The Jefferson Iowa News®


  Coaching Controversies Extend to Jefferson-Scranton

The recent spate of coaching dismissals at the NCAA level, most notably Kansas and Texas Tech, have thrown the spotlight directly on the issue of what is and what is not allowable treatment of student athletes by their coaches. One should not assume that these events are isolated, however. Our staff has uncovered evidence of similar mistreatment taking place directly under our noses - here at JSPC. We have discovered numerous instances locally where student-athletes have been subjugated to demeaning and possibly even criminal treatment.

Possible grounds for termination include a repeated pattern of not listening to the athlete's needs. Case in point: The quarterback on the high school football team is constantly being told what plays he should run. During Jefferson's last game, the QB asked if he could run the triple-reverse screen pass on an extra point try. He was very coldly told "I appreciate your suggestion and I and the other coaches like that you are thinking about what play we need to run to help with our success. Perhaps we can try that play another time. You are doing a great job tonight." We can only imagine how that athlete gets treated during practice.

Another suspect situation arose when the coach wouldn't allow Burt Williams (a 34-year-old unemployed plumber in town) to play this year. It was Burt's Make-A-Wish request that he play tailback for the JSPC Rams. The coach based a lot of his decision on the fact that Make-A-Wish denied him - only because Burt was not a juvenile and had no health issues. Also the fact that he had previously been granted three Make-A-Wish requests, anyway. The coach also used the excuse that Burt was ineligible to compete in Iowa high school sports. Any way you look at it, the coach seems to be running the team as if he does not have to answer to any higher authority regarding these actions.

As if all of that weren't bad enough, I personally observed the high school track coach forcing his team members to run laps. Some coaches have been known to use running laps as punishment when an athlete breaks team rules. However, we observed nearly the entire team running laps. It is hard to believe that all of them would have broken such rules. It seems that coaching controversies extend all the way to JSPC and so far, nobody at the school has offered us any explanation. 

 Spencer Straight, 01-07-2010