A lot of the time you see stories about players misbehaving and getting in serious trouble it’s often in the context of players being at a bar or nightclub, strip joint etc . I’ve often wondered why coaches just don’t forbid players from attending these places during the playing season. I get that there aren’t that many places to go if a game ends at 8 or 9 at night but if you’re getting millions a year doesn’t the coach or owner have the ability or power to curtail night clubbing during the playing season?
Answered your own question here. Who in their right mind wouldn’t party their ass off with that much cash?
If they ban players (who are adults, by the way, even if they act like fools) from those places, all they’ll do is hurt the team when they suspend 10-20% of the team every week. The players know this. They have all the leverage.
It’s not the military, to the players it’s just a job, one that lets them do whatever they want to. They have no reason to listen to the coach anywhere but on the field, which is where they guarantee future earnings. And besides, the reason Johnny Football and Pacman Jones are infamous for their after-hours activities is because it’s rare. If it were common it wouldn’t be notable.
Pro athletes pretty much tell the coaches what they can do, not the other way around.
In addition to what others have said, you also need to keep in mind that it’s often not the environment (eg. Nightclubs), but rather the fact that they are targets since they are well known celebrities. If anything, clubs with security and the like are better than them throwing a house party.
What power does your boss have to ban you from nightclubs? The Coach is the players boss, not (usually) their father.
The only time a player could be so restricted is probably before the night of a game on the road; when s/he is staying in a hotel room paid for by the team and then only to a limited extent, it would be “whomever does not stay in and rest, gets benched” not, “you shall stay in”.
The reality is coaches don’t care if their players spent their nights out partying. Their only concern is if the player can deliver on the field. If a player can play well, a coach will ignore what he’s doing. If a player can’t play well, the coach will get rid of him regardless of his lifestyle.
Players know the deal. As long as they can perform, no coach is going to bench them out of a sense of moral concern.
As far as his coaches are concerned, Manziel’s problem isn’t partying. It’s that he can’t play after partying.
It starts when the players are on a full ride scholarship.
Also pointing out that the players do have a union, which has agreement with the NFL on nearly every aspect of a players interaction with his club. The second a coach attempts to regulate what players do in their off time, a union rep is going to be knocking on his door.
The union would never agree to a ban on bars and clubs for everyone because a few athletes can’t handle their partying.
Most pro athletes are perfectly capable and responsible adults who can handle partying and doing their jobs, and most of them party plenty hard without any issues. You only hear about the ones who can’t handle it, and telling them to quit it is like banning a drug addict from doing drugs.
There are so many odd ideas in the OP. You’d be rightfully upset if your employer banned you from certain places or imposed a curfew on you, so why should atheletes be any different. As for the “they earn millions” excuse, every other part of American society gives more power to people with more money. Yet you want atheletes to be the exact opposite. For that matter, in the days when strict curfews and off limits places did exist, guys like Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle made today’s atheletes seem like Sunday school teachers. It’s just with no social media and lapdog sportswriters, we never heard about them.
I remember a quote I read years ago in a newspaper from John Wooden to Lew Alcindor at UCLA:
“I’m Wooden, the coach. Here’s the ball. What do you want me to do?”
Possibly apocryphal, but entertaining nonetheless, and shows the point that the idea is at least decades old.
This is one of those threads that has me pondering the difference between the US and the UK. Because in the UK, as I understand it, it is common for professional sports coaches to ban their players from such shenanigans. There was a recent high-profile case involving Aston Villa, where Jack Grealish was dropped to the reserve team by boss Remi Garde after he was involved in one too many parties. Of course, the coach can’t physically stop the player from breaking curfew, but they can certainly sanction them after the fact.
And as others have alluded to, my employer would be no different - they don’t stop me partying, but if my partying at night starts affecting my work the next day, of course I’m going to be in trouble.
But was he sent to the reserves for breaking an explicit rule against “partying” (meaning what? no going to nightclubs? no drinking at all?), or was he sent down because his partying was affecting his work, in the same way he would have been if his overeating or excessive devotion to Bible study were affecting his work?
One possible cultural difference is that in the US, it would be very unusual for a coach or team official to publicly say that a player was being punished for partying. Even if the guy’s picture is all over TMZ cavorting with strippers at four in the morning the night before the big game, the official press release will say he was “suspended for an violation of team rules”, and requests for clarification will be denied out of respect for the player’s privacy.
Athlete contracts do often bar certain activities (motorcycle riding, dangerous sports, etc), so there’s precedent to controlling what athletes do in their spare time more than regular civilians. But I assume those exceptions have been agreed to in collective bargaining, and I suspect that nightclub bans would not be.
The OP said pro sports, which are a very different beast than college sports. Probably at least part of the reason why many top college coaches can’t make the jump to the pros - they’re unable to handle the loss of control over the players.
Major League Baseball managers used to try to do this - curfews, getting players out of bars - all the time back in the day. Alcoholism was a pretty big thing in MLB. Casey Stengel, as the story goes, once stood in the clubhouse and asked his team if nine sober men would please raise their hands so he could field a team. What it created, really, was a lot of headaches and no real change in drinking habits.
If a player is a genuine boozehound, he is going to drink his way out of the league and there is very little you can do about it. For stupidity, young players ARE sometimes benched, sent to the minors, or are healthy scratches. The next time you hear about a young NHL player who’s a healthy scratch with “flu-like symptoms,” remember there’s a fifty-fifty chance he showed up to the morning skate hung over and the coach is sending him a message. Most of the time it doesn’t take many messages. If it does, he’ll be out of the league soon enough and someone more dedicated will be in his place.
A universal ban on such things would be silly; the occasional benching works against the casual partier, NOTHING works on the genuine boozehound, and a prohibition on bars would be a ridiculous insult to a dedicated veteran. If John Gibbons told Jose Bautista he wasn’t allowed to go out and have a few drinks with his friends, Bautista would rightly have a complete shit fit. He’s a big boy now and works hard, he can manage a few scotches.
I think there are still teams who impose curfews, at least on the road. It can be hard when a team is at home…are you going to bed check 25 baseball players or 45 football players spread out miles in all directions?
But this stuff has been going on since the beginning. I remember coming across a case of baseball players in the 1880s making a wild round of bars and brothels all night long.
I think a no alcohol 24 hours before a game rule might be reasonable. As would a “no partying on the road without permission”.
In the football Premier League in England players are often banned from playing other sports in their free time for fear of injury; this annoyed Paul Scholes who enjoyed playing cricket in the summer off season.
Indeed. It’s extremely common on this side of the world. Rugby league and union players are often suspended for breaking team curfews and restrictions about drinking and socialising late at night, and the teams are pretty up-front about what happened and why: Aaron Cruden might have been the best first five in the world a couple of years back, but it didn’t stop the NZRFU kicking him off their Argentina tour for getting pissed and missing the flight.