FanDuel - WFBC

January 23, 2009

Covenant School seeks forfeit of 100-0 win over Dallas Academy: Christian school's 100-0 win over a small school of the learning disabled realizes, eventually, that it was a bad idea.

posted by bobfoot to basketball at 12:09 AM - 44 comments

At first I was thinking "shame on any coach that keeps the pressure on when the game is so lopsided".
Then, after researching the links, I noticed that the Covenant School only has 6 girls on their roster. Hard to put the B team in when you don't have one.

I suppose at some point you could tell the team to just stand there and let them score a few points. It appears the coach may have done that in the team's next game, as they won 66-7. Somehow, the 100-0 game is not listed on the school's site, no mention of a forfeit either.

The learning disabled angle reminded me of the football game in which a team allowed a mentally handicapped player to score, knowing how much it would mean to that player.

posted by dviking at 01:57 AM on January 23

The 100-0 score suggests the winning team was aiming for that milestone instead of running out the clock.

Another solution would be to split the teams and play the remainder of the game as a more evenly matched scrimmage.

There's something admirable about the losing team playing out the game to the end, though. Wonder if they were still taking shots and playing defense.

posted by rcade at 07:48 AM on January 23

There's something admirable about the losing team playing out the game to the end, though. Wonder if they were still taking shots and playing defense

Really? Admirable? IMO, the coach of the Covenant School shouldn't have a job anymore, it's a disgrace to want to reach the 100 point milestone just to do it. I can understand if there was some sort of record that was going to be broken but we're talking about high school girls basketball. High school.

These girls from Dallas Academy didn't learn anything by being embarrassed, only that there are some people out there that do not have a lick of sportsmanship in them. To also hear that the Covenant coach called the press defense in order to steal the ball and jack up 3's in order to reach 100 points is sad.

For anyone to attempt to remark how in sports you have to score more than the other team is missing the point altogether. As soon as it was obvious that the other team was going to loss by a wide margin, the coach should have called off the dogs and the very least, let the other team leave with some dignity. Instead, the coach decided to proceed with the ass whipping as if there was an NBA title to raise above their heads.

posted by BornIcon at 11:35 AM on January 23

Recently a girls' ice hockey game between Souhegan of Amherst, NH, and Bishop Guertin of Nashua, NH, was forfeited by Souhegan because its only goaltender was injured. Girls' ice hockey is in its fledgling stages in NH, so the coaches really wanted to play for the sake of the competition. Souhegan offered the forfeit, which was accepted by the Bishop Guertin coach, but rather than just put away the skates and go home, Bishop Guertin loaned Souhegan their backup goaltender, and off they went. Bishop Guertin could easily have insisted that the game be played just to pad their scoring statistics, but what would that have accomplished? Even though the game was a loss for Souhegan, it was important to both teams that they play on somewhat even terms, just to find out how they would fare. Souhegan lost, but it was no blowout, and you could say that both teams were the winners.

My point is that if a game is out of control, the coaches need to recognize what's going on and find a way to ease off a bit. Further, there needs to be some sort of mercy rule to mitigate the size of a loss. Perhaps they could go to running time (clock does not stop on free throws or other stoppages, other than time outs). This is done in NH high school football when one team leads another by 35 or more in the 2nd half. I don't agree that having your players stand around and deliberately allow the other team to score while wasting your own offensive chances is a good solution. It is patronizing and obvious, and I'm sure the losing team would not be pleased.

posted by Howard_T at 01:21 PM on January 23

Howard, I'm with you on not just standing there and letting the other team score, my thought was to perhaps let the losing team get a couple of points every now and then. The coach could easily signal to have his players play very soft defensively, and let the other team shot the ball. In this game the point guard was repeatedly stealing the ball at midcourt and doing layups.

rcade, I agree with your statement about the losing team's actions being admirable. I have seen coaches pull their teams when losing by lopsided scores in little league baseball, so to stick it out shows perseverance.

posted by dviking at 05:25 PM on January 23

The learning disabled angle reminded me of the football game in which a team allowed a mentally handicapped player to score, knowing how much it would mean to that player.

From what I've read these are kids that have ADD (which means my kid can't keep his shit together to pay attention in class so he/she has "ADD"), dyslexia, and the like. It's not like they are special needs kids that have autism and things like that. 100-0, sure that's over the top but the ass whipping was because the losing team was inferior. Don't get me wrong, the winning coach should called off the dogs but I hope this doesn't turn into the winners beat up on the handicap kids.

posted by cheemo13 at 06:22 PM on January 23

Thank you, cheemo, for bringing that up -- I was just coming back to make the same point.

