2007
04.06

Da Doo Run Run

Really, it isn’t a Wednesday unless somebody has threatened to sue me.

This week’s lawsuit wasn’t specifically aimed at me, but at the high school track and field league. I’m a coach but also on the board of the league. See, the way these things work here is that even if a kid qualifies for the State Championship, the coach needs to file the registration forms.

So, this one coach didn’t file the forms by the deadline, so the head of the league calls the coach and says “you got to file the forms today or the kids can’t play.”

Coach says, “I’m on it.”

Coach doesn’t file the forms.

“Oh, I got busy.”

So, the head of the league gives him one more day. We’ve now delayed scheduling the tournament since we don’t know for sure how many kids we have competing.

Coach doesn’t file the forms.

So, now, the head of the league calls him up and says “sorry, you’re two days passed the deadline, we have to schedule this, your kids can’t register.”

Coach, wisely, says, “Yeah, I dropped the ball on this one.”

We let some alternates from various schools who qualified, well, to be alternates. See, we can’t schedule the tournament with the alternates because they can’t race against their own schools, so we have to know for sure whether they are competing or not before we set the line up. It isn’t as simple as a substitution or we could have solved this problem two days ago.

Next day, the head of the league gets a letter from a distressed parent. Says we shouldn’t punish the kids for the coach’s mistake. Says we should boot out the alternates and let the shamed coach’s kids compete.

Me? I’m a hardass. I feel for the kids, but why even have deadlines if you don’t enforce them? For example, this entry is a day late and John (wisely) went ahead and posted an update. Exactly as he should have. That’s what the rules are for.

Anyhow, we talk and decide to stand by the decision.

Next day, Principal calls and threatens to sue. On what ground? Well, apparently, we didn’t communicate clearly enough to the shamed coach that the deadline was approaching. Other things are said that the principal will soon regret, since they are all provably false.

We meet again and this time have our lawyer tell the principal that we’re standing by the decision. The lawyer goes into great detail about all the ways the principal and the coach was wrong.

The principal is contrite.

Uh oh, but there are still the parents! Every coach and assistant coach in the league gets a letter urging us to let the kids compete, to change the rules so that they have to pay a fine instead, to kick the alternates out of States. The parent goes on about how this was a decision made by the head of the league so that his kids would have a better chance of winning. Accuses us of favoritism and discrimination. Threatens to go to the media.

That’s where we are now.

Fortunately for us, in the process of addressing this, we discovered another coach had fucked up even worse. Basically, the other coach had been fired at the end of the previous season and (I am not making this up) had kept on coaching the team in secret in public parks without the school’s knowledge. He’d been fired for “being a bad influence.” Anyhow, he’d forged the principals signature on the registration documents at the start of the season.

This team also has to be expelled and this story has legs. It totally overshadows the other issue. In fact, the media conflates the story about the major cheaters with the story about the shamed coach. Suddenly, the shamed coach’s team is being called cheaters, which is totally unfair, but also basically gives us a win in the court of public opinion.

Basically, parents and coaches shouldn’t be allowed to be involved with youth sports.

Or adults in general.

  1. I say kids should be barred, too.

  2. I despise the coach. He have already been told twice. I believe he should have file the forms. For me, it is his fault in the first place. I think the Parents aren’t wrong. If you’re the parent and your child wasn’t allowed to play in a competitionwhich he is so anxious about, how would you feel? My child would feel disappointed and I’ll clearly send a complain to either the coach or the principal. :/

  3. Basically, nobody comes out of this situation smelling like a rose.

  4. I think anyone who has anything to do with track and field should just be shot. Just cause I’m in a bad mood.

  5. In all seriousness, if the coach is negligent, why should the team he is responsible for still be given a chance to compete? What the parents SHOULD do is find a new coach, one who knows how to manage a calendar.

    As far as the other coach goes, I can’t stop laughing about it!