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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Dobranski and Firing Football Coaches

With the depressing Bar passage rate, the best objective statistic in favor of AMSL has vanished. By the one academic standard that matters most, AMSL is officially the worst school in Michigan. I'm not going to denigrate those alumni who failed. The Bar is tough and sometimes people fail. But that still doesn't mean that nothing is wrong at AMSL. Why the poor rate this year? I don't know but I guess it might be a combination of 1. bigger classes with more incoming students at the lower end of the academic ability spectrum; 2. less pride in the school, its mission, and its future, and so, less incentive to do well for the sake of the school; 3. distraction due to the AMSL chaos. But this post is not about figuring out who is responsible or who is to blame. I don't know the answer to that question.

When a football team goes on a terrible losing streak, who is to blame? Maybe it's the fault of the players; after all they're the ones playing poorly and losing all the games. Maybe it's the fault of the assistant coaches and trainers not doing their job. Or the fault of the scouts who are recruiting bad players. Or the fault of the offensive/defensive coordinators who are calling stupid plays. Sometimes, looking at all the circumstances objectively, it's not the fault of the head coach.

Yet, more often than not, it is the head coach who is fired. And the head coach rightfully deserves to be fired. Ultimately, the head coach is responsible for the team at every stage: recruitment, training, game strategy, motivation and morale building. The very fact that the team is losing creates a situation that demands the firing of the head coach. Losing creates a lack of confidence in the head coach's leadership and morale problems that can only be remedied by getting fresh blood into the head coach position.

Dobranski is the head coach of AMSL. Even assuming that Dobranski has done nothing wrong and that others are to blame for the poor Bar passage rate (like the students, as Dobranski suggests), the very fact that the school is losing means that Dobranski should be fired. Dobranski is ultimately responsible for how the team is going, and if it's losing, Dobranski needs to be removed and a fresh face needs to be made dean. That's the way to instill confidence and to get a new start.

The same argument can be said for the faculty's "no confidence" in Dobranski. Set aside who is more blameworthy or which side is right in the faculty-administration dispute. No matter who is to blame, it is a fact that that there is significant faculty no-confidence in Dobranski. This very fact means Dobranski should resign or be removed, because he is the leader of the faculty, and cannot effectively lead without their confidence.

AMSL is in turmoil, there is no confidence in the leadership, and our AMSL team is losing the Bar passage game with the other Michigan law schools. It doesn't matter who is to blame for this. A leadership change is required NOW.