You probably don't need to be reminded that Minnesota wide receiver A.J. Barker left the team in a dispute over how his ankle injury was being handled and his treatment by coach Jerry Kill -- or the 4,000-word letter to Kill that he posted on the web.
New York Times reporter Tim Rohan (a former startribune.com Vikings blogger) cited Barker's case as one in a number of examples of coaching walking the line between behavior that is judged as tough discipline as opposed to abusive, and how coaches no longer have the absolute authority that at one time appeared to come with their position.
"This season, Idaho State suspended its football coach, Mike Kramer, for one game for shoving a player to the ground in practice. Last month, Morehead State suspended the men’s basketball coach Sean Woods for one game for pushing and berating a player during a game. On Thursday, Rutgers suspended the men’s basketball’s coach Mike Rice for three games and fined him $50,000 for behavior in practice.
"At Washington State, the star receiver Marquess Wilson quit the football team, alleging that Coach Mike Leach and his staff had intimidated and humiliated players. The university said Wednesday that it had concluded an internal review and determined there had been no wrongdoing by the coaching staff
Among those interviewed in the story is Rick Aberman, a sports psychologist who met with both Kill and Barker. He told Rohan: “This is a new challenge for coaches It may be the one thing that may drive coaches out of the business, because everything’s public.”
You can read the entire story here.