The tough part is trying to prioritize. Do you think about your players first? The program? Your family, your wife? What about your life?
That's the most important question.
|Terry Hoeppner's contract has a clause which could void the deal if he is permanently disabled. (US Presswire)|
"I just tried to stay as active as I could and tried keep things off my mind," said Jerry Kill, the coach at I-AA Southern Illinois who had part of a kidney removed last year. "The less I thought about it, the better."
Kill now wonders how Indiana coach Terry Hoeppner is dealing with his cancer.
Hoeppner, 59, hasn't been seen publicly since February. He is on his third medical leave from the program while recuperating from September brain surgery, his second such procedure within 10 months.
There are thoughts and prayers for the much-admired Hoeppner but some tough decisions must be made soon. Will Hoeppner ever return? If not, who will be the coach?
For now, offensive coordinator Bill Lynch is the interim.
Hoeppner's contract contains a clause -- common to most coaching contracts -- stating his deal could be voided if he is permanently disabled.
Raising those issues might seem callous. But the program demands attention. The season kicks off in less than three months.
Hoeppner's two seasons at IU have created a whirlwind of hope on the field. Indiana came within a victory of being bowl eligible in 2006. There is better recruiting and young talent for a program that hasn't been to a bowl game since 1993.
If only Hoeppner could get back on the field.
Indiana athletic director Rick Greenspan told the Indianapolis Star this week: "Obviously we're concerned, and the longer he is out, the more concerned we get about his return or his ability to return."