Column: The Lesson Youth Sports Parents Need To Take From “Coach Frogg” Arrest

I want to talk about keeping our young athletes safe from sexual predators.


This week audio surfaced of one of the most notorious private coaches in the country making inappropriate remarks to a young girl. He seemed to be asking her to go to the movies, and rebuking her for saying no.


That coach was Chris Flores, who also goes by Coach Frogg. 


Coach Frogg was the co-founder of Stars Academy, and the co-founder of Levels Sports Group– an arrangement that allowed him to train some of the most elite young athletes in California, and then move them into a business relationship to help them secure Name, Image and Likeness deals. He was a well connected individual, and the key word here is ‘was.’


Coach Frogg went from throwing sessions with Patrick Mahomes, and hanging out in Tuscaloosa with Nick Saban, to getting booked on multiple counts of sexual assault of a minor.

Coach Chris “Frogg” Flores with Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban


He went from having a stable of prep, college and NFL clients, including some of the top ranked players in this year’s graduating class, and the defending Heisman and Biletnikoff winners, to having his mugshot spread nationwide.
The man has thrown away more than can fit in a dumpster.


Police are saying they expect multiple additional victims to come forward, and if you’ve been following the case as it unfolds, you know that Coach Frogg is no stranger to accusations of impropriety within the California youth sports community.


Every time something like this happens, communities come together in shock. They grieve for the victims, and then re-litigate what could have been done to prevent the tragedy of having a disgusting evil loser prey on their children’s aspirations, and rob them of their innocence.


You always hear people say “I never expected this in my community,” but at this point, why shouldn’t you? If you Googled “Coach arrested” this week to get information about the Chris Flores case, you would have had to sort through stories in Indiana, Montana, Florida, Pennsylvania and Colorado just to get to this one. 

Look, Not only am I a father, I’m a father of several kids playing youth sports at a high level right here in California. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always know the best way to challenge or support my kids in their athletic pursuits. 
I do know that I was taught that better competition means better results, so it makes complete sense to me that there’s an Academy where the best of the best can sharpen each other’s skills. And as long as it’s what your kid wants to do, and as long as it’s not taking away from their time to be a kid, I’m not going to tell another parent that they’re in the wrong.


But I do want parents of young athletes to take a moment to examine their hearts, and ask themselves if their motives might create an opportunity for blind spots when it comes to having people with bad intent around their children.
We’re all smart enough to tell our kids not to take candy from a stranger with a windowless van, but if that candy is stars or scholarships or NIL money, some of us will pick up our kids and throw them into the van ourselves.

Listen up, moms and dads- As long as your kids have you, they’re going to be just fine. A private coach can help skill development and open doors, but they’re not the golden ticket- you are.

Too many parents look at the time and resources they put into their kids’ athletic success as an investment. Your child isn’t an IRA. Time and money spent on a child is a sunk cost, not an investment.


Your satisfaction with your child, or their experience, should never be dependent on what you get back for the time, money, or energy you put behind them. 


We all know people that lost big money by trying to come up on risky investments. Maybe they took that risk because they could afford it. Maybe they took that risk because they didn’t want to be left out of a gold rush. But when they lose, there’s always a moment where the warning signs along the way come into focus. It’s one thing to have regret about your portfolio- it’s another when that regret comes at the expense of the safety of your flesh and blood.


People are willing to ignore that a guy like Coach Frogg is out here like a 1990’s Puff Daddy dancing in his artist’s videos, as equally devoted to his own personal branding as he is the success of his clients, because they don’t want to be left behind. 


People are willing to ignore the impropriety of a 37-year-old man making TikToks with middle school girls, because they don’t want to be left behind. 


People are willing to let their daughters have unmonitored phone conversations with an adult male coach, because they don’t want to be left behind.


You never know when your kids’ playing days are going to end, but trust me on this- they will end. Your sons and daughters are going to be much better off in the long run without you ignoring your gut to keep up with the Joneses because you want a good return on your investment.


