most-discussed news over the weekend in Virginia Tech football wasn’t Roland
Minor’s injuries from a car accident or Sean Glennon’s increasing grip on the
starting quarterback job. It was a set of disciplinary rules put in place by
Frank Beamer and his staff that will penalize players for infractions on and off
the field. The new policies clearly set expectations for behavior and clearly
outline punishments if those expectations are not met. From where I sit, the
policies are a big step in the right direction for a football team that is
ailing from a discipline problem that isn’t just perceived, but real. And Coach
Beamer admits that the behavior of the coaching staff needs to change as well,
which is another huge step in the right direction.
Those of you who have been following my writings for years know that I’m big
on discipline. It’s even more important to me than I let on. I have written long
articles about discipline in the past, but I actually try not to harp on an
issue that is beyond my control, and even if I did, I would sound like a broken
record. One must choose one’s soapboxes carefully and not overdo it.
My interest in discipline isn’t a martinet-like desire to see unruly
rule-breaking offenders get punished just because they did something bad. My
interest in seeing discipline properly applied comes from the belief that a
disciplined team is a team operating at peak capacity, to the best of its
abilities. Undisciplined teams expend energy in unproductive directions, taking
away from their focus of executing the game plan to maximum efficiency. In the
ultra-competitive world of college football, any small advantage gained can mean
the difference between victory and defeat, and a disciplined team has an
advantage over a less disciplined team.
Of course, there’s also the embarrassment factor and the image factor. VT’s
image has taken
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