As I noted on this morning’s show, over the years I’ve covered a lot of ground regarding sports parents who, at the high school level, go into the AD’s office and demand that a coach be dismissed.
But I’ve never heard of a situation where a bunch of varsity players put together a petition to demand that their coach be fired. And even more strange was the main reason why: the kids felt that their coach wasn’t pushing them hard enough in practice!
The response was extraordinary. Just about half the callers felt that the kids showed great maturity and should be awarded for their efforts. However, the other callers felt that since the team was doing well (9-4 so far on the season), there was no compelling reason to accede to the players’ wishes.
What bothered me the most about this unusual set of circumstances was the long-range effect: that is, if you allow a bunch of HS athletes can weigh in and decide to fire their coach, that sets a very unsettling precedent. After all, what coach would ever want to be hired knowing full well that if things don’t work out, then he or she might be fired by their players!
Overall, it seems to me that the coach and his staff should have been more responsive to the kids when they first came to him with their concerns. According to news accounts, the coach basically laughed at the kids’ concerns, and that of course only made things worse. Good coaches know that they should be smart enough to what their players are requesting, especially if it can only benefit the team.