Anyone that has every watched Brian Polian on the sideline, or out at practice knows that he coaches with a lot of enthusiasm. That enthusiasm, combined with his success as an assistant at Stanford, Notre Dame, and Texas A&M, are a big part of the reason he was chosen to take over the Nevada program a few years ago.
But against Arizona on Saturday, Polian's enthusiasm got the best of him, and he was the subject of two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties during the Wolf Pack's 44-20 loss. As a result of those penalties, Nevada announced that Polian was being issued a $10,000 fine.
“I believe Coach Polian is moving the football program in the right direction, academically, athletically and socially. Unfortunately, his sideline behavior and interaction with officials – regardless of being right or wrong about officiating decisions – is not aligned with the values of Wolf Pack athletics or the University,” athletic director Doug Knuth announced last night in an official release.
“These sanctions send a strong message to Brian, and to our fans, our University and conference administration, and to officials working our games, that we do not tolerate unsportsmanlike behavior."
After the game Saturday, Polian admitted to reporters that he was at fault, and that he needs to do a better job of "focusing".
"I let them down, no doubt about that. Clearly, I've earned myself a little bit of a rep, and that is nobody's fault but mine."
"The easy story right now is that I'm a hothead, and all that stuff, and I guess I can understand that. I am incredibly passionate about this job. I am incredibly passionate about our young people. I don't apologize for my passion. I don't apologize for my energy. I've got to do a better job of focusing."
The purpose of pointing all of this out isn't aimed at bringing Polian's sideline actions into the spotlight, but rather to point out that if Nevada can fine him for his actions on game day, your school could choose to do the same. Always be aware of the example you are setting for your players; and recognize that their eyes, and the eyes of the alumni & administration are on you.