Good letter. I agree.
@eagle - you are absolutely right, and immediately after my initial post, I
thought of how all the tantrums I've ever seen Bobby Knight throw, I
can't think of one that was against an opponent. I don't recall ever
seeing him humiliate opponents with unsportsmanlike strategy, or hearing any
such accusation against him. So, even one we typically think of in
the context of boorish coaching behavior still shows respect and sportsmanship
toward his opponents. Off the top of my head, I really can't think of a
single high-level coach who manages his games like the coach in the article, if
the article is accurate.Thanks for your spot-on defense of Bobby
Knight - a passionate and well respected, great coach.
DSB:I love your comments for the most part though I disagree with
one thing. Bobby Knight is basically considered heel by many for his tantrums
in the press, tirades against his players and officials though many of all of
these love him. But yes, he lost his dignity many times compared to John
Wooden. However, I think both Knight AND Wooden agree on one thing. And that
one thing is that you win with dignity and certainly they would be more of the
mindset of you and me on this issue vs. Redshirt. And anytime your philosophy
jives with a John Wooden, you're on the right path. As for Knight,
he wouldn't humiliate his opponents or embarrass the game or the spirit of
competition in this particular way. As for Knight on other things,
we all know he had his issues though if you truly investigate Knight, you might
have a better opinion of him as his mistakes or shortcomings are well documented
but more of his players loved and respected him more than not and him and Wooden
graduated their players like few others that had that kind of success.
redshirt:I just put up some parameters. Again, I have no idea how
Coach Maxwell handled the situation since I was not there. But as one who has
coached you can both win and lose with dignity. Once the outcome, which has
been defined well above, is practically decided, there is no point to humiliate
your opponent further. There are ways in which your players can play hard but
can be restrained by the strategy employed by the coaches. This restraint comes
from how you substitute, to the plays you call, etc.
@Redshirt - are the D students being held in place by the A students? Do the A
students somehow take action that prevents the D student from higher
achievement? A full court press, which is one team's aggressive,
pro-active focus to steal a possession from the opposing team, is the equivalent
exactly to what actions by the A students against the D students? Basketball
teams try to prevent the other team from scoring - how do the A students attempt
to prevent the D students from scoring? The simple fact is that A students
engage in singularly self-promoting study and hard work to advance themselves -
they take no defensive actions to keep others down.In other words,
your analogy is completely irrelevant and makes no sense whatsoever. Also, who said there's anything wrong with winning, or beating another
team soundly, or having a large margin of victory? The article made no mention
that beating another team soundly was in any way inappropriate, and neither has
any commenter. It was all, let me repeat, ALL about the MANNER in which the
victors piled on unnecessarily, and the tacky actions of some fans.
A merciless pounding is not good sportsmanship in any arena. There is no
comparison to excellence in study, wherein a student competes against himself
and the subject matter to master the class. The D student can pull himself up
by studying and hard work, in fact he can attain a tie or overtake the top
student by his own efforts, without the top student being diminished in any way.
This is not even in the same universe as a comparison, and I'm surprised
at your insistence that it's comparable, because I generally find your
arguments pretty well reasoned.I challenge you to find a single
professional or college-level coach who coaches his team the way described in
the article. I guess top level coaches just don't know as much about
sportsmanship as you and the coach at issue in this article. I'll take a
competitive coach with sportsmanship and class any day over a pure bully whose
goal is to humiliate others. Which, by the way, straight A students do NOT do
simply by virtue of getting good grades.
To "DSB" but in acedemics you do have the straight A student showing up
the D student all the time. When the student with all of the D's is sent
to the special classes for kids that have learning problems, everybody knows it.
At the same time, when the special class for the smartest kids comes around,
all of the kids know who goes there. Right there you have the separation, and
you have the situation where the A student shows that they are that much better
than the D student.If there is nothing wrong with keeping to the
game plan that the coach already had, eventhough he had a large margin for
victory, who is showing the poor sportsmanship? I would contend that it is the
fans that are complaining about the point difference.The coach did
nothing wrong, and the only people taking offense are people who were not on the
@Redshirt - Not one commenter has even hinted there's anything wrong with
winning or getting straight A's. This debate is about sportsmanship once
you've ALREADY won the game from any practical standpoint.In
your scenario, would you have the straight A student compete directly with the D
student, one on one, in front of the class, every day, showing up the D student
in front of everyone? Do you think it's acceptable for a teacher to allow
this kind of competition for grades? The A student competes against himself,
not publicly against failing students.Every college and pro
basketball team dribbles out the ball on the last possession when victory is in
hand. Are they failing to get the best out of their players? In a blowout, the
winning team puts in subs, and plays more conservatively over the final minutes.
