MUSCHOMPS: Don’t disrespect the zebras!

I don’t make it a habit of taking sides with the game officials in college football, but if I were wearing the stripes and had a hanky in my pocket, I would have thrown it at several college coaches in recent Saturdays.

The coaching box seems to have extended beyond the hash marks. Whatever happened to the rule that coaches were supposed to stay behind the line and in the box?

Lately, I’ve seen more coaches in the faces of zebras than zookeepers at the feeding hour.

Yeah, I get that officials are like pinatas to fans and sometimes they screw up calls — and they need to pay for that, but it should be left to the devices of the commissioner’s office.  Being dressed down at mid-field by a coach-turned-Marine drill instructor is not a pretty sight, nor does enhance the odds of getting future calls in your favor.

The playing field was once considered sacred turf and not a romper room for the temper tantrums. These new young coaches don’t just cross the line–in some cases, they stop the play of the game.

Petulant and overbearing as he might have seemed all these years, the Ol’ Ball Coach always kept his distance. Even Steve Spurrier confined his theatrics to the sideline, or thereabouts.

A few weeks ago when Dan Mullen was desperately trying to get the ref’s attention for time out in the final seconds of Mississippi State’s game against LSU, he ran down to the goal line and put his handmade “T” right in the front of the officials’ nose.

In basketball, that “T” was have been a technical foul against the coach.

Will Muschamp totally lost it in the Florida-Tennessee game, exploding at referee Tom Ritter and screaming in his face like a banshee. For a rookie head coach to show up an official like that is equivalent of a husband telling his wife she looks a little overweight in that cocktail dress. It may be true, but sooner or later you’re going to pay for that remark.

Even the otherwise calm and cool Derek Dooley was out there on the hash marks, pleading his case.

Have you been watching, Mike Slive?

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