This was not a team of retarded or physically handicapped children. This is a team of kids who are at this specific school for, according to Dallas Academy's web site, "trouble with concentration and short attention spans." Just how successful are you going to be getting kids to run a set offense if they can't pay attention in class for five minutes at a time? Are you setting them up to fail?

These two schools are part of TAPPS -- the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. Members are very small and generally private or religious schools. Given the number of schools in TAPPS and the size of Texas, it can be difficult to schedule like opponents. Covenant School probably shouldn't have scheduled Dallas Academy -- but the reverse is also true.

As for running up the score, tough shit. Covenant came to play the game, not roll over and do nothing for the second half. If Dallas Academy's coach didn't prepare his team for the very real possibility of a royal asskicking, that's his fault. I find a team that might pity me more demenaing than one that buries me.

posted by wfrazerjr at 07:10 PM on January 23

Yeah, but isn't there a happy medium somewhere? At some point, you realize what's going on and simply slow it down. Play so that you're not insulting them, but limit shots, increase passes, and work on certain things for future games.

posted by tahoemoj at 07:23 PM on January 23

My two cents from past experience sort of involving Dallas Academy. A few years ago, we decided to transfer our kids to a small private school in the Dallas area (a member of TAPPS). Athletics certainly had nothing to do with the decision, but my wife was impressed by the school's claim that any student who wants to play on a sports team is automatically on the team because the emphasis of the sports teams was not really to win, but to participate and learn teamwork and fair play. Later while attending the school, my son came home early having skipped the school football homecoming pep rally, which was really supposed to be mandatory attendance. When we called him on this, he explained why he refused to go. During class, they had practiced a pep rally skit in which the non-playing boys would play the part of the rival team's players. The skit was designed to ridicule the other team in proxy and depict them as stupid. This upset my son because he knew that the other team had been scheduled for homecoming because it was considered a pushover as its students had various learning disabilities and clearly could not play to the level of the other teams. Yes, the opposing team was Dallas Academy. How much the learning disabilities played into their performance on the field then or how much they play into their performance now I do not know. At least in football, there was the mercy rule. This probably is not the place to say it, but sometimes there is more to sports than winning. There is such a thing as sportsmanship.
I heard on a Dallas radio station that the 100-0 game was really all Dallas Academy's fault, that if they cannot compete then they should not be allowed on the court. I don't think that Dallas Academy's players had any serious expectations of winning. But I also don't think that this means they should not be allowed to play.

posted by graymatters at 09:21 PM on January 23

who makes the schedules???? i dont know if the winning team was handicapped in any way but who would make a game pairing unhandicapped vs handicapped that is just crazy.

posted by jjmule16 at 09:36 PM on January 23

As for running up the score, tough shit. Covenant came to play the game, not roll over and do nothing for the second half.
They reached the 100-point mark with 4 minutes left in the game, so maybe they came just to play 28 minutes and then roll over and do nothing. Or maybe it was that 100-point mark that mattered. It certainly wasn't just a matter of winning the game since they were still playing a full-court press and shooting 3s when the outcome was no longer in doubt.

I would have some empathy for the Covenant team if there were more than 6 players. It's always difficult to put in substitutes and tell them not to play the game to the best of their ability. With 6 players, however, everyone is getting PT and there is absolutely no excuse for what happened here.

If Dallas Academy's coach didn't prepare his team for the very real possibility of a royal asskicking, that's his fault.
Please read this. It would seem that the coach and the girls from Dallas Academy have very good understanding of the values of high school athletics.

It's not like they are special needs kids that have autism and things like that.
"...and things like that"? What would be your learned and expert assessment of things that are like autism? Please provide a list of "things like that" that are below the cutoff line -- you know, so we can identify the "handicap kids".

posted by joaquim at 09:38 PM on January 23

Thanks for reading the above posts, jjmule16, glad to know that you are paying attention.

posted by BoKnows at 09:39 PM on January 23

As a coach, I'd rather lose big than have the other team stop competing hard. That's more embarrassing to me. I can't speak for every kid I've ever coached and JMHO.

posted by sfts2 at 11:37 PM on January 23

Joaquim's link to the followup story is worth a read. Running a full-court press on a team you're beating 88-0 in the fourth period is inexcusable.

But in the end the bad sports got what was coming to them. The coach and players of Covenant School have turned themselves into a national embarrassment with their lack of sportsmanship. Considering the religious focus of the school -- its web site states the school's mission is to "glorify God by equipping students with the tools necessary to pursue a lifetime of learning so that they may discern, reason, and defend truth in service to our Lord" -- I would be surprised if this doesn't cost that coach his job.

