Much is made of the argument that a college athlete should make his education his first priority and that his allegiance should be to his university, not a coach. But a Division I athlete who embraces that philosophy will almost certainly lose. Even bright, disciplined athletes must put their sport first to win. If they don't excel, they put both their intended careers and their scholarships at risk.
The athletes who followed Augie Garrido from Southern California to Illinois can hardly be called victims. They played some big-time college baseball and picked up some units that would have been expensive for Californians. But they followed Augie to fulfill what some call a goal and others a dream. Most have a legitimate chance to play professional baseball. If you don't, you don't play on scholarship for Augie Garrido.
Now they are juniors and seniors who face a stripped-down, leaderless program if they stay. If they transfer out of the program, they are forced to sit out at least one year. Beginning a professional career at 22 or 23 turns a long-odds situation into almost sure failure.
Augie, they trusted you. They believed in you. You got yours and now you've run out on them.