Finding Mudville: Coaches and new math

  • Tuesday, June 3, 2014

It takes a while for things to settle in my head and take root.

Like this whole volunteer dad coach thing and how it attracted the attention of the Berkeley County School Board.

A volunteer assistant coach at a midlevel tier sport such as baseball and softball shouldn’t garner the attention of the school board saddled with much greater fish to fry.

When you sit through a four-hour school board meeting you have a lot of free time on your hands to think about things and stew a bit.

When I have time to sit and stew I come up with questions.

Questions I would like to have answered. These questions are moths fluttering about the porch light of my brain and they hit me with equations like, 1+1=3, especially when it comes to this bad dad volunteer coaching situation Chairman Kent Murray says is running rampant across Berkeley County.

On May 27, Murray and I stood in the parking lot of College Park Middle School and talked at length about the problem of today’s kids, stage parents and parents of these kids being coaches on their respective high school sports teams.

Murray didn’t approve of the concept. He said, “Back in our day, your science teacher was your assistant coach, not your dad.”

Murray went on to say every high school in Berkeley County that had parents serving as volunteer coaches had problems.

I agreed with the chairman because at one time I was one of those dads. I could see it happening, yet I have not seen any problems with today’s dads serving as volunteer coaches.

Certainly not at Berkeley, Timberland and Cross, and I’ve been on their ball fields so much this year they’re going to start charging me rent.

I asked around if there were any problems with overzealous parent volunteer coaches.

Jeff Cruce, Berkeley High School Athletic Director said, “We have some of the best volunteer coaches in the county and have never had a problem with any of our volunteer coaches here at Berkeley.”

Cruce went on to say that as a matter of athletic department policy, any situations or problems involving volunteer coaches are handled at the coach and A.D. level and would never be allowed to get as high as the school board.

Which led me to yet another question: Why is the school board getting involved in a lower tier athletic department process that should be nipped in the bud by the coach or at worst the school’s athletic director? If it did become a problem significant enough to involve the school district offices, shouldn’t county athletic director Charlie Davis be handling this and not the school board?

There must be something we’re missing, something else that’s causing the Berkeley County School Board to draw volunteer coaches in its sights.

I wonder what that problem might be? It will be interesting to watch this story continue to develop.

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