Again, that's sportsmanship. The kind of relentless humiliating beatdown
described in this article is just plain being a jerk. I don't believe you
would coach that way.
To "DSB" I am still trying to understand what is wrong with winning,
even when the point difference is large.Would you tell the kids who
consistantly get straight A's to not study so hard, and let the kids
getting C's and D's feel better about themselves?
@Redshirt - I agree with many of your comments, but feel you're so wrong on
this one. Eagle is exactly right. Once a team has a game decidedly in hand,
sure there's nothing against the rules to keep your starters in at full
throttle, or continuing with a full court press, or holstering imaginary pistols
after every basket made, or setting legal brutal picks, reigning down
3-pointers, going repeatedly for long bombs in football when the receiver is
worlds better than the safety, yelling AIRBALL, AIRBALL for 30 minutes, etc.When a game is totally in hand, and you keep playing that way, just
because it's allowed doesn't make it right. It's called poor
sportsmanship, lack of class. Everybody hates you for it. Do you have more
respect for John Wooden or for Bobby Knight? Did showing class and
demonstrating sportsmanship keep John Wooden from winning games, even
convincingly?NO ONE has said a coach and players should be merciful
by intentionally allowing an inferior opponent to stay within striking distance.
The situations we're debating are far more than convincing victories,
they're relentless humiliating beatdowns that should embarrass any winning
coach, team, and parents involved.
To "eagle" what is wrong with outscoring your opponent? Yes the coach
could have rotated in other players more, but he was not required to. What is
wrong with what the coach did? Some people didn't like it, but what is
wrong with it? If I had a team that smashed their opponents 200 to 0, did I do
anything wrong or did I do my job?
Redshirt:You can still try your best and not run up the score. You
can liberally sub and tell the subs to keep playing hard. There is nothing
wrong with that. In football, you can still tell the players to execute the
plays called but instead of calling long pass plays you call short passes and
run plays. In basketball you can still play hard but not full court press up 40
points but work hard on other phases of the game in full effort and execution.
This is the proper way to coach. If all of this was done in this game and
Bountiful still won by 60 plus points, there is no issue. I don't fault the
boys in any way. The issue might still exist with the fans and some of their
behavior. But if the coach kept the starters in way past the time the game was a
blowout, kept pressing and little substitution was done, it would be fair to
have issue. I won't make judgment because I wasn't at the game but I
will stand by the general philosophy offered as one who has coached, even quite
successfully, for nearly three decades.
To "Confused" Do you also teach your kids that they shouldn't do
better than the other kids?Lets take this lesson out of sports and
apply it to school.Would you be proud or ashamed of your child for
getting 100% on a test when the rest of their class got 75% or less on the same
test?Would you tell your child to shoot for a 24 on the ACT because
you don't want them to out perform their peers?You may think
that is sounds absurd, but that is the same thing you are teaching when you say
that it is wrong for a basketball team to score a lot more than their opponent.
Do you really want to tell kids that they shouldn't play their best?It isn't about winning or losing. I doubt the losing team was
intentionally trying to lose. It is about doing your best and using what you
have been taught to the full extent of your abilities. When you do that, some
times you win by a large margine, and sometimes you lose. The issue is how you
react to winning or losing. Are you as gracious losing as winning?
Redshirt....I teach my children that "Winning isn't everything
there is in life".So do you teach your children to pound a kid
into the ground and put him into the hospital when they have fights at school? I
mean obviously the other kid is not as good as your kid right?There
is no "Honor" in running up the score, As for ESPN article, I would
expect nothing less, But I take mine ideas from people who actually matter and
do this for a living. Lavell Edwards never ran up the score intentionally, he
used subs so they could get experience, ran running plays so that it took time
off the clock, he never once told his kids to back off and not play hard, but he
also knew what It was like to be on the other end of the scale.There
is nothing wrong with teaching children to do the best they can, but they also
must learn there are limits to what is "Right".Only a person
with low self esteem would think that running the score up is OK to do.
