Chris Beard took a job shortly after taking a different job, a week, to be exact. People got really, really mad, which is odd, because in general, “people” would do the same thing.
Beard took the head men’s basketball post at UNLV after taking Arkansas Little Rock on a fun NCAA run, punctuated best by a wild first round upset of Purdue. Then, Tubby Smith left Texas Tech, and Beard saw an opening he couldn’t pass up.
There was instant angst, but why?
For one, Beard will end up getting a pay raise. For most of us, we follow the green paper carrots when they lead us in employment directions. After all, from the reason you take your first part-time job just to get enough gas money in your first beat up car to go out with your buddies to the last job you take, money is always one of the top factors.
For the most part, people don’t turn down pay raises. I say that as “for the most part,” because when it comes to things like relocation and family, those often take the catbird seat even on finances.
Beard has this covered, too. His family still resides in Texas, and being away from his wife and three kids must cause plenty of angst, especially after you lose a game and you pretty much need something to be happy about. Families fill that void quick, fast, and in a hurry.
Texas Tech’s coach also has ties to the joint in Lubbock, spending 10 years on Bob Knight and then son Pat Knight’s staff there. He counts two decades of his coaching experience in the state of Texas.
UNLV has a right to be disappointed, especially since you probably hire someone of that level after a significant vetting process where you place a lot of faith and trust in the person you hire for what is the most prestigious athletic post that particular school has. UNLV is a big, big time program.
But the truth is, most of us, and by most, you’re talking upwards of 90 percent of us … would change to a job that offered:
1. An opportunity to be several hundred miles closer to your family;
2. More money.
The immediate reaction folks have is to juxtapose this to recruiting, because apples and oranges comparisons are all the rage in modern society. It must be the hipsters’ fault. Kidding. Maybe.
For the umpteenth time, the contract between an professional coach and that of a scholarship athlete are completely different things. It’s like saying that because your mechanic works on small parts in an engine, you may as well compare him to a dentist, who works on small parts in your mouth.
For even the most strident UNLV supporter, let’s do an exercise:
Close your eyes, and wherever you are, if you’re employed, think of your chosen career and where you currently are. If you’re in school, think of where you’re in school. Go back to when you had the decision-making power to go down many paths in the intersection of life.
Why did you choose to go to school where you did?
Why did you choose the career/job/company that you did?
What we come to find out is that it’s almost always some sort of combination related to:
1. Family and location to them;
Beard simply did what we all do when opportunity knocks that leads us to a more positive attachment to both of those categories. He’s human, like the rest of us. There’s no reason to be angry at him, just reason to hope that if we’re in a situation right now where we don’t have both of those in our life’s path, that we too get the opportunity to make that call for ourselves one day.
We’re all Chris Beard.