People who blame the losing team for sucking must never have been on a team in their life that was completely outmatched by its opponent.

posted by rcade at 08:50 AM on January 24

People who blame the losing team for sucking must never have been on a team in their life that was completely outmatched by its opponent.

So it's the winning team's fault for being so good? Those bastards!

Look, I have been on a team that has been completely annihilated. Hell, I can give you the score and the team. As a sophomore, I was a captain of our junior varsity football team, and we played Belleville Althoff, a Catholic school which had a program far superior to ours.

The point of JV football is to give players who aren't playing much at the varsity level a chance to see time on the field and develop for the following season. Althoff, however, chose to bring all its junior starters from the varsity level. When they came out to the visitor's sideline, it looked like 50 Dolph Lundgrens across the field.

At the half, we were losing 34-0. We had perhaps two players that could physically match the size of almost every guy they had, and those guys were, well, not particularly good physical specimens. I was playing centre and linebacker and it felt like I had played four quarters of football already.

Our coach gave us the "try your best, you still have a chance" speech, which was nullified by Althoff running back the opening kickoff for a touchdown. In the fourth quarter, they were still throwing the ball on us.

Final score: Althoff 64, Edwardsville 0.

You know why I remember that game? Okay, one reason is one of the Crusader (nice name for a Catholic school, huh?) linebackers bit me on the hand in a pile after his helmet came off. Up by at least 40 points at the time and he bites me.

I jump up and show the referee the bite marks on my hand, and he says, "How do I know who did it?" I look at him and say, "Well, Sherlock, do you think it might be the guy with NO FUCKING HELMET ON?" The ref (who I knew) says, "I just want this over with." I guess I can't blame him.

But the real reason is my team played hard the whole game. Sure, we got our asses handed to us in a paper bag, but twice in the fourth quarter we stopped Althoff on fourth-and-short situations. It mostly likely wasn't their first-string guys, but our first string couldn't have been their second string.

The next week, we went out and beat an undefeated team, and it had a lot to do with being pissed off from the week before. We had a great week of practice and were focused for the next game.

I still think about that game occasionally, especially when something bad's happened in personal life or my business. It made me realize if you keep fighting, no matter what, there are still small victories to be had, even in crushing defeats, and if you finish as strong as you started, there is no shame in losing.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:07 AM on January 24

Inside the arena you're supposed to give 100% effort. Telling kids otherwise is bad advice for life, and (especially in contact sports) will increase the chances of someone getting hurt.

Once someone goes up 50 points I don't think the outcome of the game is in doubt any longer. Institute a mercy rule and keep the kids playing as hard as they can.

posted by chmurray at 10:24 AM on January 24

Now, I said all that to say this -- it's pretty easy to let up in a football game (even though Althoff really didn't). You run the ball up the middle three times and kick it away to run the clock.

In basketball, though, what the hell are you supposed to do? Dribble in circles? Deliberately throw the ball out of bounds? You can run the four corners, but man, that's just humiliating to the other team.

In this instance, yes, Joaquim, stopping right dead at 100 was a little crappy, but I think you're also proving my point. If the score had ended up 118-0, would you be complaining about how they never let up? Because apparently they did let up -- it just wasn't when you would have liked them to.

Perhaps the coach ran the press because they have a team coming up on the schedule who they'll need to press. Perhaps the coach told the team to keep shooting three-pointers because the team's three-point shooting stinks and they need the work. Remember, as you said, Covenant has six players -- how the hell are they going to practice the press with six players?

You use game time to get better, the same as practice. In the case of a TAPPS school, it's probably better than practice.

posted by wfrazerjr at 10:41 AM on January 24

In basketball, though, what the hell are you supposed to do?

You can do any number of things to avoid beating a team so badly it makes national news. Stop the full-court press, tell the guards to run the shot clock down before passing inside or driving the paint, encourage the team to take twos instead of threes and put your worst dribblers at guard to give them the practice.

posted by rcade at 12:46 PM on January 24

Here's another vote for a mercy rule. Secondly, I agree that they should have called off the full court press. That's just being mercenary at that point.

posted by spofomofo at 12:58 PM on January 24

I, too, have a similar story. My high school hockey team (the Crusaders - nice name for a catholic school, huh?) was playing a team in the first round of the state playoffs who had no business being on the ice with us. After scoring three quick goals in the opening few minutes, our coach recognized the disparity in talent. From then on, (1) only seniors were allowed to shoot the puck (2) and only after four passes in the offensive zone. We worked on some plays to get ready for our next opponent, making use of the ice time with another team out there to scrimmage against. Most importantly, we played hard the entire game (until the mercy rule kicked in midway through the third.) Guys skated hard, tried to make crisp passes, and played tough defense. We just limited the amount of scoring. I don't think that other team could accuse us of humiliating them by running up the score or not respecting them by not playing hard. That's the happy medium I was talking about. This coach could have made use of the time by running some plays without pressing and shooting threes.

