Update: Coach fired for un-apologizing after 100-0 win

posted at 4:20 pm on January 26, 2009 by Allahpundit

The exciting conclusion to Friday’s inexplicably popular post about the school apologizing for a win that wasn’t very “Christ-like.”

The coach of a Texas high school basketball team that beat another team 100-0 was fired Sunday, the same day he sent an e-mail to a newspaper saying he will not apologize “for a wide-margin victory when my girls played with honor and integrity.”

Kyle Queal, the headmaster for Covenant School, said in The Dallas Morning News online edition that he could not answer if the firing was a direct result of coach Micah Grimes’ e-mail disagreeing with administrators who called the blowout “shameful.”…

A parent who attended the game said Covenant continued to make 3-pointers — even in the fourth quarter. She praised the Covenant players but said spectators and an assistant coach were cheering wildly as their team edged closer to 100 points.

Covenant was up 59-0 at halftime.

Would Jesus be chucking threes in the fourth quarter up 85 points? The coach asks himself and answers … yes:

The Apology. In response to the statement posted on The Covenant School Website, I respectfully disagree with the apology, especially the notion that the Covenant School girls basketball team should feel “embarrassed” or “ashamed”. We played the game as it was meant to be played and would not intentionally run up the score on any opponent. Although a wide-margin victory is never evidence of compassion, my girls played with honor and integrity and showed respect to Dallas Academy. We honor God, ourselves, and our families when we step on the court to compete. I do no wish to forfeit the game. What kind of example does it set for our children? Do we really want to punish Covenant School girls? Does forfeiting really help Dallas Academy girls? We experienced a blowout almost 4 years ago and it was painful, but it made us who we are today. I believe in the lessons that sports teach us. Competition builds character, and teaches us to value selflessness, hard work, and perseverance. As a coach, I have instilled in my girls these values. So if I lose my job over these statements, I will walk away with my integrity.

His girls played with “honor” by straining to hit 100 points against a team that was outmatched from the opening tip? Winning 60-2 would have also “built character,” champ.

Here’s the obligatory Fox & Friends debate, with Gretchen taking a surprise pro-showboating position. Exit question: How about running the shot clock down to one second on each possession when you’ve got a 70-point lead?


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Not what I did, nor intended by my post. My Son actualy was very poor at sports. I never pushed him to play anything. He did play HS Football and I never once said anything to him but, “Did you do your best”? He said yes… I congergulated him on his play and effort, period. It was the same for his grades in school, he was a C+ at best, but he TRIED! All I have ever asked… make the efforts and work to improve to YOUR ability.

Mark Garnett on January 27, 2009 at 11:11 AM

And getting blown out every night is the best that Dallas Academy can do, so I don’t see why they need to be humiliated. They tried their best just like your son did.

Illinidiva on January 27, 2009 at 11:18 AM

Actually, in the Olympics, everyone gets a participation medal and always has. It’s obviously different from the gold, silver, and bronze medals that are handed out, but it’s still pointing out that it’s an honor to just be there. There’s nothing wrong with giving everyone a participation ribbon or trophy, especially since this is generally for younger kids. There are lessons to be learned in sports by winning, losing, or just showing up.

Illinidiva on January 27, 2009 at 11:16 AM

For heavens sake, are you actualy comparing a world class event that took years of work to even get on a team to a kids baseball game where no score is kept to keep kids from being on a losing team?

Mark Garnett on January 27, 2009 at 11:19 AM

Our coach did that in college…when I was on the junior national team we played the Hungarian men’s national team…they were beating us to a pulp…we stopped the game, divided up and continued playing.

right2bright on January 27, 2009 at 9:59 AM

As a matter of fact, the two coaches got together, it wasn’t one or the other, nor did I state that.

right2bright on January 27, 2009 at 11:13 AM

Did I misread or did you miswrite? Because I sure read that as “Our coach did that in college…”

Anyway, no matter. It’s clear by the age difference that your teams were mismatched even before the game was played, so it’s not even a similar comparison.

Glad you were still pummeled and didn’t come out feeling humiliated, but that your opponent could feel humility as he won. Guess that’s what sports are meant to be about – the person who feels humility shouldn’t be the loser?

misslizzi on January 27, 2009 at 11:21 AM

Then you said:

Sorry. I misunderstood you. But right2bright answered it.

progressoverpeace on January 26, 2009 at 6:00 PM

(as though you agreed that the losing team could still forfeit)

No. right2bright was talking about the winning team forfeiting (after it was over).

