By all accounts, Jerry Kill is far too nice of a guy to say what must be said to those dunderheads in Minnesota who last year declared someone with an illness can’t be a college football coach.
Kill, the coach of the University of Minnesota, has epilepsy and after he had a fourth seizure on the sidelines a year ago, the sportswriters who probably know nothing about epilepsy called for him to be fired.
We’re looking at you, Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune.
The face of your program can’t belong to someone who may be rushed to the hospital at any moment of any game, or practice, or news conference. No one who buys a ticket to TCF Bank Stadium should be rewarded with the sight of a middle-aged man writhing on the ground. This is not how you compete for sought-after players and entertainment dollars.
Even those who admire him most can’t believe that he should keep coaching major college football after his latest episode. Either the stress of the job is further damaging his health, or his health was in such disrepair that he shouldn’t have been hired to coach in the Big Ten in the first place.
He shouldn’t have?
Kill is unable to fulfill his duties.
Kill was getting additional treatment for his illness at the time Souhan, a handful of radio sports talk hosts, and the fan boys who support them were declaring he was a lost cause and had to go.
Then there was Gregg Doyel, a columnist for CBS Sports.
That’s Jerry Kill’s job. But should it be? I’m not asking for him. Apparently he’s decided what’s best for him, and that’s his right.
But what about what’s best for everyone else?
And there’s Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star, who rushed to Souhan’s defense.
Nobody is suggesting that an epileptic can’t pursue his or her dreams. But there are certain things you can’t do — like drive, which Kill can’t do — when you’re beset by this disease. Every week, Kill has players and coaches counting upon him to be there, to be healthy.
Sadly, that hasn’t been the case, and likely won’t be the case in the future.
They can paint Souhan as the heavy here, but he’s only saying what needs to be said, what very few others in the media are willing to say for fear of being looked upon as insensitive or politically incorrect.
Yesterday, the University of Minnesota Gophers were rewarded for their outstanding season with an invitation to play in the Citrus Bowl, a New Year’s Day game.
Oh, by the way, that comes a week after Jerry Kill was named the Big Ten coach of the year.
Souhan, Doyel, Kravitz, the sports radio hosts, and most of the fanboys have had nothing to say since Kill proved them all wrong.