News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
With evidence in hand, UW too slow to punish Christensen
Oct 23, 2012 - By Craig Blumenshine, Staff Writer
When I was in grade school, my dad had configured a cool radio for me to listen to. It wasn't new, but it had two fold-out speakers, and the thing could pull in stations from just about anywhere.
I had the radio in my bedroom, and I listened to KMOX St. Louis for Cardinals baseball games and to KOA Denver for Broncos football games.
And I listened to a Laramie-based sportscaster named Ken Keating, who kept me up-to-date on the Wyoming Cowboys. In fact, I remember listening to Keating tell me and his listeners about the Black 14 incident at UW in 1969 and I wondered what impact it would have on the football team. It wasn't good.
That was a long, long time before the days of YouTube.
My, how times have changed.
Just ask Wyoming's head football coach, Dave Christensen.
And, while you are at it, ask UW Athletic Director Tom Burman too.
On Monday, Burman announced that the university was going to fine Christensen $50,000 and suspend the coach for one week because of the actions surrounding his homecoming day outburst against the Air Force Academy's football coach Troy Calhoun after UW lost to the Falcons on Oct. 13 in Laramie. The Cowboys are 1-6 on the season, 0-3 in the Mountain West Conference.
If you haven't already, you can watch and, with apologies, listen to the worse than R-rated tirade yourself here: http://bit.ly/RNXMRp. Ed Note: an updated link for the video is http://bit.ly/TawErr
As of Tuesday morning, at least 115,000 people had heard one of our state's highest-paid public servants and UW head football coach drop the F-bomb 15 times in 38 seconds in the video.
Did you notice the kids the coach was walking by in the north end zone of War Memorial stadium as his daughter -- of all people -- was trying to steer the still cursing Christensen away from Calhoun?
"After a long and difficult week of consideration, I believed it was in the best interest of the university and our athletics department to take this action," Burman said Monday.
The obvious question is, why did it take the University a week to come down on Christensen?
Burman said he first saw the very same video, not on YouTube yet, on Monday, two days after the game. He waited another seven days, after the video had went viral on YouTube, to take assertive action against Christensen.
Is now really the time to say, as Burman did yesterday, "But I can tell you that he is going to be the head coach at Wyoming next year."
How is recruiting going to work?
"Hey Mom, let's Google this coach Christensen at Wyoming. He wants me to play there," the recruit will say.
Mom may end up sending Dave a bar of soap -- for his mouth -- instead of a national letter of intent.
When I first heard that the MWC had reprimanded Christensen the Monday after the game, I bit on the explanation that it seemed like an emotional, struggling coach who whined a bit too much after a close home loss.
Now, after I saw and listened the video, I'm mad. Action should have been taken immediately, not after fans started to complain as the video was gaining traction on-line and going viral.
Ken Keating would have me wondering again how this will impact Wyoming's football team.
Surely, you must agree, it won't be good.
Have a great sports week. Go Big Red!