Omaha World-Herald Article On Creighton University Basketball Woes Rubs the Wrong Way
By Will Cummings
Some things really rub me the wrong way. Such was the case, today, when I read the Omaha World-Herald article “Shatel: Jays dealing with new-era athlete ” written by columnist Tom Shatel. Though not one time in this rather lengthy article was the word black or African-American used to describe this “new era” athlete that the piece was referring to, it was littered with numerous code words and innuendo that left no doubt that the premise of the entire article was “Boy, we never had so many black players at Creighton—maybe coach Dana Altman doesn’t know how to coach them.”
To give an air of credibility to his argument Shatel brought in Creighton team psychologists Jack Stark to explain the nature of these “new era” athletes. As if we were totally oblivious to the socioeconomic and environmental issues facing many of today’s players.
Note to Shatel: This “new era,” “different-kind-of athlete” at Creighton has been around for over twenty years now! Hello.
Coaches and colleges all over the country have been successfully dealing with these “new era” black athletes for quite some time. Most of us are well aware that a lot of black athletes come from single parent homes and from less than desirable living conditions. But to infer that these black players are somehow the reason for Creighton’s lackluster performance this season is problematic: Are the type of “new era” players that Creighton all-of the sudden finds on its door steps a problem for North Carolina coach Roy Williams, Kansas’ Bill Self, Kentucky’s John Calipari and all the other successful coaches around the country?
No. They only become a point of concern in some peoples minds when they are not winning.
Shatel, Creighton’s unimpressive performance this season boils down to them not gelling as a team and/or maybe they are not as talented as many expected them to be. At least those are the reasons you better start hanging your hat on. Because if you can write an article with a title like that and meander on about how difficult these players are to coach and then you ask Stark:
“A lot of folks wonder if Creighton is on the way down because Altman has players he can’t coach?”
Creighton basketball is in more trouble than you realize.