Your Kid’s Not Going Pro

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Posts Tagged ‘coach

Football coach arrested for running prostitution ring

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As the philosopher Big Daddy Kane once said, anything goes when it comes to hos ’cause pimpin’ ain’t easy. It gets a little more complicated if you’re also moonlighting as a volunteer middle school football coach.

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Yeah, this song sounded just as offensive in 1989.

27-year-old Christopher Wayne Foster, a coach in Springdale, Ark., was arrested in nearby Bentonville (Wal-Mart world headquarters) on charges relating to abduction and running a prostitution ring after a 23-year-old woman told police she had jumped from his vehicle. Police said she answered an online ad to work as an administrative assistant. She told police she met with Foster in his car to get money she said she was owed for her work, and she was horrified to learn his line of business — pimp. The woman told police Foster tried to drive away with her and abduct her, whereupon she jumped out of the car.

Apparently Foster had no criminal record before, or at least one that involved sex crimes, because nothing turned up when Central Junior High did his background check. Hey, the background check is a look at your past record, not “Minority Report.”

Police had some helpful advice for anyone not wanting to unwittingly work for a self-styled pimp — make sure your job interview is done at an office. From KFSM-TV in Fort Smith, Ark.:

“Obviously anybody that is asked to come for an interview with somebody who claims to a stock broker or attorney and wants to meet you at a restaurant and not their office, your curiosity should be raised a little bit,” said Chief James Allen.

One more bit of advice: if that person also violates another unwritten rule of job interviews and orders something sloppy like pasta with heavy cream and marinara sauce, just drop your napkin on the plate and walk out that door.

Written by rkcookjr

May 23, 2010 at 10:37 pm

Youth basketball coach accused of trying to fix games

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You probably read that headline and thought, “Fixing a youth basketball game? Who is betting on youth basketball games? What bookie is taking that business?” (Hopefully you didn’t ask that last question because you really are looking for a bookie to take that business.)

The motivation for the game-fixing allegedly attempted by Michael Kman, 45, of Enola, Pa., was even more pathetic than a guaranteed gambling win.

The church youth league coach allegedly offered referees $2,500, and maybe more if they could be trusted, because, well, he was frustrated with the calls and figured that would guarantee they would go his team’s way. Did he think Tim Donaghy was reffing youth league now?

From The Associated Press:

… Kman … sent a series of anonymous calls and text messages to the officials last year to get them to help the Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church boy’s basketball team, police said in a complaint. …

Investigators were able to track one of the phones to Kman’s wife. They said that Kman, when interviewed, admitted that he tried to influence the officials.

“Kman stated that he was very frustrated with the officials and felt that his team was never getting a fair game,” wrote Trooper Timothy Reinoehl. “Kman stated that he was never going to pay anyone money, he just thought he could get them (to) give his team a chance on the court.”

State police accused him of solicitation to rig a publicly exhibited contest, rigging a publicly exhibited contest and harassment.

As always, the lesson is: leave it to the professionals. If you need someone to help you rig a basketball game, I believe Henry Hill is still alive.

Written by rkcookjr

May 13, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Proposed youth sports reality show gets it all wrong

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So I was combing through RealityWanted.com, a reality show casting site, looking for opportunities to exploit myself and my family without first having to fake putting my young son on a weather balloon, and I came across this call from an unnamed CBS project:

National Television show booking parents of teens who feel their kid(s) are so focused on sports that it is affecting their schoolwork, grades, family life &/or other activities or causing them to neglect other activities.

You & your teen will get advice from a globally known psychologist as well as a championship-winning professional football coach on how to find a balance of sports, education & family life.

OK, first problem with this idea: it’s not the teens who need persuading to keep sports in perspective.

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Second: “Globally known psychologist” has the stink of Dr. Phil all over it.

Third, and, um, biggest problem: if the championship-winning professional football coach is Jimmy Johnson, he’ll also spend time talking about his newly lengthened schlong. (ExtenZe struck gold getting a guy named “Jimmy Johnson” to hawk its purported pecker extender.)

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If you win “Dinner with Jimmy Johnson,” you’re duty bound to order the jumbo-sized sausage.

