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Ohioans Should be Embarrassed By Fickell's Feckless Phrases

Luke Fickell Could Benefit from a Grammar Course at the University of Cincinnati


Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell has many concerns heading into the college football season, as he tries to once again lead his team to the final four of the Football Bowl Championship Series. Most of the staff of professors cannot be of any assistance to Fickell when it comes to having to decide on a new starting quarterback or replacing nine players who were drafted by the NFL, but the dozen or so instructors in UC's communications department could really be beneficial to the coach.

As is quite evident in an August 2 interview with Keith Jenkins of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Fickell obviously lacks even the most basic skills for clear communication. Somehow, in spite of a series of Fickell's redundancies and cliches, the reporter actually managed to provide insight about whether transfer Ben Bryant or local high school star Evan Prater could win the starting role behind the center.

Before he could get there, Jenkins was beset with what might be termed Fickell's Feckless Phrases.

“I definitely think going into camp it's definitely different this year,” Fickell stated. “This is a year where there's definitely a little bit more of an edge. There's definitely some unique battles.”

In a span of three short sentences, Fickell managed to squeeze in the empty adverb “definitely” four times. Underneath all of those useless definitely's, there is little information about the upcoming season.

Further quotes from the head coach added little to the reader, other than to reinforce Fickell's inadequacy at basic communication.

“Not that you're not battling every year,” he said. “There's competitions and all different things.”

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Double negatives have become so common that they are now mostly acceptable in the English-speaking world, but Fickell cannot be forgiven for his indiscretion in the first sentence of the preceding quote. He resorts to using the adverb “not” twice in a span of just four words, forcing the reader to do a double take to get around the double negative.

The second half of the quote is not quite as bad, even though it still contains a basic taboo in our language. He employs a singular verb (there is) with a plural subject (competitions and all different things), once again causing his literate fans to stumble as they read.

While we Ohioans can be proud of his many accomplishments regarding football, his lack of basic grammatical usage should be an embarrassment to the Buckeye State. He went to high school at St. Francis Desale in Columbus, where he obviously failed to master the basic of English.

Nor did his language skills improve at Ohio State, where he excelled on the football field. When he became a college coach for the first time, a position where one could benefit from possessing communication skills, another Ohio educational institution (the University of Akron) failed to improve Fickell's grammar.

Years later, after a coaching stint at prestigious Ohio State, Fickell landed a high-paying contract to lead the Cincinnati Bearcats. He has certainly managed to elevate the football program with his gridiron smarts, but he has been an embarrassment to Ohio's educational system in regards to his grammatical ability.

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