VOTE: Was it a good decision to fire Sayreville HS football coach George Najjar?
History recounts that President Harry Truman used to have a plaque on his desk in the oval office that read, “The buck stops here!”
It did then, and it does now – in the case of George Najjar, now former head coach of the Sayreville War Memorial Bombers football team.
Amidst last year’s hazing scandal that rocked the community, one thing was made certain.
That while Coach Najjar would never have tolerated the actions of the upperclassmen accused in the hazing scandal, his not knowing of their actions pretty much sealed his fate.
I’ve said this a number of times that I’m friendly with a family member of his – and was reminded of another incident that happened during his watch as coach of the Abraham Lincoln HS Honest Abes that he immediately put a stop to.
His attitude then was the same as his predecessor’s at Lincoln – in that they kept the awar from locker area at arm’s length.
This time however, whatever the philosophy, it didn’t work out.
According to this report:one of his former players said that Najjar kept his distance, allowing his players to run the room.
“He just let the team develop its own dynamic and honestly I could see how that could turn out badly or it could turn out well.” “We had a pretty good group of kids. We had leadership on the team that wanted to win and didn’t want to horse around.”
Unfortunately, not this time around.
As this was his habit to not hang around the locker area, somehow he'd gotten wind that something was amiss, and told his players prior to the announcement of the season’s cancellation that he could no longer count on them to behave when he wasn’t around.
“I had full trust in you and I shouldn’t be in there with you,” the player told NJ Advance Media. “But now if you guys are in there screwing around, I have to be in there with you.”
A true leader understands that, at the end of the day, whether intentional or not, when something of this magnitude happens, he (or she) will be the one taken to task – and that no one is made of Teflon.
But true leaders understand that.
And I’m sure Najjar would agree with that – heartbroken though he is.