Remind yourself, and your kids, that their worth to you isn’t dependent on what they accomplish. And for God’s sake, be their parent above trying to be their friend. Stay in their business. Monitor who they talk to and where they go. Don’t be afraid to outline your expectations directly with their school, their coach, or their friend group, or the other parents so that the village raising the children can be on the same page.


Is it comfortable to have a conversation with your kid or their coach about what is and is not appropriate? Hell no. But if you’re in a situation to have a private coach, you’ve already indicated to your kids that you expect them to leave comfort behind for the sake of growth. The least you could do is get uncomfortable along with them.


Let that sink in.

Wrighster Reacts: Serena Williams is the GOAT and Shouldn’t Compare Herself to Tom Brady

We need to talk about is the competitive fire that has Serena Williams looking at a 45-year old Tom Brady and feeling like her career is in any way less than complete.


As a spectator and consumer of women’s sports, and a fan of excellence, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel like I was missing out on something every time an elite female athlete has to take a year off to grow and birth another human being. 


It makes complete sense to me that Serena Williams would struggle to reconcile two of the best things in her life. The idea that because she’s a woman, parenthood takes away from the potential of athletic greatness is something I’ve never had to even consider. 


That’s what brings me to my point. Maybe we, and by we I’m including Serena Williams, shouldn’t be looking at the physical labor of expanding a family as an unfair gender dynamic that leaves male athletes in a more admirable position to achieve longevity and maximize their potential.


Maybe we should look at it as proof that female athletes like Serena Williams, Candace Parker, Allison Felix and everyone else that has managed to not only return to form after pregnancy, but actually improve, are actually the pinnacle of athletic accomplishment. 


Maybe the next time Tom Brady retires, we should be hearing him make aspirational references to the accomplishments of Serena Williams instead of the other way around. 


Or maybe we don’t need to compare the greats at all. Maybe we can just chalk this up to the same competitive fire from Serena that would have her throw a second place trophy in the trash rather than put it on display in her home. 
Serena isn’t second to anyone. She’s one of one. And as her career winds down, I hope she can make peace with the idea that if anyone can say they had it all, it was her.


Let that sink in.

Reaction to the Mar-A-Lago FBI Raid Shows People Only ‘Back the Blue’ When it Suits Them

We need to talk about the FBI raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Home.


Yesterday the FBI made a surprise visit to the 45th President’s South Florida home, reportedly looking for classified documents that the Trump administration failed to turn over. 


It’s an unbelievable and unprecedented event for many reasons, who would have ever thought that the Feds would be raiding the home of not only a former president, but an individual that has a realistic probability of being the next president.


 That is, as long as Florida governor Ron DeSantis doesn’t split the party by running in 2024.


The real reason that this FBI raid feels so unbelievable, is that after 7 years of the Trump administration stumbling their way into legal trouble, either through ignorance or incompetence, it was starting to feel like the family was invincible. 


Despite a laundry list of people that committed crimes in the process of either trying to get Donald Trump elected, trying to protect him while he was in office, or capitalizing on his presidency with an illegal grift (Shout out to Steve Bannon), it was never a member of the Trump family that had to be incarcerated or pardoned.


Not when payments were made to various women to discourage disclosures of affairs.


Not when a case could be made that the administration obstructed the investigation into Michael Flynn.


Not when the administration used the office of the president to promote commercial products manufactured by supporters.


Not when people seeking pardons were directly hiring one of Donald Trump’s attorneys to grease the wheels.


Not when a case could be made that firing James Comey was an obstruction to an investigation into Russian interference.


Not when the administration clearly pressured the Georgia Secretary of State to overturn election results.


And not, maybe until now, when the administration held onto classified documents, and turned over already destroyed documents to the National Archive and Records Administration.


After seven years of seeming invincibility, they’re gonna get this man over some paperwork.


