CORAL GABLES, FL — Over the summer, former Miami Hurricanes head coach Larry Coker found himself watching several hours of basic cable television each day. It was during one of the three hundred and forty two different airings of the hit comedy “Major League” that Coker had his revelation.
“I was sitting on my sofa, enjoying a delicious fruit smoothie from Orange Julius, thinking of ways to improve my team” recounted the personable yet unemployed Coker, “I thought to myself, if I put a life-sized cut-out of (Miami University president) Donna Shalala, in our locker room, and each week, if we won, we could peel away a layer of clothing, ultimately revealing Ms. Shalala in her birthday suit, that this would fire-up the boys making them want to go out and win games.” Which it didn’t.
Unfortunately, the cardboard likeness of Shalala had just the opposite effect. Many players stated that they had expressed to Coker the cut-out was making them feel uncomfortable and even ill on occasion, and some even suggested that if they won the game, layers of clothing could be put back on the already overexposed school president.
“Do you know how creepy it feels to have some half-naked old woman standing there, staring at you as you change your clothes?” asked the visibly shaken Hurricane quarterback Kyle Wright, “I do and all that cardboard cut-out did was make me revisit that horrible time in my life, each and every day.”
Others stated that the naked Shalala did indeed have on-the-field ramifications, just not quite how Coker had envisioned.
“I’d look up at the scoreboard and we would be ahead by two touchdowns,” remembered Miami lineman Antonio Reyes, “then I would imagine coach slowly peeling away another piece of clothing from that thing, all of the sudden, I became frightened. I just didn’t feel like playing. I’m not saying that I ever let a game get away on purpose but I sure didn’t do what I could to win it.”
“I just don”t get it” said Coker, “it worked so beautifully in the movie. I’m not sure what was missing”.
One thing is for sure, the players haven’t be missing the naked Shalala in the locker room.