posted by tahoemoj at 01:39 PM on January 24

To assemble a team for the sake of having a team seems to me like a lesson in futility. So perhaps Dallas Academy should disband its Girls Basketball program... When I was 8 I played Pop Warner Football on a team whose Head Coach had a policy that every kid got to play in every game. -Sounds like a good idea? We lost every game and it has in no way left even the remotest of "fond memories". Sports is meant to be competitive, and Dallas Academy clearly lacks the ability to compete.... On the other hand, the Head Coach of Covenant School AND his players, could perhaps benefit from the same kind of drubbing they delivered. Maybe I'm mistaken, but isn't a great deal of youth athletics about building character? The game COULD have been called and teams divided in a scrimmage. Poor judgment on ALL sides IMHO.

posted by Glenn at 03:00 PM on January 24

Several points.
First, Dallas Academy has pulled their team from the league they were in, and they are looking for a less competitive league to play in. They may look at playing other school's JV teams.
Second, there are many ways to keep the score down, and/or closer.
Call off the full court press.
Run the shot clock down.
Play very soft defense...no attempts to steal the ball, no fouling, no screens, etc.
Have every player move to a position that they don't normally play.

I do not put a single ounce of blame on the Dallas Academy coach. To forfeit or pull his team during the game only teaches his players that it's okay to quit.

FYI, the losing team has been on several national talk shows, and they seem to be having a good time with their 15 minutes of fame.

posted by dviking at 04:18 PM on January 24

So, for every example I saw given here -- do nothing to improve your own team. If you need work on threes, tough. If you need to work on the press, tough.

Sorry, it's not my fault you suck. Get better.

posted by wfrazerjr at 06:18 PM on January 24

wfrazerjr, I disagree with you reasoning.

Practicing how to run the shot clock all the way down to 1 before shooting is indeed a skill teams need to practice.
Having each player play a position they don't normally play does indeed improve your team. Especially when you only have 6 players on your team.

To say that you're going to practice the press is fine, but somewhere along about 55-0 it should become obvious that maybe you can work on something else.

"Sorry, it's not my fault you suck" is hardly in keeping with the stated mission statement of the winning school. I doubt it's in line with the mission statement of any high school.

posted by dviking at 07:08 PM on January 24

When I was 8 I played Pop Warner Football on a team whose Head Coach had a policy that every kid got to play in every game. -Sounds like a good idea?

Hell yes. You were eight years old. There's more to coaching young children than maximizing their chances to win. You're teaching basic skills, teamwork and sportsmanship. Of course all the eight year olds should play. What eight year old could suck so bad in a Pop Warner league that he doesn't deserve to play in every game? Your story makes me glad I played in YMCA leagues as a kid that had "everybody plays" as a rule.

So, for every example I saw given here -- do nothing to improve your own team. If you need work on threes, tough. If you need to work on the press, tough.

Do you really think they got to 100-0 as a result of working on skills, and not as an explicit attempt to reach 100?

posted by rcade at 07:19 PM on January 24

So, for every example I saw given here -- do nothing to improve your own team. If you need work on threes, tough. If you need to work on the press, tough.

Do you need to work on every skill in every game? How much "work" are you going to accomplish against a seriously overmatched opponent?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:43 PM on January 24

Has everyone glossed over the point I made before -- that Covenant apparently has six players on its roster? If true, can you give me a better time than a blowout to practice the press? When else are you going to practice it?

And can someone show me where anyone from Dallas Academy has said team members have been mentally scarred by the experience? I didn't read anyone from the school saying they were even upset -- but of course, there are millions lined up to be upset for them.

dviking, it may not be the school's mission statement. However, I highly doubt "We'll patronize you if you suck" is, either.

Well, rcade, I've already said the 100-point thing was crappy, but it's also a red herring. Had the final been 112-0, it wouldn't have looked as sexy in the headlines and might not have been picked up by the press services.

It comes down to whether you think it's more important to work on the skills your team will need down the road, or to make the other team feel better about themselves. Sorry, I take the former, and I don't think you can do both without making the losers feel like idiots anyway.

posted by wfrazerjr at 08:13 PM on January 24

I'm not trying to gloss it over, Frazer, but I think your point exists in a theoretical space where 100-0 games can be the result of polishing up your skills, as opposed to a methodical attempt to hang a gaudy number on the scoreboard.

