I doubt that Thomas will succeed at FIU

I’ve heard of second chances in basketball. 

Some of the greatest players only got to where they are because of second chances.

Dwayne Wade almost did not play basketball because of his grades.  After Doc Rivers’ awful season in Boston, the city was crying for his head.

The next year, he won a NBA championship.  Kobe almost lost his career after one night in Colorado.

Trust me, I get it; some of the people in the sport just deserve another shot.  Leniency makes it so one mistake or one bad season does not destroy a career that could have taken years to build. 

The better the player or reputation, the more likely he his to receive a pass.

What I don’t understand are the third, fourth, fifth and sixth chances.  The cases where, time and again, a player or coach or manager just gets a green light to do what he wants, when he wants. 

It happens all the time too, and with every professional sport.  In the National Football League, players like Chad Johnson and the criminal Adam Jones get to come back to their teams after making a mess of things for the umpteenth time.   In Major League Baseball, steroid users get a second chance after robbing the clean players of victory and recognition.  Even in tennis, John McEnroe got to go ballistic at umpires.

These guys aren’t just making mistakes, they are ruining the purity of the game and tarnishing whatever good image that could have been associated with their names, even if they were/are good players.

I never thought I would see this kind of insanity in college sports.  These kids are always trying their hardest, still trying to prove themselves to the world of professional sports. 

They are chasing their dreams and do not have time for silly distractions.  The coaches are a part of this dream, and they must be held to a certain standard of excellence and accountability.

Florida International University has just taken that standard and shot it square in the face.

FIU, a school not known for its prowess on the basketball court, has decided to take an enormous gamble and hire former NBA great Isaiah Thomas.  There is a huge emphasis on “former.”

Thomas was an excellent player for the Detroit Pistons.  He is widely regarded as one of the greatest point guards to play the game.  But Thomas did not do well as a coach.  In five seasons in the NBA as a coach (three with the Pacers and two with the Knicks) Thomas finished with a 187-223 record, failing to win a single playoff series.

Thomas’ on the court record is not my problem.  It’s his off court antics that rub me the wrong way and make me believe he does not deserve yet another second chance.

Allegations of sexual assault, racism, and a drug overdose are what come to mind when I think of Coach Thomas these days.

Coaching is also an extremely stressful job, and apparently, Thomas has trouble controlling his emotions.  

People who have worked with Thomas in the past, most recently Anucha Sanders, have plenty of stories of his temper and foul mouth.

In spite of everything, Thomas might have been worthy of another chance if he owned up to his mistakes with a shred of integrity. 

Is this the kind of man a father would want coaching his son?

Jordan Culver is a freshman newspaper journalism student from Orlando.  He can be reached at famuansports@gmail.com