First an Iowa State University basketball coach and now a University of Georgia football “chaplain” have bragged about helping players in their “spiritual development.” These are both state universities established by state governments. They are not religious institutions.
College players have scholarships so they need to play to get this money. Implied is that if they pray with the coach they will more likely get to play–it will pay.
One thing Christian college coaches could do is look at the practice of indoctrinating students with a coach’s religion and see if they do better in their sports performances or in their post college lives with religious indoctrination as opposed to without it. I’ve never heard the numbers are better with the coachs’ religions.
I can envision the thinking of religious coaches. “If I can get my players all juiced up by introducing religion, my players will have the edge over players whose coaches just encourage players to do their best.” Universities are supposed to be places where rational thought is taught. If a coach cannot present evidence his religious inspiration helps students on and off the field he/she should get a job at a private Christian school or as a preacher.
We do have some anecdotal evidence about the relationship between religion and sports. The most public prayin’ football quarterback in football, Tim Tebow, was cut again by a pro football team. Maybe he will succeed someday.
So far, his prayers have not helped.