Written by rkcookjr

April 17, 2010 at 12:27 am

Texas City Little League suffers epidemic of unhinged coaches

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Junior, Senior & Big League Baseball

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In the northern climes in which I live, youth baseball games have not yet started. Meanwhile, in warmer climes, adults are already infecting their local fields with craziness, and none more than in Texas City, Texas.

The Little League in Texas City has suspended two coaches in three weeks, and might suspend a third as early as tonight. All three of them have been arrested, as well, for losing their shit in the presence of the way-before-preteen set.

The latest incident was April 8, and involved one Jeremy Brian Delgado, whom the Galveston Daily News identified with three names as if he was the guy who shot John Lennon. Instead, Delgado shot, as the newspaper said, “F-bombs,” being arrested on a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge for getting a little too passionate in his defense of a player. From the Galveston County Daily News:

A parent who said he was upset about how a coach handled his son made the allegation, [Texas City police Capt.] Brian Goetschius said.

The father of the child who was yelled at asked The Daily News not to reveal his name for fear of reprisal against his son. The game involved 9- and 10-year-old boys.

The father said his son was on the field but not doing anything out of the ordinary during a bases-loaded ground out to shortstop that ended an inning.

He said he approached Delgado, asking why another coach yelled at his son.

Delgado, one of two assistants, then had words with the head coach on his team, in support of the boy who was yelled at, Goetschius said.

Delgado is accused of yelling bad language at the coach and assistant coach as the argument escalated, Goetschius said. He also is accused of using the same sort of language toward an umpire when he was ejected.

A Texas City police officer saw the commotion and heard some language before arresting Delgado, Goetschius said.

Actually, if police arrested every parent who went on a swearing binge at a youth baseball game, there would be 25 adults to a lockup cell every game night. I’m not defending Delgado’s choice of “some language,” but I’ll say that parents should consider themselves lucky they don’t have the Texas City police monitoring their public profanity. Then again, as the Houston Press points out, cops in Galveston County are fairly quick to arrest and prosecute the foul-mouthed.

If the Texas City Little League decides to bounce Delgado [APRIL 16 UPDATE: the league suspended Delgado for the remainder of the season], he’ll have company in its virtual penalty box. Coaches Jose Luis Duran and Johnathan T. Kimsey got sent there after a March 27 brawl that started after one coach got upset by a trick play used in a game involving 7- and 8-year-olds. Wait, a trick play in a 7- and 8-year-old game? I hope the coach who pulled that one is proud that he could outsmart a first-grader.

The Galveston County Daily News didn’t identify who called the trick play, but it did note the argument ended with a brawl, and disorderly conduct charges for Duran and Kimsey. A third coach in the brawl got his suspension lifted when he successfully argued his role was limited to being choked into unconsciousness.

The first game of the 6- and 7-year-old baseball team I’m managing doesn’t have its first game until April 27. Certainly, I have my work cut out to catch up to the pace set by the coaches in Texas City.

Written by rkcookjr

April 15, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Former New York coaching legend indicted on child rape charges

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Two stories are depressingly common: the youth coach who is accused of molesting members of his team, and molestation occurring within the Catholic Church. The story of former New York Catholic high school coaching legend Bob Oliva, indicted March 25 on two counts of child rape, sadly hits on both counts.

Oliva coached such future NBAers as Lamar Odom, Speedy Claxton, Derrick Phelps and Jayson Williams (talk about your troubled souls) at Christ the King Regional High School in Queens, winning nearly 550 games in 27 seasons before leaving in the 2008-09 season, supposedly for health reasons. He was having heart troubles, but in April 2008 he had already told the school he had been falsely accused of sexual crimes against a former family friend. The boy was Jimmy Carlino, who the New York Daily News said Oliva had called his “godson.”

You know how this story goes. At first no one believes the accuser, and the school and just about everyone else backs up Oliva. Of course, that is not in and of itself some form of evil: you’re innocent until proven guilty, and presumably many of Oliva’s supporters noticed nothing untoward.

But it was a bad sign for Oliva when the Daily News on Feb. 28 published a story about some of his defenders starting to believe the stories of his accuser, especially as they heard former teammates or friends come forward with their own stories about Oliva.