To "Confused" what is wrong with running up the score? Some of the
Seniors could be looking to get recruited for college basketball. How would it
look to pull them out because they are scoring too good.Actually, a
good coach knows that it is ok to run up the score.Read "Running
Up the Score" on sports sign up, "Why You Should Always Run Up the
Score" on FirstThings, and "Is running up the score a problem?" on
ESPN.The problem with pulling back players and stopping them from
running up the score goes contrary to what the coaches have been teaching them.
By stopping them, the experts explain, that you are telling the kids on the team
that it is wrong to be better than the other team.Do you really want
to teach kids that it is wrong to perform better than somebody else? Especially
in this case, where the only complaints are some of the fans and the score.
Redshirt,There is a big difference between "Winning" games and
"Running up the Score".BHS coach ran up the score by keeping
his starters in, continuing to shoot 3's, full court press....If he had an ounce of class, he would have put his second and third string in
the game when it was apparent that the game was clearly over. Every
good coach knows when to call off the dogs when the other team is not as good as
his team.Here is what I know for a fact.... BHS is going to run into
a buzz saw in the future, and the coach of that team will show no mercy or
To "John Charity Spring" and "Irony Guy" and anybody else who
didn't like BHS winning by too many points.I get the part about
the students making obscene gestures or using foul language. That is definately
out of line.However, the coach at BHS was doing his job. His job is
to coach the basketball team and to WIN games. He is not there to make the
other team feel good about themselves. The goal is to determine which team has
the best combination of coach and players.Would you insist that
Green Bay stop winning so much so that the other teams can feel good about
riverofsun:Yes, that cheer is still around...
Re Sven:I don't recall any of the posters insinuating that the
Bountiful team had not" worked their tails off to be as good as they
are" and it is obvious that the Bountiful Coach " is a man who taught
his players the value of teamwork, and doing their best" culminating in an
outstanding season record. What in my opinion this very capable coach came up
short on was teaching and leading his team how to win with "Class".
There is much more to sports, games and competition than Just "Winning".
How we win comes into play or at least it should. Do you or do you not agree!.
In my opinion as a Coach, parent or fan, I would rather have my
team walk off the court or field win or lose with "Class" than with a
win with no class as did Bountiful that night!
To those taking me to task for my remarks, go back and read what I quoted from
Steven’s letter. Hint: it's the first paragraph and it's in
quotes. I was not responding to the childish antics of some of the fans, but
was instead addressing the wimpy attitude that our society has been adopting, by
looking at Steven’s criticism of the Bountiful teams legitimate win. So, in the mind of some here, the Bountiful Team’s outstanding
teamwork and performance (e.g. “full court press”, and
“three-pointers”) is being lumped together and compared with the
behavior of some rowdy fans…seriously? Has it occurred to any of you that
these kids worked their tails off to be as good as they are? Why not ask the
Cyprus Coach why his team did so poorly.Steven, while you look at
this Coach with nothing but contempt, I see a man who taught his players the
value of teamwork, and doing their best. Sadly, we live in time where success
(e.g. academic, business, financial) is treated with contempt by people like
Steven. Unfortunate the way you’ve attacked these kids.
@Cincinnatus:"Many, many coaches from the little league level to the
pro's will put in subs, and back off the scoring drives, when they are so
far ahead that more points don't matter. That's a sign of
class."Excellent point. Getting so far ahead in a game gives
the coach an opportunity to let his subs get some playing experience.
It in the High Schools, on the Freeways, and in the communities.This
is not just a "Bountiful" problem, This is a "Utah"
problem.And the problem is learned in the "homes".
Is the familiar cheer at the higher income Utah County high schools, "It's alright, It's ok. You'll all work for us
someday",still popular at all of their sporting events?