So, yes, someone was talking about the loser forfeiting after the game. Maybe you didn’t realize I was talking about the losing team, but it’s right there in the comment right replied to.

Esthier on January 27, 2009 at 11:16 AM

There was talk of 2 different forfeitures, one possible (that I said should have happened) and one that actually happened:

1) The losing team forfeiting during play, because they cannot provide enough competition to make the game worth playing. (I was talking about this) This never happened, but should have.

2) The winning team forfeiting after play finished, which is what really happened.

Is it straight, now?

progressoverpeace on January 27, 2009 at 11:24 AM

Humility is obviously fundamental to losing with honor, but it is not incompatible with winning with honor, either.

mcg on January 27, 2009 at 11:26 AM

it is some parents that want there kid to score 50 in a game so they can brag about it that are the problem, not the kids.

momof2 on January 27, 2009 at 11:05 AM

Good post, we aren’t advocating a “trophy” for everyone, just some common sense restraint. There are some great life lessons when you win “big” and some great lessons when you lose “big”. But both win and lose can come with honor.
And at the same time:

Mark Garnett on January 27, 2009 at 11:05 AM

post is correct, but the two are totally different.
One is excuse making, the other is learning limitations, respect, honor.
John Wooden (my hero) never told his team to win, he never said “go out and win this game”. He only told his team to execute, and play their best. And with that preparation, and execution, he became the greatest coach in any sport.
Imagine a coach, never telling his kids to win…even at the highest level of college basketball. And they end up winning championship, after championship.
Read his books, and you will see how commitment, humility, honor, and winning goes hand and hand.

right2bright on January 27, 2009 at 11:26 AM

This whole situation seems a bit odd. Why is a team that good playing a team that bad? And if they know it’s a mismatch, why not have the game as an exhibition game or something?

If Texas girls’ basketball is like a lot of high school sports, you get in the playoff based on strength of schedule and margin of victory sometimes counts. So the coach could’ve had a long-term reason for scoring as many points as possible.

As a conservative, though, I don’t think we should force a team not to try its hardest. Sure, at some point when it’s clear that you’re overwhelmingly better than your opponent, maybe you talk to the other coach about some sort of workaround.

Where were the officials in all this? No slaughter rule? Did they step in and ask the winning coach to let up?

Lastly – how many of the girls in this program were being recruited to colleges? If you can pad your stats in this blowout, helping you get a college scholarship, wouldn’t that be worthwhile?

hawksruleva on January 27, 2009 at 11:28 AM

For heavens sake, are you actualy comparing a world class event that took years of work to even get on a team to a kids baseball game where no score is kept to keep kids from being on a losing team?

Mark Garnett on January 27, 2009 at 11:19 AM

If even Olympic competitors get participation medals from the games and I wouldn’t call the Olympics non-competitive, then that should give you a hint about good sportsmanship.

Illinidiva on January 27, 2009 at 11:30 AM

I still say, to use a term from Rush, it’s the WUSS-I-FICATION of America that allows far left radical Liberals to control power.

Mark Garnett on January 27, 2009 at 11:05 AM

My observation over the 3+ decades between when I was a kid and when I had young kids is that sports and academics are much more competitive today. Traveling teams have replaced little league for the best child athletes. Private coaches and weight training are more prevalent. Summer camps are run more professionally. In academics, the jockeying by parents to get their kids into a top college begins as early as nursery school. After-school activities are structured so that a high school student can have the right “resume” to go along with the standardized test scores.

When I see these kids today and compare them to my peers growing up, my impression is that today’s kids are more hardcore about preparing for their future.

dedalus on January 27, 2009 at 11:31 AM

No. right2bright was talking about the winning team forfeiting (after it was over).

Then she must have missed the part where I explicitly was talking about the losing team.

Is it straight, now?

progressoverpeace on January 27, 2009 at 11:24 AM

I was never confused. It was you and right who misunderstood which team I was talking about.

