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He Uttered 105 Words, But All I Heard Was "I Care"

One of the great things about technology these days is you don’t have to sit around for an hour or more to listen to radio shows, particularly if all you want to hear is an interview of a particular player or coach. All you have to do is wait a day, and someone, somewhere will transcribe it.

Such is the case for a radio program called Tech Talk Live, and I was particularly interested in Virginia Tech Coach Mike Young’s reaction to the indefinite suspension of Tyrece Radford. Techsideline.com’s Jake Lyman did not disappoint, posting this transcription of the entire show.

Young’s answer when asked about Radford did not disappoint either. It was pretty close to what I expected he would say, and the reason I earlier this season wrote a story saying I would run through a wall for Young if I was one of his players.

(NARRATOR: It was also the story I texted a link for to Cindy Farmer about, with the words “I really am impressed with your prom date." That led to me writing this story, and it’s been the most read story on the site this year. But I digress….)

“The first thing you want to see is that he’s contrite,” Young said on the show. “He recognizes it, and he’s a good man. He made a poor decision, needless to say. We’re working through some things. There are a lot of things that I can’t talk about here. I love that man, and I will not turn my back on him. I believe in him. I feel awful and Tyrece Radford feels awful. We will support him and hang in there with him. Time will tell how it all plays out. His best interests are at heart as we try to work through this.”

It reminded me of a conversation I had one late night after a high school football game with a very successful coach who I think the world of. Having come from the corporate world, he and I were talking about the art of managing people, and how it compared to coaching young athletes.

“In my world, you have to care and there’s no in between,” I had said. “Either you do or you don’t.” That, I had told him, makes the difference, regardless of what some misguided human resources people will tell you, saying you must treat everyone the same.

“You got that right,” the coach had replied. “You also can’t fake it either. Kids will sniff out if you really care or if you’re just trying to sell them on something in about five minutes. Like you said, either you do or you don’t. It’s that simple.”

Mike Young uttered 105 words in his response, but I only heard two: “I care.”

Doesn’t mean he’s going to look the other way or not take action for the infractions committed. Just means while juggling the ramifications that will affect the player, the team and the program, he’s going to make sure Radford learns from this, works hard to overcome it and not feel like he’s just a basketball player.

Or in other words, know that Young cares.

I have hesitated to say much on Radford because I certainly made my share of knucklehead mistakes when I was 20, and think just about every day how lucky I was there weren’t cellphone cameras or social media back then to highlight any and all errors in judgment. Radford will have to pay a price for what happened, and I’m sure Young has made him aware of that. But the payment doesn’t need to be so harsh you never get another chance.

Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure in playing for Young, he will both learn and get another chance.

Which is why I would run through a wall for him.

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Tuesday, 18 May 2021
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