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Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Football Coaches or Roving Bandits

Olson’s theory on roving and stationary bandits proves to be true in numerous situations. One situation including football coaches of all levels. It is rare to see a coach stick with one team for an entire coaching career. Coaches often bounce from team to team and from league to league in the search of the best possible coaching situations for themselves. When a coach is looking for a job they don’t look for the team that needs the most improvement, they look for a well-developed team they can take control over to bring themselves personal success. Take the current Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll for instance. After working as an assistant coach for various college teams he eventually made it as a defensive back coach for the Buffalo Bills in the NFL. After a season of that he got offered a better position as defensive coordinator for another team. He used these various positions to gain enough reputation so he could finally become a head coach in 1997 for the New England Patriots, however he realized the team wasn’t championship caliber and left after just three seasons. The status and experience gained from being an NFL coach allowed him to step into a coaching job for the University of Southern California. Though some would think of this as a demotion moving from the professional level to the college, the team he would coach at USC had championship capability. Coach Carroll made the move to better himself at anyone’s expense. After numerous championship appearances including two victories rumors surface that Coach Carroll was using illegal bribery techniques to get players to play for him at the school. The NCAA punished the University of Southern California football team by declaring them un-eligible to appear in a championship for two years and cut scholarships for the school. The success he gained at the school was enough to catch the attention of the Seattle Seahawks and when Coach Carroll realized his reputation and career was over at USC he made the move back to professional coaching. There are numerous of other cases where coaches make questionable decisions when their jobs are on the line. Perhaps Coach Carroll will one day find or make a successful team and become a stationary bandit like Bill Belichick.

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