Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Don't Hurt The Feelings of The Losing Team

I found this ridiculous story this morning. It seems that Connecticut has decided to legislate the margin of victory for football games. They don't want the losing team to have its feelings hurt or for them to be humiliated. While I don't agree with the idea of running up the score, and I have been on teams that have been blown out (42-4 in a basketball game), you can't put a limit on a margin of victory.

Doing so causes more harm to the participants than allowing them to try their best and come up short. If you lose to a superior team, this SHOULD motivate you to try harder. If it doesn't, perhaps you should look for something else to spend your time on. Striving for mediocrity is not a goal that we should set for our children. Nor should we set limits on how bad they lose a contest. This does not prepare our children for what faces them in the real world. (It might in a socialist society where production doesn't matter but it doesn't in a capitalist one. I'd better stop here before I go off on a rant and forget the purpose of this post. I'll try and finish this thread tomorrow.)

Here's the story/link:
Coach Could Face Suspension for Blowout

September 19, 2006


Sharp on offense and unrelenting on defense, Bridgeport Central High School’s football team played a terrific game Friday night to win its season opener against its city rival Bassick, 56-0. Now, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference will decide if Bridgeport Central played too well.

Bridgeport Central’s coach, Dave Cadelina, is the first Connecticut high school football coach to face a possible one-game suspension for violating a rule implemented in May that prohibits teams from winning by more than 50 points. Cadelina has appealed his impending suspension, and his case may be heard as early as today by a three-member panel representing the C.I.A.C., which governs high school sports in Connecticut.

“We have had some real blowouts, and in our judgment, there was no reason for it,” said Tony Mosa, the assistant executive director of the C.I.A.C. “There were enough scores in that 50-, 60-point range where we were concerned and thought we needed to do something about it.

“We had one game last year that was 90-0. We felt that kids should not be humiliated, nor should they humiliate others. That’s not what the mission of high school sports should be. If a coach attempts to blow out another team, we regard that as an unsportsmanlike act, just as we would if a coach got in a fight in a game.”

Last season, New London High School, coached by Jack Cochran, defeated Griswold, 90-0, and won four games by 50 or more points. During halftime of what became a 60-0 New London victory over Tourtellotte/Ellis Tech last season, the losing team’s coach, Tim Panteleakos, was suspected of hitting a New London security officer and trying to punch a New London assistant coach. Panteleakos, apparently outraged that Cochran had called a timeout just before halftime, was arrested on a charge of breach of the peace. The charge was later dropped, The Norwich Bulletin reported.

It is widely believed that the rule was directed at Cochran, who built a reputation for championship teams and lopsided victories in previous head-coaching positions at Bloomfield and New Britain. Cochran resigned as New London coach in August after he was charged with breach of the peace for being suspected of punching a rival coach while their teams were taking part in an off-season weight-lifting event.

Against Bassick, a team that has not won since 2001, Bridgeport Central had a 35-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. By the second quarter, Cadelina was already emptying his bench, but Bridgeport Central took a 49-0 lead into halftime. With the starters long removed from the game and with the team no longer passing, Bridgeport scored again, going ahead, 56-0, in the third quarter.

Cadelina could have avoided a suspension had he told his team not to tackle opposing players, allowing them to run into the end zone unimpeded and making the final score closer. He said that never crossed his mind.

“My third-string guys work just as hard as everyone else to get the opportunity to go out there,” he said. “We’re constantly telling them in practice how to tackle, block, execute, and we tell them to go hard to the whistle. What kind of respect would they have for me or the game if we told them to go out there and lay down? On the opposite side, if I were losing by a large margin? Well, there’s not a player I have ever coached that would want the other team to lay down. That makes a mockery of the game.”

The Bassick coach, George Loughrey, said he supported Cadelina.

“He did everything he could not to run up the score on us,” Loughrey said. “I don’t care for this rule. I’m in a league where I have been on the bottom for a long time, and nobody has ever run the score up on my team. We didn’t need this rule. I’m glad he didn’t lay down. That would have embarrassed my kids.”

Cadelina said: “If the intent of this rule is to protect kids from unsportsmanlike conduct from an opposing coach, then I shouldn’t have anything to worry about. I just worry that since I’m the first one, they’ll want to make an example out of me. But I have the opposing coach saying I didn’t do anything wrong, and the referee also said he would try to help me out.”

It will be up to the three-person panel to decide whether Cadelina should be suspended, but Mosa said that Cadelina’s efforts to keep the score down would be considered.

“This certainly is not cut and dried,” Mosa said. “We will encourage both the offending coach and the opposing coach to give us their testimony. We will want to know what the coach did to manage the score. Yes, there is a gray area here.”

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