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*Players Teaching Coaches*


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Players Teaching Coaches

By Rubel Shelly

Those of us who enjoy college sports can make a pretty good case for the contribution they make. Teamwork. Fair play. Self-esteem. Yada-yada-yada. But the case is getting harder and harder to make. And it isn't the fault of the athletes.

The greed of school-hopping coaches is perpetually on display. A coach pulls a gun on one of his assistants. Another drinks and parties with sorority girls half his age. Still another goes to a strip club, winds up in a hotel room with a woman other than his wife, and has $1,000 in room service charged to his bill by her.

John Wooden and Dean Smith coached a sport they loved. In the process, they challenged young athletes to aspire to personal excellence in their education, in their future professions, and with their families. There are others doing the same thing today in football, basketball, and other sports. And they are embarrassed over the shenanigans of the high-profile coaches at Division I schools behaving poorly.

In the midst of all the negative press, you could have missed the story of Wesley Britt -- unless you're from Alabama. Britt is a 6-foot-8-inch, 312-pound lineman for the Crimson Tide. He was one of 22 players nationwide chosen to the Playboy All-American team. With the honor comes a free week at the Playboy Mansion in California, the opportunity to meet Hugh Hefner himself, and a chance to be pampered by real-life Playboy bunnies. What football player wouldn't jump at it? For one, Wesley Britt. He said it didn't sound like the sort of thing he should do.

Britt is a deeply committed Christian. He spends a lot of time visiting churches and speaking to young people about the importance of embracing and living faith. Without sounding prudish or self-righteous, he said it wasn't the thing for him to do.

"Initially, I was like, 'Yeah, I'm going to take it. It's a great honor,' " he said. "But after thinking about it for a while, I decided this is not one of my goals. I put God first and I set my goals for him. I talked to God about it -- and I felt it just wasn't the right thing to do." Shades of Danny Wuerffel's decision several years ago.

As you might expect, he has taken some ribbing from college buddies. A few just outright told him he was crazy. One or two offered to wear a disguise and take his place. Many more have spoken of how they respect him for his decision. He's sending the right message to all those teens who have heard him at their churches.

Maybe it'll be a trend -- players setting a good example for their coaches!

Rubel Shelly

Write Rubel and let him know what you thought of his article!

(c) 2003 Rubel Shelly. Used by permission.

Visit: to read more of Rubel's writing or to sign up for his weekly column: FAX of Life.


Rubel Shelly has preached for the Woodmont Hills Church of Christ in Nashville since 1978. During that time, he has also taught at David Lipscomb University and Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. He is the author of more than 20 books, including several which have been translated into languages such as Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, Italian, French, and Russian. He is married to the former Myra Shappley, and they are the parents of three children: Mrs. David (Michelle) Arms, Tim, and Tom.


Thought For The Day:

"For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe." --Larry Eisenberg

Verse for the Day:

"Cease striving and know that I am God..." -- Psalm 46:10

Kid's Thought for the Day:

"Don't always act your age."

Parent's Thought For The Day

"Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and not theories." -- Lord Rochester

Coach's Thought For The Day

"Egotism is the anesthetic that deadens the pain of stupidity." --Grantland Rice

Writer's Thought for the Day:

"It's really important for me to be around and involved with people who are inspiring and who inspire me." -- Chris Cornell

Deep Thought For The Day:

"School must have been really tough in the days of ancient Rome; back then, a score of 100 on a test was only worth a C."



"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Galatians 2:20

Video Imagery --Michael's Video Production Business

Dear Michael,

I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the beautiful video you made for me! It was so special to see both of my parents in tears as they watched their children grow up in pictures before their eyes! I loved the way you made Estania's part set aside from the rest--that was the part that really got them! The music was beautiful. My mom kept blubbering, "What song is that?" I don't know how you did such a beautiful job with the video in such a short time. I really appreciate your doing it so quickly. You have a wonderful gift, and I thank God that you are using it to create such sentimental memories. I hope that I can find my niche like that in an area that I love. Your video gave us one of our most lasting Christmas memories! I hope yours was filled with moments to be treasured forever! Love, Trisha Silverhill, AL

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