Every coach in every sport at every level wants to instill accountability in his or her team. And every coach in every sport at the amateur level wants his or her players to attend class and be on time.
As he looks to revamp the Florida program, Dan Mullen is using a very simple means of accomplishing both goals. For every player that is late to class, the entire team runs.
"I talk to the guys on our leadership committee, 'The guys on your team, you're responsible for them,'" Mullen told Gator Bait. "So if you're a leadership committee guy and there's a guy on your team missing class, if you don't want the team to run sprints, it's not just his responsibility, it's the leadership committee's guy within their individual teams to set that standard.
"So get out there and push him to make sure he finishes. Because we're running if one of those guys misses, it's their fault we're running. So the best way to do it is just call him make sure, 'Hey, I've got your class schedule.' That teaches leadership and accountability to make sure you're on time to class and doing what you're supposed to do. Especially for the younger guys, and then as they get older, they might understand they might have to help the younger guys and help take care of their business."
The concept is simple: How can you count on a guy to execute his assignment on 3rd-and-5 in November if he can't show up on time to Microeconomics in March? One blown assignment harms the entire team, so Mullen is driving that point home now.
And by punishing the whole team for missed classes, Mullen includes himself.
"I'm part of the team, so I should run the gassers too," Mullen said. "Hey, if we make mistakes, we're all going to pay the price. Whether it's discipline issues, academic issues, football issues, training issues, we all pay the price. So I'm going to pay the price just like them."