Less a month later, Oliva was indicted in Boston for two counts of raping a child (a 14-year-old boy) in 1976, while in town for a Yankees-Red Sox doubleheader, and one count of disseminating pornography to a minor. Carlino wasn’t named in the indictment as a victim, but he says at that age and that time Oliva took him to Boston and molested him.

I’ll say one more time that officially Oliva is guilty of nothing. But if the pattern holds, more boys-grown-up, emboldened by the walls starting to come crashing down, will come forward. They did when former students sued a Brooklyn prep school over a failure to protect them from a long-time, child-molesting, now-deceased football coach. They did when Andrew King, a 40-year swim coach in the San Jose, Calif., area, got busted for molesting a 14-year-old girl, and authorities found at least 12 other girls reporting similar offenses dating back to 1978. Former 1972 U.S. Olympic swimmer Deena Deardurff Schmidt recently stated she was molested by her swim coach as a child, holding a news conference to support an anonymous swimmer who has sued King and to lambaste USA Swimming for how it handled molestation allegations over the years.

The Catholic Church has a lot to answer for on how it handled its child-molesting priests, but it’s not the only organization that had such issues. Youth coaches have been given god-like powers over the years, and unfortunately many of them took advantage of that stature to take advantage of children. Unfortunately, it’s still happening, even with background checks in place that weren’t around when Oliva started coaching.

Whatever happens with the Oliva case, the lessons for parents remain. If something seems a little weird, then it probably is. Don’t leave your child alone with a coach. Don’t tell your child to do EVERYTHING the coach says. And, for God’s sake, don’t let your child go out of town or anywhere solo with a coach. It’s sad to say this, but it’s the only way to ensure your child’s safety.

Written by rkcookjr

March 26, 2010 at 5:54 pm

You want a qualified coach for your child? Dream on

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In the very good Charm City Moms blog from the Baltimore Sun, Kate Shazkin passes along the National Athletic Trainers Association’s tips for keeping your young athlete safe and healthy.

There’s some great advice, such as making sure your family is ready to handle the financial and time commitment. And making sure your child has not only have a physical, but also a mental, which assesses whether a child is even interested in the sport and level of commitment (for the love of whatever deity you worship parents, you will do yourself and us youth coaches a favor if you don’t push your child into a sport he or she clearly does not want to do). And providing your child’s coaches with a medical history — don’t try to hide your child’s asthma because you’re afraid a coach won’t play him or her, unless you want the sight of your child panicking to breathe and a coach panicking to figure out what the hell happened.

Of course, this being the blog it is, I couldn’t, as the far more respectful Charm City Moms does, leave the list as it is. There were two items that I will tell you, concerned parents, if these are deal-breakers for your child playing youth sports, enjoy the Xbox 360.

The first is “find out who’s taking care of your kids.” The trainers association is realistic in noting that half of high school teams don’t have trainers. If you child is at a lower level, you’re lucky if there’s a first aid kit available, or a set of Dora-embossed Band Aids. Parents, the answer to the question of, who takes care of my kid if he or she gets hurt is some combination of you or 911.

(Unless you have kids on the team whose parents are EMTs, and who are allowed to leave the station with the ambulance to watch their kids’ games. I had an assistant coach who was able to do that for a while, until he was told by his chief he couldn’t leave the station anymore, which seemed ridiculous. Fortunately, nothing ever happened with him at or away from the field to the point an EMT was needed.)

Anyway, the lack of a physician, nurse, trainer, veteranarian or faith healer on site is part and parcel of your child being in a youth league run by volunteers. Which brings me to the second item of parental disappointment: “Ascertain the qualifications of your coaches.”

Here is how Charm City Moms relays what the trainers association says you, as a parent, should be seeking:

A background check should always be performed on coaches and volunteers before they are allowed to work with children, and parents should ensure the following guidelines are followed:
• Coaches should have background and knowledge in the sport they are coaching. They should be credentialed if that is a requirement in the state, conference or league.
• All coaches should have cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), automated external defibrillator (AED) and first aid training.
• Coaches should strictly enforce the sports rules and have a plan for dealing with emergencies.

Here is what you really will get.

Your child’s coach may or may not be a background check, depending on the budget of the organization and whether the state it’s in even requires one. Of course, even if there is a background check, it’s probably limited to sex crime convictions only, so you’ll never know about the past coke bust or the secret computer in the basement where the otherwise upstanding, churchgoing coach has stashed his child porn.

