Sunday, January 27, 2008

Question of Character

Consider the big and small betrails in your life of the trust placed someone be they close or distant. In Confess Your Grudge is the story of a business associate that "forgot" what he had said and taught a young salesman the importance of that confirmation letter. (And the people from Ken's salad dressing are still on the list of those that should rot in hell.)

Think of those people that have betrayed your trust or even societies trust. Once the Catholic Priest was among the group of people that had a solid reputation for doing the right thing. Now that sadly is not true. Or remember in your childhood when your mother told you that you could rely on a police officer. Again not always true. Like may professions the priest and officer has little tangible to offer others expect the element of trust. Diminishing that level of trust and the value of the job is also diminished.

We do not have the time to put the multitude of like transactions into a written and notarized contract. Instead trust is extended the transaction along with the expectation that the other party will treat us in a fair manner.

In current money driven environment college football has entered trust has been replaced with the contract. Players enter into a contract to play for a particular school on the highly anticipated National Signing Day with coverage on ESPNU starting at noon. And as the, The ugly landscape of college football , points out an offer form the old coach need not be honored by the new administration.

In the case of the now very ugly and very public divorce between West Virginia University and Rich Rodriguez, we can see that the contract too has a flaw in that both sides (most aggressively by Rich Rodriguez's agent Mike Brown) are publicly jockey for the low ground in order to undermine the other party. Mike Brown early decided that given that trust was long ago replaced by a contract decided that the be strategy was to intimidate the other side with accusations that undermine the university's position. Memo to Mr. Brown: It is not working.

The actions of Rich Rodriguez and Mike Brown are understandable. The old saying about how adversity reveals character maybe true but as anyone that has been in the position where money is at stake knows the dollar can be a true a test of character as you will find.

You can imagine conversion that Rich Rodriguez and Mike Brown early December.

Rodriguez: "What about the buyout?"

Brown: "Don't worry. We'll play hardball, they'll buckle...It's just a contract. Not like you gave your solemn oath."

In the case of $4 million how would you act?

Which means more to you a promise or the text of a contract? Which would you be more likely to break?

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