I understand a healthy lead, but 60 points is outrageous. I get that a coach
needs to maintain a certain rhythm with his players to be ready for future
games. I get that the subs need an opportunity to use and practice their
skills. Sometimes emotions run high and family, friends and other spectators
don't always see things objectively. Even giving the the coach these
benefits of doubt, the game, as described, sounds awful. Worse than awful. Poor
sportsmanship at its very worst. Poor leadership from coaches, team leaders,
school administrators and parents. Wow, too many players and school kids
learning such poor life lessons in this scenario.
On the flip side, I would like to commend the sportsmanship of the losing team
of this particular game. The took the loss in stride,they didn't whine to
the officials, and they moved on. I am proud of the boys on the Cyprus
Re: SvenYou said it best " Sports can help teach kids to be good
winners and losers." I think that's the point the writer of the forum
post was trying to make! Sound to me like you would make a great replacement if
the Bountiful coach decides to retire! Its a shame a great season record ends
on a sour note because of these kinds of attitudes! Win at all costs is a
pathetic lesson to teach young people! I am wondering if it wouldn't have
been better to give the second string some seldom played minutes rather than
keep the studs in to make an ill gotten statement! Back to your
statement Sven, did that game make the Bountiful five feel like "Good
I agree with the substance of this letter, but some of the comments went off
track:@Sven- Do you think this was a war, or a game? It's fine
to stand to defend your country or your beliefs with a backbone of steel, but
this is about sportsmanship, on and off the court. Many, many coaches from the
little league level to the pro's will put in subs, and back off the scoring
drives, when they are so far ahead that more points don't matter.
That's a sign of class.@JCS- I was finding myself in a rare
moment of agreement with you- until you went off the deep end and made this
about income levels. As I said above- this is about sportsmanship. How you
suddenly made this about a "rich" school vs. a "poor" school has
nothing to do with the the game, or the alleged lack of sportsmanship shown at
this game.In sports, there are winners and losers. That's part
of playing games. Unfortunately, we've come to make sports equivalent to
war- destroy the enemy at all costs, demoralize them, and leave no one standing.
Too bad not all coaches are like those from Roosevelt (wasn't it?) who took
action to stop bullying by suspending the entire team until they had done some
serious public service and apologizing.
Its a game. If you want class, go stay at the Stein Ericksen lodge.
As a Bountiful High alum, I'm ashamed to hear this account. If true, the
story makes me sick. Where is the principal, and what is he doing about those
abusive kids in the stands? Why is the coach running his program like this?
Where are the parents, my neighbors?
If the accusations in this letter are true, it really should start with parents
of children from Bountiful HS. They should go directly to the Pricincipal and
district and demand better behavior from the students and coach.
I understand what your saying, we our the school that lives close to Bountiful,
Woods Cross and we have been taking this from them for years.. I always feel
the same way with the rivalry of Utah and BYU, If ever I have any thing on
from BYU people make comments to me that are mean .. I get so tired of
rivalries, why can't people just have there favorite team and cheer their
heads off for them, and leave all the other teams alone?
Steve is absolutely correct in his analysis here. Bountiful High is well known
in Davis County for its lack of decorum and sportsmanship. By and
large, the population of Bountiful High is higher income. Its sports teams have
historically delighted in destroying lower income teams. Indeed, humiliating
opponents appears to be the goal.If the UHSAA had any backbone at
all, it would strip Bountiful of its ill-gotten trophy and would ban all its
sports teams until the schoolas a whole realizes that high school athletics
should be about displaying sportsmanship and good character.
"Why would a coach have his team completely demoralize the opposing team?
Why would he have his team full-court press for more than three quarters when
the outcome of the game was decided in the first quarter?"Your
comment perfectly underscores the fact that we are becoming a society of wimps.
What, should there be a rule in place to give the losing team some mercy points?
Should the winning team be penalized if they are winning by too many points?
Good grief, this is a sporting event. Are you afraid these little darlings will
be scared for life?Tell you what, just so nobody gets their feelings
hurt, let's just quit keeping score. Wouldn't want their self-esteem
to be damaged. Kids need to learn that in life, we don't
always win; sometimes we lose. Sports can help teach kids to be good winners
and losers. Everyone needs to understand, in this life, we don't have a
utopia. sometimes you lode. Deal with it!