Esthier on January 27, 2009 at 11:33 AM

Anyway, no matter. It’s clear by the age difference that your teams were mismatched even before the game was played, so it’s not even a similar comparison.

misslizzi on January 27, 2009 at 11:21 AM

Should have been our coaches, no one coach from one side at an international level would make a decision to end the game, I thought that would be apparent.
And it was clear that this high school team, who took on a team with learning disabilities, had a similar mismatch…the coach knew that the weaker team had not won many competitions, and were made up of learning disability students.
In our case, the Hungarian team did not know that, our national team had beaten them just a couple of days before, so they came in with their “game face”.
And just to set the record straight, when the game was “stopped” we were only down by a couple of points, but our players were pretty beat up…the decision was self-preservation, rather then the score. International play is different from our National play (at least then it was), much more aggressive.

right2bright on January 27, 2009 at 11:37 AM

When I see these kids today and compare them to my peers growing up, my impression is that today’s kids are more hardcore about preparing for their future.

dedalus on January 27, 2009 at 11:31 AM

Good points. That was my take even when I was in school just ten years ago. Simply having the highest scores and highest grades is not enough to get into the top schools.

Many of my friends were padding their resumes (and yes we actually sent those in) with extra circulars just to be considered.

More kids go to college these days. It’s the default after graduating high school, not the exception. So, there’s more competition.

Esthier on January 27, 2009 at 11:39 AM

My observation over the 3+ decades between when I was a kid and when I had young kids is that sports and academics are much more competitive today. Traveling teams have replaced little league for the best child athletes. Private coaches and weight training are more prevalent. Summer camps are run more professionally. In academics, the jockeying by parents to get their kids into a top college begins as early as nursery school. After-school activities are structured so that a high school student can have the right “resume” to go along with the standardized test scores.

When I see these kids today and compare them to my peers growing up, my impression is that today’s kids are more hardcore about preparing for their future.

dedalus on January 27, 2009 at 11:31 AM

Agreed. I went to a Catholic prep. high school and can tell you that from experience that competition over classes, rankings, grades, etc. was hardcore. I didn’t have many friends in high school; I had quite a few frenemies and acquaintances. People spent quite a bit of time rubbing accomplishments in each others’ faces and gloating.

Illinidiva on January 27, 2009 at 11:40 AM

Humility is obviously fundamental to losing with honor, but it is not incompatible with winning with honor, either.

mcg on January 27, 2009 at 11:26 AM

Humility is essential if you are going to learn the craft of your sport. Few, if any, high school students are masters of their craft. Even at the professional level, an athlete who believes that his ability alone is enough to win championships usually falls short. Top athletes sometimes need to break their games down and focus on their weakest areas. Athletes in team sports require the humility to follow the coach and give up their individual success in order to fill the role that the team requires.

dedalus on January 27, 2009 at 11:40 AM

John Wooden (my hero) never told his team to win, he never said “go out and win this game”. He only told his team to execute, and play their best.
right2bright on January 27, 2009 at 11:26 AM

Did this team not execute and play their best?

misslizzi on January 27, 2009 at 11:46 AM

Then she must have missed the part where I explicitly was talking about the losing team.

progressoverpeace on January 27, 2009 at 11:24 AM

I was never confused. It was you and right who misunderstood which team I was talking about.

Esthier on January 27, 2009 at 11:33 AM

I was talking about the winning team’s intention to forfeit.

The game’s already over. The losing team, lost. They can no longer forfeit the game.

Esthier on January 26, 2009 at 5:56 PM

See, where you started off talking about the winning team intention to forfeit.
The confusion is in the next paragraph, you never state whether you are talking about the losing or winning team…when you say “they” the only “they” is the winning team. The other two sentences of the games over and losing team is describing the events.
So now the confusion is cleared up, you were talking about both the wining and the losing team…I guess.
The losing team could forfeit, but the winning team would not accept it, since it would affect their win/loss record.
That point is moot…but the winning team could forfeit, and they offered.

right2bright on January 27, 2009 at 11:48 AM

Did this team not execute and play their best?

misslizzi on January 27, 2009 at 11:46 AM

You know the answer, but Coach Wooden never humiliated the other team. He would pull his first string, and change the offense. Most of his teams were a running and pressing offense, he would not have them press in the back court after the game was decided.
Before you try to “trap” someone with a “gotcha” question, take a day or two and read about him and his philosophy.
This man is 98 years old or so, and he has just a few years to be with us. Everyone would be better off if they took some time and learned what this great man had to offer…far more then “basketball”, just spend some time researching what his players, his assistants, his peers think about him…imagine, a coach at that level never, ever using a cuss word, never…and never raising his voice are yelling at his “kids”.
There will never be another leader like him…a true conservative value man.

right2bright on January 27, 2009 at 11:54 AM

right2bright on January 27, 2009 at 11:54 AM

Agreed, he is a great human and teacher.