Your child’s coach will not even be remotely qualified in the sports which he or she is coaching, even though he or she is convinced that years of yelling at the local pro team on television is qualification enough. He or she will have no certifications or credentials for the sport, much less working with children.

Your child’s coach will not have CPR, AED or first-aid training. You will be lucky if coach simply doesn’t take smoke breaks.

Your child’s coach may or may not strictly enforce the sports rules, especially if the parents are on his or her ass about not winning enough, or the opposing coach is too stupid not to know the third-grade basketball league doesn’t allow pressing. Your child’s coach’s plan for dealing with emergencies: somewhere between asking if a parent has a cellphone for calling 911, and telling the kid to rub some dirt in it and walk it off.

What you will get, if you’re fortunate, is a parent who realizes his or her limitations, tries to learn a little bit how to teach a sport at an age-appropriate level, communicates with you once in a while, and treats the players and parents with respect, even if he or she is not getting any. At the youth level, it’s almost impossible to know that your child’s coach is “qualified.”

However, you can learn that later. You’ll know that your coach is qualified if, at season’s end, your kid can’t wait to play again next year.

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An eminently qualified coach.

Written by rkcookjr

March 16, 2010 at 10:24 pm

Natalie Randolph isn't alone as a female H.S. football coach

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The reason you see journalists hedge on saying someone is the only one of something is because the moment you do that, it’s guaranteed you’ll get someone telling you you’re wrong.

So after the Washington Post (and I) noted that Natalie Randolph, just hired as football coach at DC’s Coolidge High, was believed to be the nation’s only female high school football coach, it suddenly popped up that, hey, she’s not the only one!

The example brought up was Debbie Vance, the head football coach at Lehman High (named after a former governor who was the son of a founder of the now-infamous Lehman Brothers) in The Bronx for the last two seasons. Her first year, the team went 1-8. In her second season, 2009, the team improved to 4-6.

It is slightly more common to have women coaching boys’ basketball times. But a 2008 analysis by the University of Minnesota’s Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport found that only 2 percent of boys’ teams in that state — mostly swimming and tennis — had female coaches. I suspect the numbers aren’t any higher anywhere else in the country. The bigger issue, perhaps, is a decline in female head coaches in general at the high school level. The Tucker Center said only 17 percent of high school teams in Minnesota were coached by women, and only 38 percent of girls’ teams had a female head coach. Women’s representation is declining, the Tucker Center analysis showed.

As I mentioned in my previous post on Natalie Randolph, a lot of women I know opt out of coaching at the youth level because they feel like they don’t have time, given their many responsibilities in work, life and child-raising. At least in my experience at the youngest of youth levels, I haven’t seen the level of outright gender bias that Tucker Center director Nicole LaVoi sees (in addition to her noting what I said in the previous sentence about many women not wanting to add more one responsibility).

But then again, she’s conducting research, and I’m not. And I do agree that women, no matter who they’re coaching at what level, face questions of competence that men would never hear. From a conversation LaVoi had with Minnesota Public Radio:

“If a guy shows up for the first day of practice, he’s automatically assumed to be competent because he’s a male. But when a woman comes, that’s the first thing we think of,” said Lavoi. “That’s another one of the gender stereotypes about leadership. We automatically assume men are more competent than women.”

Lavoi says that uphill struggle to acceptance keeps some women away from the sidelines.

“A lot of them are sitting around going, ‘I didn’t think you wanted me. No one ever asked me,'” said Lavoi. “That’s a bright spot to me because I know there are a lot of women out there who are very qualified, who would make great coaches, but we have to figure out a way to get them to the dance.”

For more on the dynamic of women coaching boys at the high school level, here is a Nov. 5, 2009, piece from Central Florida News 13 on Tracy Stephens, the offensive line coach at East Ridge High School in Lake County. She has worked there for three seasons, hired by her husband, Jeff, the head coach, after he ran short of coaches to help in the spring. Just by being there, Tracy Stephens teaches an important lesson to the boys: that a woman can do things as well as a man, which is a message you wouldn’t think would need to be taught anymore, but does.

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