Really good visit with my old friend Ted Ginn yesterday. Our friendship began years ago when Coach Ginn had a vision about putting Glenville football on the map. Since that time Glenville football has become a nationally recognized football program. And, of course, with success comes a certain amount of jealousy. Perhaps some of it is justified, but Coach Ginn has provided inner city football players a "way out." Other Cleveland city programs are improving and bringing more and more college recruiters to their schools. Love him or not, Ted Ginn is a big part of this trend.
I remember when my oldest son was a member of a new little league team here in Upper Sandusky. The coach drafted six ten years old. The first year they won 3 games. The other teams, including parents, had fun playing our boys. The second year - seven -victories. However, as twelve year olds they were unbeaten and won everything. Sixteen victories. Of course, fans, and parents said that they won, only because they had six - twelve years old and forgot about their struggles as ten years old. Were they jealous-of course. Back to Ted Ginn.
Of course, Ted Ginn wants to win. Everybody does. But Ginn also wants to help kids be better citizens and survive in the real world.. Of course, the ugly word of recruiting comes up. Of course, test scores come up. Of course, the phrase - tremendous athlete, no discipline - is mentioned. Of course, lack of self discilpine is mentioned. But, you know, I am "lily-white" and grew-up in a farming community. Have never lived in a city, let alone, an "inner city." With that said, it is hard for me to be critical of a Glenville kid, or for that matter, any "inner city" young person. Never walked in those shoes.
Partly, because of what I do with football, I have very few problems communicating with any high school football players. Also, hopefully, I try to help "kids" be better and get recognized, rather than have "kids" help me to get more recognition. The Ted Ginns, the Doug Ramseys, the Jim Places, the Greg Millers, and the Ron Johnsons are among the many that make my job easier.
Over the years as a head football coach and as the "lone wolf" in my scouting service, I have met many coaches. Ted Ginn will always have my respect for what he does with young people, but, most importantly, he will always be my friend.