Mark Garnett on January 27, 2009 at 11:56 AM

right2bright on January 27, 2009 at 11:54 AM

There’s no intention of “trapping” anyone on my part. And I don’t see how my question doubts the man of whom you speak.

I just don’t see what the big deal of a 100-0 win is for the winning team. They executed. Simple as that.

The only reason they should have slowed down or stopped is out of sheer boredom, not out of any concern regarding “humiliation” of another team or the individual members. Clearly, they were not bored but had a lot of energy and they needed to expend it, which brings up the issue that someone mentioned before: who the hell organized this yawn of a matchup in the first place?

Anyway, I wonder if anyone would be so concerned about “humiliation” if these two teams would have consisted of boys.

misslizzi on January 27, 2009 at 12:06 PM

The confusion is in the next paragraph, you never state whether you are talking about the losing or winning team…when you say “they” the only “they” is the winning team.

No, the previous sentence said “the losing team”. The reference should be fairly clear.

So now the confusion is cleared up, you were talking about both the wining and the losing team…I guess.

Kinda. I was explaining that my initial comment was about the winning team and that the losing team has no reason to forfeit.

That point is moot…

right2bright on January 27, 2009 at 11:48 AM

Certainly.

Esthier on January 27, 2009 at 12:12 PM

Athletics teach life lessons. The school obviously didn’t like the lesson this guy was teaching. There is no political analogy to be drawn. YOU DON’T DO WHAT THIS COACH DID! It has nothing to do with liberalism or the wussification of American kids. It has everything to do with sportsmanship. I could tell you the coach was a young man before seeing his picture. There are no “old” coaches that pull stunts like this.

By the way, I don’t coach anymore but still teach PE now at a K-3 campus. Guess what we’re playing today. A clue…it starts with dodge and ends with ball!

Spider79 on January 27, 2009 at 12:51 PM

I’m getting in on this one late so I haven’t read all of the comments. Didn’t the losing team’s coach have a responsibility to his team? He should have asked the girl’s if they wanted to keep playing or forfeit. He is the one ultimately responsible for the morale of his own team. The winning coach was not wrongly fired, and I won’t argue that, but I do think the reasoning behind it is wrong. If you’re going to compare it to war (which admittedly isn’t the best comparison) wouldn’t you say that the losing party should surrender and that puts an end to it? Well, in this case the losing team decided not to forfeit and got pummeled. I don’t think they could have run the clock down to nothing, if memory serves, you can be called with stalling.

thevastlane on January 27, 2009 at 12:54 PM

I don’t understand how one can go into a competition with “win-or-lose fun” mindset and leave crying when you get creamed. Are you angry that the other team doesn’t share your commitment to mediocrity?

Here’s a thought: Maybe the girls who lost should take this drubbing as a holy smite, prompting them to spend their limited daylight hours honing their talents instead of their weaknesses–especially if said weaknesses are optional.

Here’s another thought: perhaps there’s more to !@#$% life than the way we feel about things; and dwelling on said feelings keeps us from getting freakin results.

Mephistefales on January 27, 2009 at 2:18 PM

The abnormal shift from focus on results to focus on feelings is an evolutionary byproduct (not functional aspect of)of success (read: leisure society) and it must be suppressed to continue our progress. Otherwise, we’re Rome 2.0. They lost their focus and their nerve, and now they’re history.

Mephistefales on January 27, 2009 at 2:21 PM

By the way, I don’t coach anymore but still teach PE now at a K-3 campus. Guess what we’re playing today. A clue…it starts with dodge and ends with ball!

