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Big time coaches get selves in trouble

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A South Marion Citizen editorial

Consider the plight of two athletic programs, each on a different level, each in a different sport, but both with the same problem ... a leader who doesn’t know when to keep quiet and doesn’t know when to tell the truth.
The Miami Marlins in Major League Baseball are hoping to have a good year. They unveiled a brand new stadium with a retractable roof right in the heart of “Little Havana.” They made deals with some new free agent players. They hired a fiery manager in Ozzie Guillen to link them to the Latin community, although Guillen is Venezuelan, not Cuban.
Then Ozzie opened his mouth.
In an article published in Time Magazine, Guillen is quoted as saying that he “loved Fidel Castro.” Later he changed it to “respected” Castro for living so long when so many people are trying to kill him.
Unfortunately for him, the damage was done. The word “loved” was the only thing that spread around the community in Miami and the reaction wasn’t pretty.
Guillen used a press conference Tuesday to express his remorse and to apologize profusely for what he said. But he also said something was lost in the translation, that he meant to say that he was surprised that Castro was still alive.
In other words, he tried to have an excuse.
Guillen has a history of getting into trouble for saying some outrageous things. But this time, he really hurt a bunch of people who have strong feelings about the Cuban dictator.
Then there’s the economic side of things. The Marlins have built the new ballpark partially with taxpayer funds, and in Miami, a lot of those taxpayers are Cuban. The new park was built on the site of the once-revered Orange Bowl, near a street called “Calle Ocho,” the old 8th Street.
The team is counting on being accepted in the area by the Hispanic population, much of which is of Cuban descent. Now, of course, executives are worried about a financial backlash.
As of this writing, Guillen has been suspended by the Marlins for five games. Some say that’s not enough. They want the team’s skipper to be gone. Others are willing to keep him as long as he expresses the remorse for the statement.
The Marlins were in Philadelphia when the story broke. They had one home game last week against the Cardinals, then went on the road to play the Reds and the Phillies.
The real test of the fans will come tonight, Friday, when the Marlins return home to host the Astros. Guillen will still be suspended, which may work out in the Marlins’ favor.
No one should feel shocked that something like this has happened, given Guillen’s history. As the Marlins have learned, when you ignore history …  you’re bound to repeat it.
Then there’s Bobby Petrino. He was involved in a motorcycle accident recently. A young lady was his passenger, but he lied about that until he was caught.
Turns out the University of Arkansas football coach was having an “inappropriate relationship” with the much younger woman, and even gave her a job in the athletic department.
Tuesday night, Petrino was fired.
Now Arkansas is scrambling to find a new coach for a program that seemed to be on the way up.
Once again, we learn that a lack of morality causes a lot of pain. Too bad people can’t learn that lesson.