.
It’s one thing to say all is right and there’s nothing to see here. It’s another thing for that truly to be the case. I don’t think there is some mass rebellion going on, and I’m not buying the Shannon vs Golden thing. I can’t tell you what goes on behind closed doors. I can’t tell you how Coach D conducts himself during practice or in meetings. We’re not privy to any of that. I can tell you that it seems like week after week there are issues that come up. I’d like to think winning will cure all, but can we really expect this team to consistently win any time soon? Sometimes ignorance is bliss, but in this case, ignorance has just led to confusion.