Spider79 on January 27, 2009 at 12:51 PM

You’ll probably get fired AND sued by some far left Liberal wackjob for playing such a violent, unfair game. The young skulls full of mush will whine to Mommy and your toast… You know that my points are factual, most liberal union run districs have dropped any sport of keeping scores, playing dodge ball and other “mean spirited” activities, like graded papers in… oh God, wait for it…. RED LETTERING!
So please keep your wussiefied poop away from Conservative kids… At least then we know that our Sons and Daughters will be in charge of or leader of your kids in the real world someday.

Mark Garnett on January 27, 2009 at 2:45 PM

Anyway, I wonder if anyone would be so concerned about “humiliation” if these two teams would have consisted of boys.

misslizzi on January 27, 2009 at 12:06 PM

Awww, the real problem exists…a little girl whiner, playing the gender card.
Every woman reading your post, cringed…gender has nothing to do with it, nor does winning or losing.
But your posts do tell me something, you do not know much about sports, athletes, and responsibility of coaches.
Let me give you some advice, that you probably foolishly won’t take:
Read two books…Wooden, by Steve Jamison, and then read Wooden on Leadership also by Steve Jamison (his pyramid of success is worth the price of the book).
Then if you are a faithful spiritual person pick up “Coach one-on-one, by Jay Carty.
It gives you a daily devotional, and you will see why he is so exceptional…a model for every coach.
Never yelling, never berating, never cursing, always better prepared then his players, and demanded great things from his players, but no more then he was willingly to sacrifice himself.
You read those three books, and you will then have a good idea of what sports is really about, and life will be just a little better.

right2bright on January 27, 2009 at 2:53 PM

right2bright on January 27, 2009 at 2:53 PM

Well, I can certainly say I know a lot about many sports; basketball, football, volleyball, etc. I went to the beach over the summer and joined in a 6 on 6 volleyball game, and when it came time for me to serve, the score was 1-0. By the time I finished serving it was 1-14. Should I have let up since it was “just a friendly” game, and I had years of training? I almost felt bad, since I was specifically aiming at weak spots on the other side of the net, aka “girls”, and they still smiled and shook my hand after. Did I display “poor sportsmanship” or did I display my skills and talent?

I’m sure someone will tell me I was a big old meanie… I only did what I was trained to excel at, IMO.

Califemme on January 27, 2009 at 3:36 PM

Momma always told me not to argue with children and fools because I would only sound childish and foolish. Boy, Mom was sure smart.

Spider79 on January 27, 2009 at 3:53 PM

Apparently not smart enough.

mcg on January 27, 2009 at 4:02 PM

Again. Both sides were wrong. One for running up the score (yes 100-0 is running up the score no matter how you try to frame it) and the other for fronting a team that is so pathetic that they can’t even score a single point in 4 quarters of play.

I thought the apology was a sign of true class. I hope the school of the losing team has apologized to the kids and their parents for having such a pathetic program.

watson007 on January 27, 2009 at 4:30 PM

When I was in 7th grade I was on a basketball team that won a game 50-0. If my school had issued an apology because we took the time and made the effort to develop our abilities and teamwork I would have quit immediately. In any official competition it is always honorable to put in your best efforts and dishonorable not to.

Loki on January 27, 2009 at 5:03 PM

I have coached many sports and will admit to not knowing everything about this story but if he was playing his starters in the 2nd half with the intent of hitting 100, then, yes, he deserves what’s coming to him. However, to ask his 3rd/4th stringers to lay down is ridiculous.

True story: I was coaching a football team of 12 and 13 year olds. We were up by 50 at half-time. Was I expected to tell my scrubs (who never got to play) to lay down before they got to the goal line? After the game, the other coach decided to ream me out for running up the score. I said to him: “You’re the head coach right? Why is it that you didn’t notice I ran the same play on every. single. snap? (It was a hand-off to our slowest player who had never played running back and he ran between our right guard and right tackle each time.)

Moral: maybe the other coach was just really, really bad and was possibly the one who should have been fired.

slug on January 27, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Since we’re demanding apologies, I expect an apology from Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and the Walton family for amassing such large fortunes.

Neo-con Artist on January 27, 2009 at 5:38 PM

I’m sure someone will tell me I was a big old meanie… I only did what I was trained to excel at, IMO.

