WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Should colleges make an effort to improve the language skills of coaches & athletes?

If athletes and coaches from college teams prove to be utterly incapable of speaking in (mostly) grammatically correct English, does that not reflect poorly on the institutions of higher learning they represent?

Indeed, isn't their bastardization of spoken English relevant in the current debate over the professionalization - and possible unionization - of bigtime college athletics? If their demeanor and use of the language clearly sets them apart from their august institutions of higher learning, can a college or university credibly claim them to be a part of the institution?

Consider this Op-Ed piece from Penn Live -- the Harrisburg PATRIOT-NEWS...


(If it seems the columnist - or me - is piling on college athletes of color from underprivileged backgrounds, let's make clear: The coaches, regardless of color, are often little better. The same for pro sports. That's one of my problems with the "jock culture" in this country, which arguably has not only taken over the popular culture, but undermined language.)

Posted at 7:58am on April 10, 2014 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Thu, Apr 10, 2014 10:04am
There should be no connection between the two.

Thu, Apr 10, 2014 11:53am
Allan, as you are in a profession where the spoken word is everything, you expect perfection. Football and basketball players have no such standard.

The players talk like the people they "hang" with the most. They speak the language of the street. If they do not, they lose respect. The coaches face the same pressure. To earn the respect of the players, they must drop to that level.

Allan Loudell
Thu, Apr 10, 2014 12:06pm
And the overall societal climate is coarsened as a result. That's my point.

Furthermore, universities and high schools should hold themselves to a higher standard.

By the way, is it really coaches dumbing down just to keep their credibility?

Did Bobby Knight (who, despite his famous temper and other character flaws, I saw as an exception) necessarily hurt his credibility by appearing to adopt a higher standard?

Would that explain the baseball or other professional coaches who murder the English language? Of course, I realize they're not paid to be articulate.

Allan Loudell

Fri, Apr 11, 2014 5:36am
Follow the money.

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