And let’s be honest- they better get this man. You already have tens of millions of Americans that have convinced themselves that not only are we on the brink of civil war, but that they’re firmly on team Trump once the shooting starts. If nothing comes from this FBI raid, the people that believe there’s a Deep State whose sole purpose is to keep the Trump from draining the swamp, the same people that hold Ashli Babbitt up as a martyr, are going to make life in this country absolute hell.


And if there is a red-hat rebellion, you better believe those people that have spent the better part of the last seven years calling for law and order when it comes to Hillary Clinton’s emails, Hunter Biden’s substance abuse, Nancy Pelosi’s bank account, Asylum seekers at the border, Brittany Griner in a Russian airport, Eric Garner, Mike Brown and George Floyd at convenience stores, or a 12-year-old Tamir Rice on goddamn playground, will abandon their back-the-blue principles in the name of their orange savior just like Ashli Babbit did.


Because if we’re being honest, support for law enforcement from the populist right has never been about the welfare of the people behind the badge. To them, protect and serve means ‘protect me,’ and ‘serve me.’


Cops take three months to make an arrest in the Ahmaud Arberry murder case because they took the word of the killers? Unbothered. Back the blue. But let cops attempt to stop Trump supporters from hunting down the Vice President? Back the Blue becomes black and blue real quick.


When Donald Trump said he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody without losing support, it wasn’t a metaphor. And if that scenario did play out in reality, do you think Trump’s most aggressive supporters would simply let a homicide detective slap cuffs on the Donald?


I’m not out here to cape for the FBI. That organization has done nothing to deserve anyone’s unrelenting support, and some of the people on the left that are cheering them on right now were almost certainly criticizing them a couple of years ago for failing to act on a tip about Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz. There’s a chance the Feds screw this up, and I hope they understand the full gravity and danger of pursuing a case against a former president in a country that is already at a boiling point.


To quote Omar Little, “You Come at the King, You Best Not Miss.


Let that sink in.

Cale Gundy is Out At Oklahoma After Using N Word, Wrighster Reacts

We need to talk about Cale Gundy.


The University of Oklahoma WR coach, who has spent 28 of the last 32 years either playing for or coaching at Oklahoma, abruptly resigned this weekend after using the n word in a team meeting. 


Gundy says he noticed a player not paying attention in a team meeting, and he took the players’ iPad and read what was on the screen out loud. 


According to Gundy, it was not intentional, and he immediately apologized. 


Before we get into whether Cale Gundy should still have a job, we need to acknowledge some universal truths:


1) White people shouldn’t be saying that word. Ever. 


2) White people that want to have a conversation in my mentions about whether it’s a double standard that black people can use that word need to stop wasting time and energy and refer back to number one. 


If you didn’t want us to have that word for ourselves, then your ancestors shouldn’t have given it to us. Throw a seance and take it up with them. 


How and when that word is used now is black people’s business. You don’t own the issue, and going out of your way to try and own the issue makes it seem like that’s not the only thing you wish you owned.


3) Of course intent matters, but that’s not Cletus or Billy Bob to adjudicate. This is an issue for the current black players and black alumni to sort out- not just about whether Clay Gundy should continue to coach, but whether he’ll continue to be a presence in their lives. 


I believe in second chances, but I’m not in the Oklahoma receivers room. 


Joe Mixon, who is enjoying his NFL career right now after receiving a pretty big second chance himself, wrote an impassioned letter defending Gundy. 


Many others seemed to rush to Gundy’s defense, but Gundy has decided for himself, unless there’s some internal pressure from Oklahoma that we haven’t heard about, that he needs to step away from his role. 


Cale Gundy is taking accountability for his mistake on a much deeper level than Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley has, or Former TCU Head Coach and current Texas assistant Gary Patterson, or even his own brother Mike Gundy, who reportedly used that language maliciously toward University of Colorado players back in his playing days at Oklahoma State.

