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Angry football coach launches a moon shot

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Courtesy of Steve Griffith at Wacky Youth Sports Dad comes a piece from the New York Daily News about a high school football game that ended with many involved showing themselves to be asses, which inspired one assistant coach to show them his ass.

A wild melee at a high school football game in Queens ended ugly Saturday when an assistant coach dropped his drawers and mooned the opposing team’s spectators.

The Boys and Girls High School volunteer assistant bared his backside to fans of the home team, Campus Magnet, minutes after a shoving match erupted on the field between coaches and school safety officers.

“His fellow coaches were holding him back and he turned around and pulled down his shorts,” said David Sumter, 40, a Campus Magnet parent. “All I saw was his big [rear end].”

I believe Mr. Sumter said “ass,” although it’s possible he made air brackets when he said rear end.

As if it matters why a coach would drop his drawers on the field, apparently that coach — William Miller, as the Daily News identified him — and the Boys and Girls head coach were tossed out of the game after vociferously, non-nakedly protesting the referees’ calling good a Campus Magnet two-point conversion that put Boys and Girls down 16-6 with a few minutes to play. With all the ruckus, the refs shut the game down. Campus Magnet parents began heckling, and that’s why Miller went over to their section, screamed at the fans and, as the Daily News put it, “revealed his caboose.”

Hey, pull up your shorts! (NSFW, obviously)

Apparently Miller, a volunteer, lost his gig over this, according to the Daily News. I wonder if the school told him not to let the door hit a certain part of his body on the way out.

High school football coach punted for resume padding

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Pity James Allen, the high school sports reporter for the Times Union in Albany, N.Y. He, unlike the Albany school board, fact-checked the resume of Robbin Williams, hired as fourth head coach in four years for the moribund football program at Albany High (3-33 in the last four seasons, 19 straight losses dating back to Oct. 19, 2007). Turns out Williams, a prison guard and former high school assistant, not only padded his resume, but is also a horrible, horrible liar.

A copy of Williams’ resume, obtained by the Times Union, states he has an extensive pro football background, including participation in six NFL training camps, and says he was a member of the [Arena Football League's] Albany Firebirds in 1993 and 1994.

To attend an NFL training camp, a player must sign a contract with the team. Officials from three of the NFL teams listed on Williams’ resume — the Washington Redskins, New York Giants and New England Patriots — confirmed … no one named Robbin Williams ever participated in any games or had been invited to a training or free-agent camp.

When questioned … Williams stated he had tryouts with six NFL teams lasting one to two days. He said he never signed with a team or attended a training camp. He said he couldn’t specifically remember what he wrote on his resume.

Williams also told the Times Union he was a member of the 1988 Washington Redskins as a replacement player. Replacement players were used in the NFL for three weeks during the 1987 season while the regular players were on strike. Williams never appeared in any game and could not give a specific amount of time he was with the team.

Williams also said … that he “played with the Albany Firebirds during their first season in 1992.” The Albany Firebirds were a member of the Arena Football League and played at the Knickerbocker Arena, now the Times Union Center, from 1990 through 2000.

A story that appeared in the May 21, 1991, edition of the Times Union regarding area players trying to make it with the Firebirds included Williams, who signed a few days earlier, but who was cut before Albany’s June 1 opener. …

When asked … about his time with the Firebirds, Williams said he never appeared in a game for the franchise.

He was then asked if he was a practice player with the team, he said, “You could say I was a practice player.” Williams said he was with the Firebirds for “about one month.”

On his resume, however, Williams states being a Firebirds’ team member in 1993 and 1994.

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Robbin Williams also hedged on whether he made numerous, hammy talk show appearances.

And does Allen get thanked for bringing Williams’ resume fudges to public attention? Of course not.

Allen, lamenting in the April 26 Times Union, a few days after the school board withdrew its offer to Williams:

People who didn’t know me weren’t very flattering in their assessment of my work on this story. I was told I had ulterior motives — that I was out to get Albany High. I even was called a racist more than once because I’m white and Robbin Williams is black.

In other words, a number of the people who read his saga wondered why I pursued this story, or assumed the answer.

The real answer is the story chased me, not the other way around, once Williams started talking and facts started getting fractured. I simply wouldn’t be doing my job unless I looked into something I knew was wrong.

Albany High has made the Washington Post’s list of top high schools in the nation. But the school board must stay out of the way of that business. Because if the way it handled this easily-checked-out football hire is any indication, it’s no wonder the team is in such lousy shape. Then again, if the grief Allen got is indicative of the people who voted in that school board, no wonder it had its collective head up its ass.

