(Editor's note: This story originally was posted to CSNChicago.com on Sept. 7, 2011. With the Hoosiers in the Sweet 16 of this year's NCAA Tournament, we thought we'd breathe second life into the piece.)
We too often hear about the negatives in the sports world including celebrities who far too many times fail to lend a helping hand when they are presented with a chance to make an impact on someone’s life. However, when someone of note goes above and beyond the call it's important to let people know about it and the impact that it had on someone’s life.
Today, I received a call about Indiana basketball coach Tom Crean who is considered to be one of the better young coaches in the game and also one of the most focused and intense. The caller told me the story of a young man who is a freshman at Indiana and was finding his adjustment to college a difficult one. Crean saw the young man sitting in the lobby of the basketball practice facility recently and noticed him a couple of times as he went in and out of the basketball offices. He also noticed that the young man appeared to be very upset.
Crean invited the student into his office and proceeded to hear his story and counseled the young man on how difficult the transition to college can be and encouraged him to stick with it. He also introduced the student to the rest of his staff and he got him an opportunity to work around the basketball program as a member of the athletic department.
The young man had turned off his cell phone after telling his parents that he needed to take a walk and think and his parents were very worried when they were unable to reach him. When Crean inquired as to whether the young man had spoken with his parents recently the young man said no. Crean called the parents, gave them his personal contact information and told them he would look out for their son. After arranging for a job in the athletic department the young man is reported to be doing very well and has adjusted to life away from home.
When I reached Crean today he didn’t want to comment, calling it a private matter but he did say that he hoped as the father of three kids that if the roles were reversed that someone would do something to help one of his kids should they be in a tough spot.
It's nice to hear that a celebrity who is also a father was there in a time of need and went way above and beyond the call of duty to impact a life. Congrats Tom Crean, the example you just sent should be a lesson to everyone.