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Coaches vs. Disgruntled Parents in High School Athletics

In a growing trend that reaches to all corners of the athletic world, coaches are being forced to cope with the added stress of disgruntled parents. More and more they are required to defend personal coaching styles and philosophies, uphold team decisions and go head to head with angry, and sometimes violent parents. The pressure has gotten to the point where coaches all over the country are quitting or being forced out of their jobs by groups of parents. High school athletics should be about learning and having fun, and when parents cross the line between cheerleader and ringleader everyone suffers.

In just two years as head coach of Eastlake High School in Seattle, WA, Jan Nicholas took a mediocre team and coached them into the state playoffs. After coaching NCAA Division I basketball at Cal State Northridge, Nicholas was more than qualified for her position and had obviously done a phenomenal job turning around a less than spectacular team. However, some parents did not see it that way, and after the ’95 season Nicholas resigned due to parental pressure.

Nicholas says, “you make enough sacrifices as it is to be a high school coach, and when you start talking about some of the extra sacrifices in dealing with parents, you ask yourself, ‘Why?'”(Wittenmyer C4).

At the time of Nicholas’ resignation she was the third coach within two months to resign from coaching girls basketball in the King Co Conference alone. Both of the other coaches cited parents as their main reason for leaving.

Midway through the ’98-’99 boys basketball season, Jerry Morris resigned as head coach at Kamiak high school in Mukilteo, WA. At the time of the incident Morris cited only personal reasons for his resignation. However…

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Morris, Jerry. Personal Interview. 15 Oct. 1999.

Quick, Jason. “When Johnny Can’t Play, Parents Can Get Coaches Fired.” Seattle Times. 5 July 1998 : D2.

“St. Marie’s Coaches Fired By School Board.” Spokesman Review. 13 May 1995 : C3

Steinberg, Laurence, B. Bradford Brown, and Sanford M. Dornbusch. Beyond the Classroom. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996.

Stewart, D.L. “Life is Not Always a Fair Game.” Tribune Media Service. 16 Oct. 1999. .

Wilde, Jason. “On The Field and Off, High School Coaches Are Under Pressure – Parent Involvement Can Make the Hot Seat Even Hotter.” 11 Oct. 1999. .

Wittenmeyer, Gordon. “Coach: Parental Pressure Final Straw–Eastlake’s Nicholas Leaving Despite Team’s Success.” Seattle Times. 11 Apr. 1995

College Sports – Todays Athletes are Privileged Perverts, Rapists, Thieves, and Liars

College Athletes – Privileged Perverts, Rapists, Thieves, Frauds, and Liars In America today athletic events play an important role in the reflective perception and financial standing of any given community. It is for this reason that the individuals involved in these events are also of significance to the community. Due to the esteemed and very influential role placed on athletes they are often times given privileges that would not normally be given to them if they were not athletes. These privileges are given in order to recruit the athletes, and once recruited to maintain their status on the team so that, in turn, the team’s status is not adversely affected. To understand the importance of the role of an athlete one must first examine the role of the athletic event in which the athlete participates and the level of importance placed on this event. Many communities see the local college athletic teams as a reflection of their society. It is therefore important to the community members that their team represents them in the best way possible. Due to American society being of a competitive nature, the basis on which democracy is built, the way a team’s representation is judged is by its level of play. If a team is successful in its competitive meetings with other teams it asserts itself into a superior position over those teams. This in turn creates a sense of pride in the community because the team that represents them has beaten the teams that represent other communities. This develops a greater fan base and more support than if a team was to lose “because people aren’t going to come watch a losing team” (qtd. in Suggs A42). This support is important to the team because this is where the team receives the majority o… … middle of paper … …ic ability and performance is based primarily on the athletes that participate in the athletic programs. In order to recruit and retain the best athletes for their college athletic programs coaches and colleges alike have made many exceptions and broken many rules. The preferential treatment of athletes is just one of the areas where these exceptions have been made. No matter the area where the exceptions are made these variances from the societal norm are brought about by the high demands and expectations placed on athletic teams to represent their community through success in competitive endeavors. Again, a team’s level of success determines its level of community support and therefore determines its survival due to its need to be self-sufficient. Unfortunately the exceptions made and privileges given are often at the expense of the average student, the non-athlete.

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