Written by rkcookjr

April 27, 2010 at 10:02 am

City slicker knocks hick town's Little League nose out of joint

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“That column was written in New York City!” — “New York City!!!!!!!??????”

Daaaaaaaadgummit, are they hoppin’ mad in Georgia over some snooty big-town writer accusing their Little League team of being bad sports. Imagine that, someone in big, bad New York City saying polite Southerners are the rude ones! Well, I never!

The first round in this media civil war was fired by the New York Post’s sports-moralizer-in-chief, Phil Mushnick, in an Aug. 23 column titled, “Lack of Sportsmanship at LLWS No Surprise.” Mushnick’s lede: “Every August, if you’re interested in gauging our starts-young “sports culture,” especially in the hands of TV, there’s the Little League World Series on ABC/ESPN. It can cure stomach discomfort. By making you sick. ” (Wow, pretty subtle for Mushnick, and the Post.)

Mushnick saved his most pointed finger wag for the coaches of the Georgia team, for how it reacted when a pitcher from the Staten Island, N.Y., team (in the Post’s readership area) tried to intentionally walk one of the Georgia players, and for the ABC crew, which didn’t call the coaches on it.

Saturday, the 12-year-olds representing Georgia were up, 4-1, against the kids from Staten Island when a Georgia batter, being intentionally walked, was at 3-0. But with the catcher again setting up outside and the ball again thrown outside, the batter swung and, of course, missed.

On ABC, Gary Thorne, known for presenting bad guesswork as fact, claimed that the batter “swung at that, just fooling around.”

Oh no,he didn’t. If he had, Georgia’s coach, immediately shown coaching third, would not have responded with silence and a knowing look. It was clear that with Staten Island’s starter’s pitch-count nearing the maximum allowed, 85, the kid had been instructed to swing at 3-0, to increase the total.

Here was another example of adults encouraging kids to forget playing ball and instead try to win by hook or by crook, to exploit every rule, to worm through loopholes.

ABC’s broadcast truck half got it. It cut to a shot of an electric pitch-count board in the outfield, except it focused on the wrong team’s. A close-up showed Georgia’s starter to have thrown 44, when N.Y.’s starter, after that kid swung at 3-0, had reached 77.

Mushnick went on to sprain other fingers while wagging them about the Little League World Series, but no matter. To the state of Georgia, specifically Joe Kovac Jr. of the Telegraph in Macon, them fighting words had already been spoken. Daaaaaaaadgummit, apparently Phil Mushnick doesn’t like winners, especially smarty-pants Southerners outslicking the city slickers. Warner Robins American Little League, the Georgia rep,  won the World Series in 2007, and its girls won the Little League softball World Series a month back, making it the first league to have boys and girls winners.

Kovac Jr. responded today in a column titled, “New York City tabloid says Warner Robins Little Leaguers poor sports.” In case you missed the seething dripping from the phrase “New York City tabloid” — as in, “Big City Asswiper” — Kovac Jr.’s lede was, “Leave it to the New York press to stir up a mild stink over, of all things, the strategic subtleties of Little League baseball.”

Mushnick’s observations came two days after the Georgia boys out-foxed the New Yorkers 6-3 in a contest televised on ABC. Well within the rules of the Little League game, Warner Robins sought to do all it could to up the Mid-Atlantic starting hurler’s pitch count.

Warner Robins leadoff batter Justin Jones, who had cracked a two-run homer earlier in the game, was at the plate with two out in the fourth. The Big Apple squad opted to issue him an intentional pass. Its pitcher tossed three pitchouts to the catcher.

On what would have been ball four, with the Staten Island starter’s pitch count within eight of the 85-pitch, Little League limit, Jones, with the apparent OK from his father, Warner Robins manager and third-base coach Randy Jones, took a half-hearted swing at the unhittable pitch. That ran the count to three balls and a strike, the idea being to chase the strong-throwing starter from the game in hope that a lesser pitcher might come on in relief. Or, perhaps, to even coax the New Yorkers to try their luck and pitch to Jones.

In last year’s regional round in Gulfport, Fla., the Warner Robins team bit on such a move. Its pitcher, facing Tennessee’s mightiest hitter, opted to pitch to the slugger after he took hacks at a pair of would-be ball fours. With the count 3-2, Warner Robins pitched to him and, whammo, saw the ball fly out of the park for a home run.

