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Sports Talk: Harrick disgraces, Fales should sue

Former Georgia basketball coaches, Jim Harrick and his son, Jim Jr., are suing the University of Georgia for defamation of character. Earl Fales should sue Jim Harrick, Jr.

Earl Fales was a longtime professor in the Health and Physical Education Department at UGA. Coach Fales taught many of the coaching classes required of HPE majors back when UGA was a real school and not a play toy for an egomaniacal president or a forum for egg-headed researchers. It was a school that taught its students to help themselves and others. Earl Fales was a legend as a teacher in those days, and a teacher he was.

Some incompetent UGA administrator let the younger Harrick teach the Principles and Strategies of Basketball course required of HPE majors. Coach Fales was the teacher when I took this class. Harrick used this opportunity to make some extra money and gave the whole class, including some basketball players, a free A. Everyone in the national media has laughed at UGA because of the phony exam.

When UGA released Junior's exam to the NCAA and public, I tested myself. I did not make a perfect score. I missed question twenty; who is the best assistant coach in college basketball. I did not check Jim Harrick, Jr.

I can assure you that Earl Fales took teaching this class more seriously than Harrick did, much more seriously. My classmates and I used to wonder if "Earl" thought he was teaching genetics or something.

Earl made us learn the rulebook from cover to cover. His rule test was like what I envisioned the bar exam to be. He required us to officiate intramural games.

We were required to diagram every offensive set and defensive zone and press known. Doing this on paper wasn't good enough. Earl, grade book in hand, gave us individualized attention in front of a blackboard.

We even had to take our knowledge of sets and basketball skills to the court. Your coaching points and demonstrations had to be perfect. To please Coach Fales girls from south Georgia would kill you with teeth rattling picks.

Coaching sports is not rocket science but Earl Fales treated it as such. To him it was like the study of medicine. Doing it right was life or death. You might not get a second chance to win a game. It was Earl Fales that made me proud of my UGA diploma in 1980.

This bogus exam by the fly-by-night Jim Harrick, Jr. makes me hang my head. If coach Fales should sue; I know a bunch of old UGA Health and PE majors that would make a dang good jury.

STAY TUNED! The THS Athletic Booster Club is honoring Coach John Barnett at their banquet on March 26. I'll give you a little teaser by "honoring" Coach Barnett in this space next week.

Web posted on Thursday, March 18, 2004

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