Manhattan fell to Sienna, 81-68, on Sunday. Jaspers coach Steve Masiello was testy in his postgame press session. After being asked about having a young team that’s learning to play together, he launched into this societal takedown.
We’re a fraudulent society from top to bottom. Our society’s fraudulent. Everything about our society is edited. Everything about our society is prearranged so this generation is a fraudulent generation. And what I mean by that is they put their Instagram picture the way they want. They put their tweet out the way they want. Nothing is interactive. Nothing is real so when things don’t go the way people want them to, people really struggle with if it’s not 75 degrees and sunny and the stars aren’t aligned, if it’s not exactly 4 p.m., they didn’t get exactly eight hours of beauty sleep… young people today struggle with it. Our society struggles with that, and for me–I can’t speak for other coaches–I see it more than ever. When adversity comes in, people struggle. They’re not bad kids. This might be one of my favorite groups I’ve ever had. They struggle with adversity. They struggle with–that’s a byproduct of our society today, so I think we’re a reflection of our culture a little bit, not to get too deep.
Masiello is correct in saying young people, as a whole, carefully curate their online persona. He may be correct in his broad-brush painting of this younger generation and its inability to overcome adversity, depending on who you ask.
But, Masiello seems an odd messenger for such a message consider his own edited history. In 2014, he was eliminated from consideration for the South Florida job after he falsely stated he’d graduated from Kentucky on his resumé. He was reinstated at Manhattan only after completing his degree.
The irony and hypocrisy is easy to spot. It’s worth asking, however, if a past mistake like this invalidates all future opinions and renders his life lessons worthless. Manhattan clearly wants him to continue to mold players and to help them grow. If he’s not able to point out problems because he once slipped up, then he’s not coaching at full capacity.
If only faultless college coaches are allowed to offer instruction, we’re going to run out of coaches very quickly. Athletics, like life, are complicated.
For instance, Iowa coach Fran McCaffery may not be the ideal messenger to his team when it comes to maintaining composure, it’s still his job to keep them composed. His mission gets much harder with each one of his over-the-top blow-ups, but he won’t stop trying to send it just as Masiello will keep trying to instill perseverance in his squad.
And Masiello probably has a lot to offer in terms of real-world action in that department. The stuff on fraud and editing, however, can’t be expected to carry the same punch.