At this point, instances of white coaches using the n word has happened frequently enough that it’s time for football coaches to do the thing they’re best known for- prepare and plan. 
I realize that in Gundy’s case, if you believe him, you can’t prepare for a Ron Burgundy teleprompter moment, but for the rest of the white coaches out there, it’s time to take note of this trend and train your mouths and minds on what might cost you your career, divide your fan base, your locker room, and negatively affect your university’s ability to recruit.


Let that sink in.

Pac-12 Apostles: Media Day Recap, Interviews with Cam Rising, Dan Lanning, Yogi Roth, Chip Kelly

On this Episode of the Pac-12 Apostles, George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden react to the biggest storylines and best quotes to come out of Pac-12 Media Day, including George Kliavkoff’s “shopping” comments about the Big-12. Featuring interviews with Utah QB Cam Rising, UCLA Head Coach Chip Kelly, Oregon Head Coach Dan Lanning, and Pac-12 Network star Yogi Roth.

Breakdown:

Intro

-Conference games in L.A. post USC/UCLA exodus? (7:40)

-What can the Pac-12 do to hang on to the rest of its schools? (11:40)

-Impressions of Kyle Whittingham and Utah (17:00)

-Impressions of Dan Lanning and Oregon (19:11)

-George Kliavkoff “shopping” comments about the Big-12 (21:40)

-Impressions of Kalen DeBoer and Washington (29:20)

-Impressions of Karl Dorrell and Colorado (32:20)

-George Wrighster Interview with Utah QB Cam Rising (34:00)

-Impression of Jedd Fisch and Arizona (38:00)

-Impressions of David Shaw and Stanford (42:15)

-Impressions of Herm Edwards and Arizona State (44:40)

-Impressions of Washington State, Cal and Oregon State (49:00)

-George Wrighster Interview with UCLA Head Coach Chip Kelly (53:00)

-Impressions of Lincoln Riley and USC (1:03:00)

-George Wrighster Interview with Oregon Head Coach Dan Lanning (1:08:50)

-George Wrighster Interview with Pac-12 Network’s Yogi Roth (1:14:45)

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Who are the Pac-12 Apostles?

The Pac-12 Apostles is a podcast for fans who love the Pac-12 conference. George Wrighster and Ralph Amsden are committed to the honest and fair conversation about the conference. Join us by becoming a Pac-12 Apostle. Subscribe and share the podcast.

Please leave a rating and review of our podcast on iTunes! We record a podcast once a week with emergency episodes when necessary. Our podcasts are always heavy on Pac-12 football. But we make it a point to also try and cover the other notable Men’s and Women’s Pac-12 sports. We cover recruiting and any other major storyline in the Pac-12 universe.

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and long-time NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, and analyst, who is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014. Through years of playing college football, covering bowl games, coaching changes, and scandals, he has a great pulse for the conference and national perspective.

Ralph Amsden is a sportswriter and podcaster. He is the publisher of Rivals’ ArizonaVarsity.com, and was previously the managing editor of the Arizona State University Rivals affiliate, DevilsDigest.com. Wyoming born, Arizona raised, and now based in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and four kids, Amsden made his mark in Arizona sports media through investigative reporting, and being one of the first people to leverage social media and the podcast medium to grow his platform. In addition to his podcasts, he is the Content Director for UnafraidShow.com. Ralph might be sub-.500 in spousal disputes and schoolyard fights, but whether the topic is food, movies, music, parenting, politics, sports, television, religion, or zoological factoids, he’s always UNAFRAID to square up.

George Wrighster Looks At The ESPN FPI, Says ‘Get Ready For A Wide Open College Football Season’

We need to talk about the upcoming college football season.


Has there ever been a year where things felt this unpredictable and wide open? At this point, preseason rankings are about as solid as USC and UCLA’s commitment to the Pac-12.


Let’s take ESPN’s Football Power Index rankings


It’s no surprise that Alabama and Ohio State are ranked #1 and #2, but one thing we learned last year is that Superman can actually bleed. The Crimson Tide lost a conference game against Texas A&M, and Ohio State finally saw its dominant streak over Jim Harbaugh and Michigan come to a close. 


