Yesterday one of the students I coach asked me a
question about criminal constitutional rights -- how long can a cop detain you
at a Terry stop if you choose not to answer any of his questions? I had no idea
how to answer. If you do, it would help me look smart.
And also yesterday I thought about the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, of all things, during an athletic department meeting when we were discussing whether the athletic department should have a uniform policy across teams that addresses alcohol abuse among players, or whether the university's policy was sufficient, or whether individual coaches should each set their own policies. The circularity and repetition during the athletic department conversation made me long for my days as a lawyer. It's an interesting and important and complicated discussion -- how coaches model and enforce codes of social behavior on their teams, the benefits of uniformity and consistency versus the value of discretion and individualized responses, the effectiveness of the college's policy and its enforcement on campus, the risk that a hard-line policy would drive abuse underground and close off the chance for players to give coaches tips about who on their team needed help or support or monitoring -- and it was full of passion and divergent views that were worth listening to. But it went around and around and veered off topic, too. A roomful of lawyers would have managed the discussion differently, and used different words. I suspect a roomful of lawyers wouldn't make better decisions on the topic. But they would have sounded more articulate and been way way more organized when talking about it.