Saturday, Jones didn’t swing to make it 3-2 and instead walked. The batter behind him struck out to end the inning, but in the next frame the Warner Robins leadoff man went down on strikes, but it spelled the end for the New York starter who’d hit the 85-pitch mark.

Monday evening, during a postgame interview session with reporters after Warner Robins’ 3-2 victory over the Northwest team, the Georgia team’s manager was asked if the New York Post piece was accurate in saying Justin Jones was instructed to swing to increase the pitch tally.

“Do I need my attorney?” Randy Jones deadpanned, drawing laughs from reporters. “The pitch count is a part of the game, and it’s here to stay. And for those who aren’t willing to find strategic ways to use it to their benefit, they will find themselves going home.”

He said he figured to get questions as to the appropriateness of Saturday’s strategizing eventually.

“I think the way that that question was answered the best was by one of the umpires. … Apparently the (New York) coach came out and, as soon as we did that, claimed that I was making a travesty of the game, which is a very broad rule in the book,” Jones said. “But, anyhow, the umpire’s response to him was, ‘I think it’s a travesty that you won’t pitch to the kid.’ So he didn’t say anything else and went back to the dugout. So that took care of that problem.”

You know who is right here? The umpire.

It was a travesty that the Staten Island coaches decided to intentionally walk a player in the fourth inning. You’re not Tony LaRussa. You’re Little League coaches. Just pitch to the kid. Tell your pitcher not to throw him anything hittable, but at least look like you’re trying. Also, congratulations, you’ve just told one of your best pitchers he’s not capable of getting one of the best hitters out. Way to build his confidence. Unless you’re getting a cash bonus for winning this World Series (and if you are, that’s disgusting in its own right), forget the intentional walks unless it’s a real baseball reason — like there are runners on second and third with less than one out.

Georgia, if you think the ump sided with you, you’re wrong. Bascially, he called you out for being rule-bending knuckleheads, too, for cheaply trying to push the Staten Island pitcher to his limit. The ump was saying two wrongs don’t make a right, as in, the only thing more ridiculous than the pitcher trying to walk your guy was your guy swinging at an intentional walk pitch. Oh, and another thing more ridiculous — cheaply trying to use the pitch-count limit against somebody. The spirit of the rule is to keep a kid’s arm from falling off, not so you can game who you get to face.

As for Mushnick and Kovac Jr.:

Mushnick, if you were going to finger-wag, you should have included your homeboys of Staten Island for the intentional walk.

Kovac Jr., you should stop being such a huckleberry about big cities. Then, you should stop talking about the subtleties of Little League managing as if they involve baseball strategy. The biggest subtleties of any youth sports league involve how you develop players, not only their skills but also a love of the game. Not whether you can work the opponent’s pitch count up. Oh, and nice job referring to “a lesser pitcher” on a group of 11- and 12-year-olds. You sound like a heckling parent, daaaaaaaadgummit.

Written by rkcookjr

August 25, 2009 at 1:50 pm

And this little piggie stayed home

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The Your Kid’s Not Going Pro emergency alert center reports the following athletic cancellations as a result of H1N1 — oh, forget it, you’re all gonna call it swine flu no matter what authorities say. (NOTE: I am adding to this list and alphabetizing by state rather than creating new posts every team a school or organization cancels sports.)

EDIT: On the Pitch has some great practical resources for handling the swine flu scare. Its advice is targeted toward soccer leagues. But the lessons — including handling communication with parents — are valuable for any kind of league and coach.

ALABAMA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION All events postponed until further notice. Events postponed until May 5.

MADISON COUNTY, ALABAMA – All children’s activities, including T-ball practices and games, in county parks canceled until May 4.

BRANHAM HIGH SCHOOL, CALIFORNIAAll events canceled through May 6.

INDIO HIGH SCHOOL, CALIFORNIAAll events canceled through May 7.

BATAVIA HIGH SCHOOL, ILLINOIS
All games and practices canceled through May 4, as well as a ban on outside groups using school facilities.

HOMER COMMUNITY CONSOLIDATED DISTRICT 33, ILLINOISAll afterschool activities in middle and elementary schools, including sports, canceled for May 1.

WABASH SCHOOL DISTRICT, INDIANAAll practices for Thurs., April 30, called off. Games still scheduled, unless rained out.

WOODHAVEN-BROWNSTOWN SCHOOLS, MICHIGAN — All after-school activites, including sports, canceled for Thurs., April 30, and possibly through the weekend.

BEMUS POINT SCHOOL DISTRICT, NEW YORKAll sports canceled through May 3.