Califemme on January 27, 2009 at 3:36 PM

If you can’t understand the difference between a beach vollyball game, and a coached high school game, where the coach knows exactly what team he is playing (a learning disability team), then I feel that is your problem.
I have no problem winning, beating an opponent, dominating an opponent, etc.
I have a problem with unsportsmanlike conduct, coaches who can’t get their story straight. He was on the sideline cheering to get to 100…I say he was bush league, you think he is a hero…I think he sets a bad example, you honor him…you think kicking someone when they are down is being an athlete, I don’t…you think running up a score is part of the game, I don’t…I stated who I think is a exemplary coach, you would not agree since I know he would never condone such an attitude…you have your standards, I have mine.
On this issue, we don’t agree on much…you had different coaches then I did, I learned being a good athlete carries some responsibility…poor athletes, weak athletes, never learn that.

right2bright on January 27, 2009 at 6:34 PM

Moral: maybe the other coach was just really, really bad and was possibly the one who should have been fired.

slug on January 27, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Or maybe the other team was a team of girls with learning disabilities and a record of not winning…so the coach took advantage of the situation. (as was the case).

right2bright on January 27, 2009 at 6:37 PM

right2bright on January 27, 2009 at 6:34 PM

Dude, they had ADD!

Califemme on January 27, 2009 at 6:46 PM

Incidentally, right2bright, the news reports do not allege that the fired coach was cheering—rather it was spectators and an assistant coach.

mcg on January 27, 2009 at 6:48 PM

I have no problem winning, beating an opponent, dominating an opponent, etc.
I have a problem with unsportsmanlike conduct, coaches who can’t get their story straight. He was on the sideline cheering to get to 100…I say he was bush league, you think he is a hero…I think he sets a bad example, you honor him…you think kicking someone when they are down is being an athlete, I don’t…you think running up a score is part of the game, I don’t…I stated who I think is a exemplary coach, you would not agree since I know he would never condone such an attitude

I’m gonna take these one at a time…
1)”I have a problem with unsportsmanlike conduct, coaches who can’t get their story straight. He was on the sideline cheering to get to 100…”

They played by the rules, to the best of their ability and scored during the allotted time. That is what I expect the coach to “coach” the team to do. And yes, if you’re a new coach and the other team is not conceding defeat, I assume one would cheer when your girls were close to setting their personal/team goal.

2) “I say he was bush league, you think he is a hero…”

Who brought the President into this? And as long as you did, I believe you have it wrong, its Bush league = hero. ‘

3) “I think he sets a bad example, you honor him…you think kicking someone when they are down is being an athlete, I don’t…”

There is NO score that is worse than ZERO. How about that? I honor him because not only did his team NOT get 0, his team scored 100 points. Not him. The team of girl basketball players. Who beat another team of girl basketball players.

4)”you think running up a score is part of the game, I don’t…”

Anything past ZERO is running up the game.

5)”I stated who I think is a exemplary coach, you would not agree since I know he would never condone such an attitude”

Since you didn’t ask, I’ll tell you who my favorite coaches are… Vince Lombardi and Jimmy Johnson, Dallas Cowboys Coaches.

Some quotes from Vince Lombardi:
“Winning is not a sometime thing: it’s an all the time thing. You don’t win once in a while; you don’t do the right thing once in a while; you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing.”

“There’s only one way to succeed in anything, and that is to give it everything. I do, and I demand that my players do.”

“If you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, you’ll be fired with enthusiasm.”

“Mental toughness is essential to success.”

“You never win a game unless you beat the guy in front of you. The score on the board doesn’t mean a thing. That’s for the fans. You’ve got to win the war with the man in front of you. You’ve got to get your man.”

Some quotes from Jimmy Johnson:
“The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.”

“Do you want to be safe and good, or do you want to take a chance and be great?”

And my favorite… “How ’bout them Cowboys!?”

Califemme on January 27, 2009 at 7:07 PM

Sportsmanship Trumps Vince Lombardi

“Winning isn’t everything. It’s the only thing!” Bullshit.

mcg on January 27, 2009 at 7:35 PM

Vince Lombardi in 1970, regarding that quote:

I wish to hell I’d never said the damned thing. I meant the effort. . . . I meant having a goal. . . . I sure as hell didn’t mean for people to crush human values and morality.

mcg on January 27, 2009 at 7:38 PM

Stoops, don’t run up the score

No, I said, Bob never Stoops to running up the score. His father, a high-school coaching legend in the state of Ohio, would spiral in his grave if Bob ordered his starting quarterback to throw for a late touchdown in a blowout. Bob’s three brothers, all coaches, would immediately offer up some tough love.

