Hawaii football coach Todd Graham still has job despite numerous complaints of abusive behavior

Todd Graham “Capture the worst man I’ve ever met,” says one player.
picture: AP

Todd Graham answers the question no one has ever asked.

What if there was a version of Urban Meyer that didn’t really win?

While Meyer himself answered that question on his NFL assignment last year, University of Hawaii head coach Graham gave us the NCAA response we weren’t waiting for.

At a Senate hearing Friday evening regarding the state of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors football program, it was revealed the toxic culture that Graham somehow managed to foster in just two seasons by disgruntled former players. After losing 19 players to the transfer gate, calling them, among other things, a ‘tyrant’ and ‘capturing the worst person I’ve ever met,’ Graham’s head, Hawaii athletics director David Matlin, decided it was time to get down swinging. for this guy.

according to Transfer From athlete, Matlin listened for hours of player testimonies about verbal abuse from Graham and mental health issues stemming from his behaviour, the sporting director decided to tell the virtually assembled group of players, families and senators, “Not everything that was said was true” and then filed a complaint that their testimony would be allowed to testify. launch. The former athletes and their families were holding back their hearts, talking about how their love for football waned with Graham’s extremely poor treatment of his players that can only be described as bullying, and written off by Matlin.

Since I’ve been browsing this site over and over again, these “student-athletes” are already in a pretty vulnerable position, so ripping off their ability to openly share their experiences about the coach’s alleged verbal abuse and feeling like someone is listening rather than ignoring their problems is just a shocking move from Matlin side. He defends an 11-11 overtaking coach, and while that certainly doesn’t mean abusive behavior is acceptable in cases where the team is successful, it’s a mystery as to what Matlin’s motive lies for this defense.

Graham’s purchase price, which the league never came close to paying to get a coach out, may play some role. But when asked, Matlin reportedly said that even if the school could afford the acquisition, he wouldn’t go that route. So while this has been a public meeting with senators who are going to strike at these athletes, you have no choice but to wonder how many of these cases have been moved under the rug over the years where players try to report abusive behavior to senior officials, only to be told that they They lie, or it will be fine, or receive no response at all.

For example, Meyer’s true colors came to light when Jaguars players publicly shared what kind of coach he was, but the only reason for that was because he got into the pros. College players have far less power, no income, and they desperately need a shot in the NFL, which means getting playing time and staying on the coach’s good side. Even this hearing was made up of former players – perhaps the safest option for current players, as Matlin and Graham do not appear to have any intention of making a major change to the program after hearing these testimonies.

In that light, it makes it even more frustrating when Kirk Herbstreet makes comments like last week’s, extending verdict to players who skip bowling games and say they don’t “love” the game as they should, or when people complain that the transfer portal allows players too much Freedom. These are some of the few forms of freedom they have within the NCAA system, and with cases like this, there is no doubt in my mind that athletes should be allowed to leave Todd Graham’s situation without facing serious consequences.

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