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A cowardly act


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Arizona Daily Wildcat

Chris Jackson

By Chris Jackson
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
November 23, 1999
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Arizona soccer head coach Lisa Fraser did the right thing last week when she resigned after six years at the helm.

Her players, however, didn't.

The players had signed a petition to ask Fraser to be fired or for her to resign, but they didn't even show it to her or to athletic director Jim Livengood.

Way to show you've got some class, ladies.

The sinister mutterings about players toward their coach could be heard last season when UA struggled to only three victories and none in Pacific 10 Conference play.

This year, after a solid start, Arizona soccer crumbled in the Pac-10, going 1-7-1 and to no one's surprise, the grumblings were heard again.

Fraser said the players' actions didn't affect her but she's just trying to be kind even though she was treated unkindly in the end.

Now, it's true that the players had a legitimate gripe in the fact they've won only four Pac-10 games in six years, but the way they handled this situation was deplorable.

They should have gone to Fraser or to Livengood as a group and stated their feelings. Fraser may not be much of a coach, but she is a classy person who would have been willing to listen. Ditto for Livengood, who's practically the nicest man on earth.

Instead, the players went behind Fraser's back and whipped out a knife.

It was a classless, cowardly play on their part.

For the most part, coach-player relations at UA are fairly cordial. The fact that most of the teams are winning certainly helps.

But one would never expect to see football players go behind Dick Tomey's back. They would at least have the courage to tell Tomey they think it's time for him to go to his face.

But they don't, instead taking the blame on themselves for their team's struggles.

It's true that the soccer team's inability to win was in part Fraser's fault. The players, though, never seemed to take on their part in the losing.

They need to take a lesson from the other athletes on this campus and realize that the coach isn't the one out on the field. It's not the coach who gave up one goal too many or failed to score in clutch situations.

All too often, coaches take too much of the blame for their team's failures. They make for easy targets for fans and the media, be it in professional or collegiate sports.

It's true that the coach can be blamed for not bringing in the best players and up until this year, Fraser's recruiting classes were often lacking, especially in terms of people who can score.

Yet even the lowest-rated recruit can step up and do big things. Just ask Marcus Bell and Trung Canidate.

Maybe the fact the players didn't get better can be blamed on Fraser.

But the fact the players didn't learn how to act with a little class cannot.

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