Offered to counter the false assertion that the taboo against running up the score is some recent product of political correctness, and to detach it from other discussions about the flawed “self-esteem” movement. It may have always been controversial, but the controversy has always been there.

mcg on January 27, 2009 at 8:11 PM

The coach didn’t get fired because of the score. He was fired over openly disagreeing with a school policy.
….
Esthier on January 27, 2009 at 10:56 AM

That would only be true if the school specifically had a policy about this situation. The coach was fired for saying that he didn’t think it was right to shame or embarrass the players, and that the players had done nothing wrong.

I won’t argue that the school didn’t have the right to fire him. But they were wrong, because they over-reacted to the public embarrassment by taking the victory the girls had won and forfeiting it because they won by too much.

School management certainly has the right to make personnel decisions, but forfeiting a game to punish their players for winning by too much was just wrong. That was the coach’s responsibility, not theirs.

And good for the coach that he spoke up against such a wrong-headed decision by the school, even though he knew it might cost him his job.

I’m taking the coach’s word that he took measures to keep from running up the score too much. I think he trained his players just too well, and the other team just wasn’t good enough.

It happens. Sometimes teams get stomped. I’ve sometimes been on the stomped end, and it’s no fun. But it’s part of the game.

And maybe I’m different, but even if my team is getting stomped badly, I’d rather finish the game than have someone call it off as an act of “mercy.”

ThereGoesTheNeighborhood on January 27, 2009 at 11:19 PM

If you’re taking three pointers with a 70 point lead, they should be from just inside the half court line with one second left on the shot clock.

No shot clock.

Another suggestion: when up by 30 in such an obvious victory, throw in the second string.

No second string. The coach only had 8 players, and 5 had to be on the court. He did have 3 subs, and he played them. That still left two starters in at all times.

When up by 50, throw in the third string.

No third string. At all.

If you’re still up by 50 and you’re under five minutes left, start running down the clock and either throwing it from half court or handing it to the ref when the shot clock buzzes. Better yet, give the opponent a clinic by just running the ball under your own basket, setting a defense, and handing the ball to their guard there so they can get some much-needed practice on their offense.
flutejpl on January 27, 2009 at 9:53 AM

What would be the point? If you’re deliberately throwing the ball away, or handing it to the ref, or handing it to the other team, then you might as well give up the pretense of playing a game. That would be every bit as humiliating as continuing to run up the score.

I suppose there are other things you could try, but I don’t think you’re really going to find a good answer.

In fact, the only real good answer to prevent this sort of result is to either make sure the teams are better matched to begin with, or have some kind of “skunk rule” that kicks in when you have a big enough lead early enough in the game. I don’t know of any such rules that have ever been applied to basketball, so you’d be entering new territory there.

ThereGoesTheNeighborhood on January 27, 2009 at 11:34 PM

Certainly, but then the batter knows this and doesn’t make a fuss over it unless he wants to get kicked out of the game.

This coach got fired because he didn’t like a school policy. That happens all the time and rarely makes headlines.

You’re still not getting it. No one is saying that the school doesn’t have the right to fire the coach. People are just saying that they think the school was wrong–not illegal.

In high school, Cheryl Miller (Reggie’s sister) scored 105 points herself in a 179-15 win. Did her coach get fired?

WaltDakota on January 26, 2009 at 10:58 PM

The coach didn’t get fired because of the score. He was fired over openly disagreeing with a school policy.

Baldi, this is what I was talking about. Maybe it’s just a misunderstanding of why the coach was fired, but generally people here are on the side of the employer when an employee does something that violates the company’s standards, knowing full well what those standards are.

Esthier on January 27, 2009 at 10:56 AM

You’re still not getting it. The employer has the right to fire the employee for any legal reason (and I believe any reason). All those who disagree with Covenant School’s reason are merely saying that they don’t agree with it.

baldilocks on January 28, 2009 at 1:30 AM

baldilocks on January 28, 2009 at 1:30 AM

Context: Esthier talked brought government into the topic here.

baldilocks on January 28, 2009 at 1:35 AM

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