I'll Say It Again: Hiring The Right Type of Jock Is Always The Smart Way to Go...
PREACH IT: White Dudes + Aliases = Nothing Good

READER MAIL: "Humble" Jocks Are Always Better Hires Than "Star" Jocks...

A longtime reader reacts to my post on hiring D2 and D3 jocks:

Well thought out Kris – I agree with you.  Two quick stories, one of which involves a former pro athlete (you didn’t go there, technically, but it follows the trend).

I worked for a VPHR who played college ball in the early 60’s for a Division II school.  He was a starter (point guard) BUT that was before schools started Dodgeball
giving away full scholarships.  Instead, their recruiting method was to help their players get jobs in the community.  He said that if he ever forgot who the star on the team was, all he had to think about were the jobs the school secured for them.  Their star center worked as a salesman for a car dealership.  In addition to his salary and generous commission for each vehicle sold, he got to drive a “Demo” sports car.  Sweet.  Jack was never destined for the pros.  I may have forgotten to mention this was at Indiana Evansville – so a rural area.  They found Jack a job in a meat packing plant, specifically the “Kill Floor”.  Jack always said it helped make him the HR professional he later became.  Jack was a good guy; great sense of humor, and always put the team’s needs first and instilled that in his “rookies” like some kid from Philly he hired.  Good guy; great mentor.

Later I went to work for a company and our CEO called me and said “Hey, I need you to get a new hire package together for a guy I met on a plane.  I offered him our Sales Manager job.  You’ll love him; he’s a former Philadelphia Eagle” (True Confession- football is my sport, not hoops – sorry, Buddy!).  He only had a cup of coffee for three years in the NFL as a Defensive lineman, but was a Division I college star as you describe below.  Naturally, I got him hooked up and we sent him off to do great things.  After 4 months, we nicknamed him “Elvis”.  That’s because we saw him around the office as often as you heard about “Elvis Sightings” at the local 7-11.  Now, to be fair, the company was a manufacturer of a long list of SKUs that we sold to a variety of industries which required a lot of travel.  But the best story about “Elvis” was when I had to investigate a sexual harassment complaint.  All those SKUs were managed internally by three different managers, coincidentally, all of them female.  One of them ran into him at a bar about 9 months after he started.  He apparently had a few too many to drink and proceeded to invite her to dance.  Then he invited her to the “VIP” (the bar really didn’t have one of those – most of us would call it an “alley”).  When she declined, he informed her of all the parts of her body that would enjoy an evening with him.  She left the bar and reported the behavior the next day.   But wait for it…… So then I go to talk to “Elvis”.  When I asked him about the evening in question and his comments he wanted to know how I knew he had been there and met a woman.  I informed him she was an employee.  He immediately apologized saying he didn’t realize that!  So then I informed him that not only was she an employee, but was supposed to be one of his key business partners and sort of (in a matrix kind of way) his “boss”.  He swore he had no idea who she was.   I’m going to go with that behavior as being selfish and unprofessional in my normal understated fashion……

Mic drop.  Peace out.  KD is right on all points.

Great stories and representative of my experiences as well.  Thanks CA!!!


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