Georgia sits at #3, and while Kirby Smart says they’re the hunters and not the hunted, he’s going hunting without last year’s defensive coordinator Dan Lanning, and FIFTEEN of last year’s players were selected in the 2022 NFL Draft.
At #4 you have Clemson, which hasn’t settled on a starting QB, lost their defensive coordinator to Oklahoma, and is attempting to exist in the transfer portal era without participating in it. 


At #5, Notre Dame has itself a first time head coach in Marcus Freeman, who has replaced nearly the entire offensive staff, and is staring down a schedule that includes Ohio State and USC on the road, and an early November game hosting Clemson.


At #6, Michigan is coming off its best season under Jim Harbaugh, but they’ve got four coaches filling two coordinator roles, and three of them are in their first year on the job. That’s a lot of cooks in the kitchen.


At #7 you have a team that has finished the regular season .500 or lower FIVE TIMES IN THE LAST NINE YEARS, including last season. That’s right. Texas is in the top 7. 


At #8 you have a team that has a brand new head coach, brand new offensive coordinator, and will be starting its third QB in the last two years- the Oklahoma Sooners. 


#9 is the Miami Hurricanes and new Head Coach Mario Cristobal- and Mario’s my guy, but his offenses at Oregon didn;t exactly set the world on fire, and outside of the QB position, the Hurricane offense looks to be in rebuild mode. 

And rounding out the top 10 ESPN FPI FAH-MAH-LAY is Brian Kelly and the LSU Tigers. 3-5 in SEC play last year, and questions at QB, on the offensive line, and in the defensive backfield. 


I don’t see a sure thing anywhere in the bunch. All of these teams have warts, and before you try to argue that I’m just being negative, or trying to convince myself that Oregon has a path to the playoff (when I know we have Utah to worry about), believe me when I say that the fact that the sport seems more wide open than it has in recent years is actually a very good thing!


Hope drives this sport, and if you’re outside the top 10 of ESPN’s FPI, you might just have more hope than you’ve had in a long time.


Let that sink in.

Miami Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross Takes a Page Out of Donald Trump’s Playbook

We need to talk about Stephen Ross

Back in July 2019, one month before Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross started tampering by contacting Tom Brady while he was under contract with the New England Patriots, Donald Trump made one of the most shrewd political decisions of his presidency.


In July 2019 Donald Trump declared himself exonerated by the Robert Mueller investigation into whether Russia tampered in the 2016 election, and whether Trump had any knowledge or involvement in it.
Was Donald Trump exonerated by the Mueller report?


Absolutely not


But his supporters took his declaration as gospel, and the investigation is largely remembered as a waste of time.
Did it matter that anyone following the 2016 election watched Donald Trump publicly ask Russia to hack and surface Hilary Clinton’s missing emails? 


Of course not. 


You might be asking yourself, ‘why is George talking about Donald Trump?


Well, it seems to me that Stephen Ross was paying close attention to Trump’s ‘declaration of victory no matter what’ strategy, because NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell just released the results of an investigation in which he said ‘The investigators found tampering violations of unprecedented scope and severity,’ and in response to the investigation, Stephen Ross said ‘The independent investigation cleared our organization of any issues related to tanking.’


Did the NFL’s investigation exonerate Stephen Ross and the Miami Dolphins of anything?
let’s check the tape-


The investigation states that Stephen Ross REPEATEDLY told his team CEO, General Manager, Vice President, and head coach Brian Flores that he thought they should prioritize draft position over winning.
And what does ‘prioritizing draft position’ look like?


Losing. It looks like losing.


Roger Goodell actually commends Brian Flores in the investigation’s findings for not letting Stephen Ross’ comments affect his commitment to winning, and doing his best, in spite of Stephen Ross, to make the Dolphins competitive.


Roger Goodell is saying that Brian Flores KEPT the Dolphins from tanking, and Stephen Ross is using that fact to declare that because the Dolphins didn’t do what he asked, that he’s not only innocent, but that Brian Flores was false, malicious, and defamatory for bringing Ross’ attempt to intentionally tank out into the light.


