Lying is the performance-enhancing drug that you don't have to buy.
People do it to build themselves up and morph into somebody they're
really not. It might make them bigger in the eyes of some people, but
eventually the plug gets pulled and the liars end up like the athletes who
come off the juice: smaller, weaker, and with damage that can never
Five weeks ago, Yale head football coach Tom Williams stuck a needle
in his biography and tried to pump himself up like Bill Belichick.
Williams claimed he had been a Rhodes Scholarship candidate
when he was in college at Stanford. However, a report in the New
York Times quoted an official from the Rhodes Trust saying they had
no record of Williams ever applying for the prestigious scholarship.
Yale began an internal investigation and the rest, (And Williams)
as they say, was history. After just three years at the Ivy League
school, Williams turned in his resignation.
The stunning resignation came almost 10 years to the day that
George O'Leary resigned from Notre Dame in disgrace. O'Leary
spent five days in his dream job, but it turned into a nightmare when
it was discovered that he had "padded" his resume with lies.
O'Leary said he earned a master's degree from a college that
didn't exist and also claimed to be a three-year letterman at the
University of New Hampshire, when in fact, he had never played
a single game for the Wildcats.
O'Leary's lies put the spotlight on resume fudging and sent
coaches all around the country into their school's media relations
departments to "edit" their biographies and profiles. That was
2001, a time when the Internet was just warming up. So you
can forgive Williams if he wasn't logged on and aware of O'Leary's
downfall. It was either that, or that fact that he was buried knee
deep in term papers.
O'Leary never fully recovered from his lies and ungraceful
exit from Notre Dame. Oh, sure, he's enjoyed a nice career
at Central Florida. Unfortunately, it's always going to be,
"George O'Leary's a good coach, but....." He can shower
100 times a day but he's never going to rinse away the stigma
associated with the lies that cost him the job at Notre Dame.
Williams may never recover, and if he does, it will be a slow
and a painful process. There will always be the snickers from
strangers, the friends who look away when they see you coming,
and the countless job rejections that have nothing to do with
Besides lying about being a Rhodes Scholarship candidate,
Williams was outed for fibbing about his football background.
In his original bio at Yale, he stated that he was on the practice
squad of the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers in 1993. However,
that was also proven not to be the case. That's not really all that
unusual, though. If I had a dime for every juiced up, ex-Division
II football player who told me he played with an NFL team but
was cut in training camp or was the last one released or didn't
make the team because of an injury, I'd be a millionaire. It's one
thing to misrepresent yourself in a bar or on Facebook, it's quite
another to do it at an institution of higher learning.
Like steroid users, people who lie don't believe they'll ever
got caught. With Google, instant background checks, and
everything else you get on the Internet, it makes no sense to
even try to lie about your history. People will find out.
Throw in Twitter and Facebook and there is always someone
who knew someone who knew you didn't do the things you
said you did. Tom Williams lied. Someone found out about it.
He got fired. History repeated itself. Again.