This past week, Wisconsin defeated Indiana 83 - 20.
Their coach Bret Bielema was accused of poor sportsmanship and bad ethics for not calling simple running plays to exhaust the game clock and not embarass the other tieam.
Sports is an American Institution. College sports especially so.
Student athletes should learn about life.
Try your best no matter what.
You should want your opponent to do the same.
The coach's job is to do what's in the best interest of the team. He can define that for that day, this season, the program overall, whatever; that's his discretion.
I personally would try to score as many points as possible with the appropriate personell.
So that once the game wasn't an issue, I'd put in 2nd, 3rd, walkons.
Then I'd want them to score every play if possible.
If not, then the other side should have the chance to forfeit the game.
Or there should be a mercy rule.
...And yes I'd not only expect it to be done to my team when we were on the losing end, I'd look forward to it.
I'd want to see who still plays hard down 40 points. Who plays better? Who plays worse?
I'd want to see if that play I wasn't so sure about might work?
There are wrong ways to run up the score. For instance, leaving in the 1st string well after the game is decided. It can lead to injuries and animosity.
But why wouldn't backups want to play for real?