The cameras Monday night at the College Football Championship Game were constantly drawn to the head coaches of the teams. Dabo Swinney and Nick Saban were certainly an attraction, for sure -- especially when a call went against them.
We watched them both screaming at officials with very animated, ferocious and even threatening displeasure. It was stuff you'd never see on the sidelines of a college basketball game or on the field of a college baseball game without some sort of punishment or ejection. Why football? Why are football officials so reluctant to throw a flag on a coach who is so obviously showing them up, impugning their integrity or just plain using them as an emotional punching bag?
I have no idea. But with all the lip service the NCAA pays to "student-athletes" and all the lessons they learn from college football, that's not exactly the behavior you'd wish to be projected by high-profile people in a leadership position. I was embarrassed for those guys in stripes, having to stand there and take that guff without any penalty.
But I will say that the astute observer I was watching the game with had the line of the night on Clemson's last drive. It was when an Alabama lineman was caught doing something illegal to a Clemson player.
"Unsportsmanlike conduct..." the referee began.
To which my friend added, "... it couldn't be worse than what we've seen the coaches doing."
And I agree. On college football's biggest stage, you don't need to showcase a couple of psycho adults blowing up on the sidelines without any punishment. And in the days of young players being penalized for merely celebrating their success, I would suggest that misbehavior by their coaches should be severely punished.