September 17, 2007

Bill Belichick, Cheating, Heroes, Role Models, and Teaching Children

What a Wonderful Opportunity to Teach!

Bill Belichick was caught red handed, cheating! There is no doubt about it. He was caught, has been fined and he even admitted it. The camera that was used illegally, was confiscated; along with the tape of what was being shot. Coach Belichick can stonewall questions all he wants, but he did what he was accused of.

The man knowingly broke the rules. Publicly he has tried to explain it away by saying that he did it under a "difference in interpretation" of the rules. That is even more despicable. Lying to cover cheating gives us all a double dose. Bill had even been warned about this very behavior last year and then, every team was informed of the rule gainst using video on the field in a memo from the commissioner again before the start of the season.

What Would Any Parent Do?

What would almost any self-respecting parent do if their child was caught breaking a rule after being warned TWICE to cease the rule-breaking activity? There would definitely need to be some moral and ethical teaching taking place. Some parents might resort to punishment. (But, to show how ineffective punishment is, just take a look at how the coach is reacting; the $500,000.00 fine has not changed his actions one bit, he still seems to indicate thathe was justified in cheating!) The important thing that any parent, wishing to make meaningful changes in the rule-breaking behavior, would need to do, is to do some serious teaching of morals, values, and ethics that should be used in making future decisions!

Role Model?

Right now I read so many writers and TV and radio commentators screaming about how terrible this is because Bill Belichick let so many people down who looked up to him as a role model. Well, therein lies the folly that I mentioned in a couple of recent articles on Heroes and Role Models a couple of weeks ago; parents must be very careful in guiding children how to select heroes and role models. Simple fame or success in some level of competition should never be allowed to be the sole criteria for picking role models! Bill is, without a doubt, a winning coach; but that does not make him a worthy role model for children.

Nobody is Worthless!

My grandfather was commonly repeating sayings that he felt expressed some truth about life. One that he repeated often was, “Nobody is worthless; anyone can serve as a bad example to someone!” Now, I believe that he often repeated that saying in a humorous manner but there is still some great truth in his saying. I believe that this saying applies in the case of Bill Belichick knowingly breaking NFL rules. While it is disappointing to see a grown man, who is held up by many as a great coach and role model; it is not necessarily a bad thing for parents whose children see his failure to live up to his lofty position or obligations. He can serve as an example of how much one risks when they betray trust and forfeit character.

What a Great Opportunity to Teach!

Bill Belichick’s terrible action should give any parent a great opportunity to teach their children a wonderful lesson in moral and ethical decision-making! Any parent who is attempting to teach their children to live in an orderly society of rules and laws and who is attempting to teach their children how to make decisions about right and wrong, now has a great example of what can happen when rules are broken to use in that teaching process.

Thanks to Bill Belichick, We Have a Great "Teaching Moment"

Thanks to Bill for giving parents a chance to graphically demonstrate to their children that all of the championships in this world really mean nothing if you compromise your character and forfeit trust in order to get them. Here is a man who might have gone down in history as one of the greatest coaching minds in the history of team sports. But, his terrible decision to break the rules and cheat will forever be his legacy. He compromised his character to attempt to gain a competitive advantage and now he will be forever known as a cheat.

LOSS OF TRUST is the Biggest Penalty!

"Of course," Bill said firmly when asked about the request from the Commissioner to turn over any additional notes, tapes, or materials that might have been used in a similar manner. What Bill may soon learn, and most importantly, what parents can teach their children is that once you are caught lying, few people will ever believe you again.

Trust is So Difficult to Earn and so Easy to Lose!

I will bet that when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell heard Belichick's reply, he heard what the man said, but because of the recent betrayal of trust, he probably will do some intense research to confirm the truth of the coach's statement. I doubt that Goodell will no longer be willing to take Bill Belichick’s word on much of anything anymore.

Teach !

Parents, teach your children that the consequences of lying, cheating, and breaking the rules is not the punishment that society meets out; the punishment for lying, cheating, and breaking the rules is the loss of the trust of others!

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