Maybe Stephen Ross offering $100,000 to Brian Flores per loss was a joke, just like it’s possible Donald Trump looking onto a camera and asking Russia to interfere in the election was a joke, but that doesn’t make either party as innocent as they’ve declared themselves to be.


Look, Stephen. You might be rich like Donald, live in South Florida like Donald, and have a complicated relationship with Tom Brady like Donald- but that’s where the comparisons between you and The Donald end. He’s actually won something. All you’ve ever done is apparently purposefully try to do the opposite.


You might be out here declaring yourself exonerated, but you aren’t dealing with MAGA supporters that will bend over backwards to believe you. Your team’s fans don’t even like you. You’re not just going to be remembered as a loser that didn’t give your head coach or franchise quarterback a fair shake.


You’re going to be remembered as an INTENTIONAL loser.


Let that sink in.

Deshaun Watson’s 6-Game Suspension Definitely Isn’t Justice, But Is It The Right Move?

We need to talk about Deshaun Watson’s six game suspension.


Now this may be a controversial take, but I think six games makes sense. 


Is six games right? Hell no. Nothing about this is right. But we’re not here to talk about right and wrong. We’re here to judge the wisdom of arbitrator, former federal judge Sue L. Robinson, and the penalty she handed down given all the evidence and testimony available to her. 


Ezekiel Elliot and Ben Roethlisberger’s suspensions set the precedent here. As absurd as it is to realize that Deshaun Watson got the same suspension as Deandre Hopkins got for a trace amount of PEDs, or that Calvin Ridley’s suspension is three times longer over a bet he made when he was injured, as an actual arbitrator, you can’t cross-compare violations of NFL policy. 


Justice and fairness are not going to align.


Justice would look like victims not having to choose between accountability under the law, and monetary compensation. 


Justice would look like the Houston Texans organization having to answer for their culpability and active participation in Deshaun Watson’s extracurricular massage activities. 


Justice would look like Deshaun Watson getting his day in court in the event that even one of his accusers invented accusations for financial gain. 


Nobody in this situation is going to get what is just. 


So we’re left with the awful task of having to determine, using prior precedent, what might be fair according to the details that we have. 


Right or wrong, Deshaun Watson has not been charged with a crime. Right or wrong, Deshaun Watson has not publicly admitted to any specific instance of forcing anyone to do anything against their will. Right or wrong, the large majority of Deshaun Watson’s accusers have opted to settle their civil dispute with him without a trial. Right or wrong, in this country, and in this culture, the option of actually charging an alleged perpetrator of sexual impropriety or violence against women is up to the discretion of the prosecutor, not the public. 


Deshaun Watson, like Ezekiel Elliot, had accusations reported to law enforcement that did not result in an indictment. Deshaun Watson, like Ben Roethlisberger, is being suspended on the basis of the recklessness of his behavior, and not as an acknowledgement of the validity of the accusations against him.


Some of you listening to this might be on the complete opposite side, saying how can a man’s livelihood be taken from him when there’s been no criminal indictment? And I hear you.

The truth is that we live in a world where an overwhelming amount of instances of violence against women go unprosecuted, but we also live in the same world where a false rape accusation put Brian Banks in prison for six years and cost him everything. Anyone that can’t acknowledge that our system falls short for victims, but has also made victims of the falsely accused, is not a serious person.


Let me leave you with the words that NFL Commissioner wrote to Ben Roethlisberger 12 years ago, words that Deshaun Watson, regardless of whether he’s guilty or not, needs to hear.


…You are held to a higher standard as an NFL player, and there is nothing about your conduct… that can remotely be described as admirable, responsible, or consistent with either the values of the league or the expectations of our fans. Your conduct raises sufficient concerns that I believe effective intervention now is the best step for your personal and professional welfare.


Both Deshaun Watson and the public need to let that sink in.