Roy Williams and Kelvin Sampson have made a significant statement with their Playboy stance.
Two high-powered Big 12 Conference basketball coaches have sounded a note that is quite encouraging to the many people who are concerned about the nature of modern athletics.
Oklahoma coach Kelvin Sampson, who has been named Playboy Coach of the Year, has declined to pose for a photo shoot for the magazine. His position is similar to that of Kansas coach Roy Williams, who previous had turned down a chance to appear in Playboy.
However, two Kansas University players, Kirk Hinrich and Nick Collison, will be photographed and featured as Playboy All-Americans this year.
That may be fine for the players, but Williams, a man of high principle and morals, chose not to take part in the process. He is fully aware of the publicity and recruiting potential of such a "shoot," but he apparently isn't comfortable with the reputation of a "girlie magazine" which over the years has produced questionable text and photo layouts.
The highly acclaimed Kansas coach was following the lead of his former college coach, Dean Smith, a North Carolina icon with a Jayhawk heritage, who declined a Playboy invitation because his wife wasn't comfortable with the situation. Williams and wife, Wanda, clearly feel the same way, and apparently so does Sampson.
Over the years, the approach of many in the fields of athletics and entertainment has been, "I don't care what you say or write about me, just spell my name right." In other words, fame, attention, even notoriety at any cost.
It is so refreshing to find people of substance and achievement who refuse to subscribe to such foolishness, who choose to do the right thing rather than making the popular or attention-getting move.
It's been said that fame is epitomized by entertainment personality Madonna while success is represented by the courageous Helen Keller who overcame so many obstacles to achieve.
Roy Williams and Kelvin Sampson have done us a big favor by reminding that they are not susceptible to accepting the spotlight from just any source.