Thoughts on Tiger Plus the Latest “Storming the Court” Problem

Both Jack Nicklaus and Butch Harmon weighed in on Tiger's recent struggles.

Everyone these days seems to have an opinion on what’s wrong with Tiger Woods. The man who Tiger is chasing in the Major Victories category, Jack Nicklaus, thinks Woods’ problems are “between his ears.”

Former swing coach Butch Harmon, with whom Tiger won eight of his 14 majors with, said recently he’d actually spend time with Woods but that he’ll never call because “his pride will get in the way.” I can’t argue one bit with either Nicklaus or Harmon because I believe both guys to be among the most credible in terms of ‘talking Tiger.’

I honestly don’t know if Woods’ issues are limited to just one thing because I really think what he’s going through is as a volatile cocktail of things ranging from his broken down body, failing swing and mental issues that go far beyond even what the Golden Bear is suggesting.

Paul Azinger mentioned that what Tiger is doing by taking a leave of absence of is the right thing to do. He needs to sort out not only his mental side but also he needs to find the right swing again and the only way he can consistently do that is with practice, not tournament golf.

I do believe however there will come a time when he has to return or else his chances of returning as a top player reduce with every tournament he misses. The great ones need competition not just to better themselves but to thrive and even survive. Woods is exactly the type of player I speak of and he certainly doesn’t need me to tell him that.

Storming the court
How long before a player's safety is really in question before the NCAA does something to keep them safe?

Storming the Court Take II

What was it? A year or two ago that Duke Head Basketball Mike Krzyzewski pulled his team off of the floor in the waning seconds of a loss on the road? Remember how many went after Coach K saying this was just another example of the “spoiled Dookies” not being able to take losing?

I defended Krzyzewski at the time and I will again today in the midst of another story about a large contingent of fans rushing the court. Two nights ago in Manhattan, Kansas, the under- .500 Kansas State Wildcats had knocked off arch-rival Kansas and before the final shot had even touched the floor the Wildcats’ faithful were running wild on the hardwood.

To his credit, K-State Head Coach Bruce Weber and his assistants were doing their best to keep the Jayhawks safe until the crowd could disperse but their efforts were essentially fruitless. If you watch the video, you can clearly see students rushing directly to the KU bench to taunt the players. Several are moved out of the way by security personnel while more keep piling on the court.

Conferences like the SEC have adopted rules against students rushing the court. Those include fines against the university in question but that doesn’t always stop the crowds from going bonkers. Personally, I like the storming of the court or field in the case of college football. At least on the gridiron, there is more room and typically opposing players have a sliver more of time to get into the locker room but still, there are dangers.

The overwhelming majority of fans who rush the court mean no harm to the opposition. They run out there to celebrate with other fans and the players but unfortunately there are a small percentage who are rushing the court to instigate problems. Jayhawks’ Head Coach Bill Self said as much when he talked about fans who “chicken wing” players as they rush the court.

Before long, it won’t be a chicken wing but an actual elbow, punch or worse and then the NCAA might actually be forced to act.