I got a phone call from a friend on Wednesday. Before he would go forward with the call, he made me promise I wouldn’t disclose where he got the information he was about to tell me. That’s not unusual, and I gave my word.
As you know if you read this blog regularly, this is the time of year when scouts get fired. Despite what some people claim on Twitter, it’s not a knee-jerk reaction to some missed picks on draft weekend. In most cases, these changes were planned months ago, when there was a shift in power due to a new GM, a newly empowered head coach, a team looking to cut back, or whatever.
Anyway, my friend told me one of the 15-20 scouts who’s been shuffled out the door in the last couple weeks has a serious medical condition. It’s a brain tumor, in fact. I don’t have any details — I don’t know if it’s operable, or whether or not the scout has a contract that will pay him for another year(s) with attendant health insurance. All I know is that it’s a man with a family and serious medical questions clouding his future. My friend was beside himself.
“I mean, they knew he had a brain tumor,” he said. “They let him go anyway. It would have been so much easier to say, ‘we’re going to make a change, but we’re going to work this out.’ But they didn’t do that.”
My friend then told me I could do what I want with the information. I gotta say, I don’t quite know what to do.
First off, I don’t know the scout, and given that this is pretty sensitive information, I’m just not sure that it would be right to expose this. If we’re talking about a situation that can be handled quietly, it’s probably better to leave it alone. If it becomes widely known that he’s suffering with this condition, it probably makes him unemployable.
On the other hand, a team that would do something like this, well, it probably deserves to be exposed. But that’s hard to do given that I have one source on this, and really lack the fundamentals of the story. Without the team’s side of things, it’s hard to pick on them. What if they did take care of him? What if my friend lacks some key details?
So I’m in a bit of a quandary, but for what it’s worth, I don’t doubt what I was told. Scouts are generally seen as disposable. It’s a business, pure and simple, and just one more reason to choose wisely if you’re considering evaluation as your career path.
This is f*cking horrible. Please figure out a way to name the team. Public shame is the only thing that will work and they certainly deserve it. If nothing else, they could have made a nice gesture and paid his premiums under the ACA for say, 3 years, as part of his severance. A drop in the bucket to a billion+ dollar organization and he’d know the illness wasn’t going to bankrupt his family.
The never ending stream of sh*t about the NFL makes it harder and harder to be a fan.