The Fairest Criticism of Kalani Sitake
When I was in school at Utah State my part-time job was substitute teacher (!)
They let any schmuck off the street teach their children up there, K-12. It's incredible.
One of my first days was at Logan high school teaching 9th graders. I went in casual. Cool. Had some fun trivia games and stuff I was going to play. I was in a great mood. Kid's were gonna love my approach. Thirty minutes into my first period, kids were standing on their desks throwing paper balls at each other. They were listening to music, playing cards etc...Eventually a teacher from across the hall came in and said WHAT IS GOING ON IN HERE?!"
What they told me was kids crave structure. They need authority. And they'll actually hate you more if you try and be loose and fun. It always backfires.
Eventually I got more authoritative. Yelled at kids all the time. And we had more fun that way. It's counter intuitive.
We've talked a lot about BYU football. Contrasting the Mendenhall era with the Sitake era. If there's one criticism of Sitake it's that in year 7, a majority of BYU fans were begging for Mr. Serious Bronco Mendenhall back! A guy who was Mr. Boring and Mediocre his last few years. They craved that authority figure. Not the love and learn. Not the great culture. Just a grab-you-by-the-facemask type of coach.
BYU got Jay Hill and Kelly Poppinga who should be great. But how are those guys going to function within a program which is run much differently than the ones they came from. And why is Jeff Grimes, or Ed Lamb or now Jay Hill expected to come in and assume the role of 'bad cop' to Sitake's 'good cop'. The love and learn approach goes up in smoke in a season like this one was.
Everybody loves Sitake, and he is a 'made-man' at BYU after winning 21 games in 2020 and 2021, but you can't have players standing up throwing paper at each other when you're losing by 30 to Kansas State (or Liberty) on the road.