Be Careful What You Teach


I retired from college basketball coaching after forty years’. When I started no one wanted to coach women. Title IX brought equity and attention to women’s athletics, which hasn’t been all good. The job pays enough to make job pools very competitive at every level. This is good for the sport.

What isn’t positive is winning at all cost. Players become expendable, rules broken or stretched and opponents crushed. There is no class in beating a lesser opponent by forty points. Why? Bullying continues to create victims. Why encourage players to run up a score on a weaker opponent?

There are life lessons gleaned from being the best and striving against the odds. David vs Goliath inspires us to rise to a lopsided challenge. Do you watch March Madness to see the underdog? I do. Scholarships cannot buy heart and determination. We lose and we win and we need to handle both-graciously.

Winning at all cost teaches the wrong lesson. Teams who are not gracious in winning, hurt both teams. The winners of lopsided victories crush dreams and spirits. They dehumanize opponents. Losers efforts are diminished and demeaned. This is the wrong. Everyone cannot win.


About Casey Knight

Professor, author, mother, and nature lover.
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