FABIUS-POMPEY HIGH SCHOOL, NEW YORK
All events canceled through May 1.

MAPLE GROVE SCHOOLS, NEW YORK
Schools and all sports activities canceled through May 4.

ST. FRANCIS PREP SCHOOL, NEW YORK — All events will go forward as scheduled, unless opponents are too scared of contracting swine flu to show up.

NORTH KINGSTOWN HIGH SCHOOL, RHODE ISLAND
All events canceled through Friday.

MAULDIN HIGH SCHOOL, SOUTH CAROLINAAll activities, including games and practices, canceled on April 30 and May 1.

NEWBERRY COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICT, SOUTH CAROLINAMost after-school activities, including sports, canceled through May 4.

MONTGOMERY BELL ACADEMY, TENNESSEEAll after-school activities, including sports, canceled through May 8.

THE CITY OF THE COLONY’S PARK AND RECREATIONS DEPARTMENT, TEXASAll youth league events at city facilities canceled through May 6.

CITY OF DENTON, TEXASAll league play and athletic programs including Denton Youth Soccer, Denton Boys Baseball and all field rental activities suspended through May 11.

CITY OF FORT WORTH, TEXASAll recreation center-hosted activities canceled until at least May 8..

CITY OF HIGHLAND VILLAGE, TEXASAll organized youth sports league games canceled from May 1-10.

LEWISVILLE ISD, TEXAS
All school district sporting events canceled through May 11.

TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF PRIVATE AND PAROCHIAL SCHOOLSRegion I-5A and 4A South Regional track meets scheduled for May 1 canceled.

UNIVERSITY INTERSCHOLASTIC LEAGUE, TEXASAll events canceled until May 11.

SALT LAKE CITY CATHOLIC SCHOOLS, UTAHAll sports at Judge Memorial Catholic High School and Our Lady of Lourdes School canceled until May 5.

PARK CITY SCHOOLS, UTAHSchools and all sports activities closed through May 4.

CLOVER PARK SCHOOL DISTRICT, WASHINGTONLakewood High School sports activities canceled for May 1.

Further updates as events warrant. Please send any closing and cancellations to rkcookjr at comcast.net, or through Twitter to @notgoingpro.

Written by rkcookjr

April 29, 2009 at 11:43 pm

Florida uses the nuclear option

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Maine couldn’t bring itself to cut high school sports at a statewide level. But Florida could — and did.

On Monday night, the Florida High School Athletic Association voted 9-6 to chop varsity sports games by 20 percent and JV and freshman games by 40 percent for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years. Varsity football, a big moneymaker, is unaffected. Competitive cheerleading is unaffected as well. Wait, is that a big moneymaker, too? New FHSAA executive director Roger Dearing in March put forth this proposal, saying the only other option was eliminating sports.

As you can imagine, this isn’t going over well with athletic directors.

From the Miami Herald, which notes that a lot of high-powered basketball programs who hosted or traveled to tournaments now can’t do so with a 20-game limit:

”I was a student in this county, and now I’ve been coaching in this county for 20-some years,” said Larry Brown, athletic director at Flanagan High School in Pembroke Pines. “I have never seen anything like this, cuts so drastic.”

Added Roger Harriott, AD at Davie’s University School: “It sends the wrong message to the kids, considering they’re the whole reason we have a job.”

In Miami, these games cuts were made five years ago. But the county school district says it still might have to eliminate multiple conference tournaments.

The problem in Florida is this: the state’s property taxes are refigured on an annual basis, and they’re based on the average sale prices for January, the busiest home-selling month in the state. (In my state, Illinois, your property gets reassessed every three years, based on an average price for the previous three years. So my schools are doing OK, because the last assessment caught the last three years of the real estate peak.)

The Florida system was great during the real estate boom times. Now, it’s sending school budgets cratering. Here was my report from January 2009, when I was visiting mortgage-scarred Bradenton.

Individual schools across the country are cutting sports budgets, but I haven’t heard of another state athletic association putting the hammer down on everyone. Will it be the last? I’m going to go out on a limb and say: probably not.

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A Florida High School Athletic Association board member at work.

EDIT: Boy, I am behind. New York and Mississippi already have enacted similar cuts statewide, with New York (unlike Mississippi) even cutting football. Oklahoma earlier this decade cut sports schedules to save money, though that was before the current recession. Idaho’s state high school athletic association in April voted down an across-the-board 10 percent event cut, but it might revisit the issue in May, as well as looking at other cost-saving moves.

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