The Bd. Of Ed. made a decision concerning the Westfield High School girls varsity basketball coach. It is widely believed that the decision was based on the failure of some players to play as much as they thought they should, or, more importantly, as much as their parents thought they should play.
Inherent in the decision of the Board is the question of whether winning is a prime goal of sports or if it is more important that each player feel appreciated and/or each parent feel that his/her child is appreciated.
The Board must also temper its actions by remembering that some parents are trying to re-live their youth through their children.
The Board has the legal right to remove coaches. Each member of the Board was elected on a promise of transparency. They should fulfill those promises.
At present the Board claims it will not discuss Personnel matters. This usually refers to matters of a personal nature independent of the teacher’s/coach’s duties. (Notable exception to this was the teacher caught with pot)In the present matter, it seems the manner in which the coach acted as coach was the sole reason for the Board’s action.
The Board will act as it wishes and for as long as it is allowed to so act. What must be done, however is to not question the dismissal of one coach but to demand to have defined, by the Board, the rules and regulations by which it judged him. That way, all coaches would know how to act in the future. If winning is to take a back seat to the feeling of the players that they are appreciated, then that should be the criterion for each sport.
The Board should be required to set forth a standard to be followed by each and every coach. To do less leaves the coaches open to uneven criticism. What is bad conduct for a basketball coach is equally bad for a football coach etc. etc. etc.
If a coach is expected to win, then say so. If he/she is required to play all his/her players then let everyone know in the beginning that winning is just desirable as opposed to the aim of the team.
There is no need to expose what the Board claims to be private. Let the Board however avoid the embarrassment it now suffers by announcing the standards by which it has and will judge coaches in the future. Let the Board also announce its position on winning so that the children and the parents will be able to know where they stand before they decide to try out for a sport. At least the children should know if they can be on a winning team or play with a group who have other goals.