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Praising Hitler Ends Badly for Football Coach

Grand Valley State suspends Morris Berger after he lauds Der Fuhrer's leadership skills
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2020 1:09 PM CST
Grand Valley State's Terrell Dorsey runs the ball during a 2016 game.   (Nick Gonzales/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

(Newser) – "The way he was able to lead was second-to-none," a college football coach in Michigan said of Hitler. Now, his new job is in jeopardy. Days after he was announced as the offensive coordinator for the Grand Valley State Lakers Division II football team, Morris Berger was interviewed by the student-run Grand Valley Lanthorn and asked which historical figures unrelated to football he'd most like to have dinner with, per NBC News. "This is probably not going to get a good review, but I'm going to say Adolf Hitler," responded Berger, a former tight end coach at Texas State. "It was obviously very sad and he had bad motives, but the way he was able to lead was second-to-none. How he rallied a group and a following, I want to know how he did that. Bad intentions of course, but you can't deny he wasn't a great leader."

Berger—who majored in history at Missouri's Drury University before achieving a master's in educational psychology from Missouri State, notes Sports Illustrated—also said he would dine with John F. Kennedy, "being that he was a good president and everything," and explorer Christopher Columbus, who ventured "into the unknown." But it was his first choice that caught the attention of the university. It said Monday that Berger had been suspended amid "a thorough investigation" into his comments, "which do not reflect the values of Grand Valley State University." That prompted Alex Kirshner at Banner Society to round up other college football coaches who have invoked Hitler. "Even if you strip morality away from assessments of leadership ability, Hitler was reckless and erratic," he writes. "If you want to make a point about leadership, pick somebody else." (Read more Adolf Hitler stories.)

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