I attended a game like this at the Astrodome, back in 1990 when David Klingler was quarterback of the Houston Cougars and broke all kinds of records. He threw 11 touchdown passes against Division I-AA Eastern Washington in an 84-21 rout.

The lack of sportsmanship was so brazen, even by the looser standards of run-it-up college football, that it probably cost Klingler the Heisman, according to SI. Today, that's how Klingler is best remembered -- as a QB who ran up the score on patsies, not as one of the greatest arms in college football history.

posted by rcade at 09:16 PM on January 24

Has everyone glossed over the point I made before -- that Covenant apparently has six players on its roster? If true, can you give me a better time than a blowout to practice the press? When else are you going to practice it?

When you're playing a competitive team, perhaps? I mean, how much "practice" do you get by using the press against a team that you so seriously outmatch that the situation in no way resembles what you'd encounter in a typical game?

posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:01 AM on January 25

And I'm saying the 100-0 score (or some similar score) is a byproduct of the game you're playing. It's pretty obvious the example you cited was nothing but Klinger taking advantage of a weak opponent to pad his statistics and further his chances for the Heisman.

Or so he thought.

In the case of Covenant (and this point I'll bring in lbb's argument), they don't have such a luxury. They have six players on their roster, which means they can never practice the press properly outside of a game. They're also nearing the end of their regular-season schedule. Maybe they'll get a chance to practice against another lesser opponent; maybe they won't. The coach, however, can't know that sitting on the sidelines of a 50-0 game and heading in the postseason. Therefore, it's practice time.

Again, I'm not arguing the validity of quitting at exactly 100 points. That's pretty lousy, but I don't think it's the real issue here. I see the issue as some people saying it's more important to protect the players on the opposing team from their own ineptness as opposed to doing what's right for your own team.

posted by wfrazerjr at 11:09 AM on January 25

wfrazer, I think you're forgetting the Covenant does have a JV team to practice against. Given the apparent skill disparities of the two schools, I'll bet that the Covenant's JV is probably a superior team to the Dallas Academy's varsity.

posted by dviking at 11:49 AM on January 25

Wfrazer, the point you seem to be making is that the Covenant coach needed to practice the full court press.

Yet in your own experience, the team that annihilated your team was playing with a malicious intent. In your own words:

The point of JV football is to give players who aren't playing much at the varsity level a chance to see time on the field and develop for the following season. Althoff, however, chose to bring all its junior starters from the varsity level.

You know why I remember that game? Okay, one reason is one of the Crusader (nice name for a Catholic school, huh?) linebackers bit me on the hand in a pile after his helmet came off. Up by at least 40 points at the time and he bites me.

I suspect that the Covenant School coach was just as malicious as the linebacker (and the coach ) in yours, with a complete disregard for sportsmanship or the other team.

I see the issue as some people saying it's more important to protect the players on the opposing team from their own ineptness as opposed to doing what's right for your own team.

Isn't teaching your kids to win with dignity and class and some respect for the opponents better than a little extra practice on your press defense? Besides, I'm not buying that this was about a coach who just wanted to get his team some extra practice.

I'd bet the attitude was more like "Let's hang a hundred on the retards."

I don't know enough about the other school to speak to their specific learning disabilities, but wouldn't the wiser choice always be, not to humiliate any kids, especially ones with some sort of disability.

Wouldn't 60-4 or 75 - 8 been a convincing enough win?

posted by cjets at 04:13 PM on January 25

In the case of Covenant (and this point I'll bring in lbb's argument), they don't have such a luxury. They have six players on their roster, which means they can never practice the press properly outside of a game.

I don't know how doable this is in high school, but a lot of the good collegiate women's teams practice against bench players from the men's team. Maybe the Covenant's boys' team also doesn't have the numbers to support this, but I do have to wonder if there wasn't some other way for them to practice the press -- and if there wasn't, whether the practice was really worth the price.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 05:56 PM on January 25

dviking, if you'll check out Covenant's own web site again (as I did before I started posting), you'll see two listings: Girls, Varsity, and Girls, Junior High. They have no junior varsity, and if they did, the JV has its own games to prepare for. You might scrimmage against them on a rare occasion -- not every day.

As for using the men's team's bench, I believe that generally happens with players from the college's men's practice squad at places like Duke, where they have a plethora of guys sitting around hoping for a shot as a walk-on or even just to bask in the glory of being associated with Duke's team. Again, the men's team has its own practice to deal with.

Cjets, I said a guy bit me. I didn't fault the entire team for it, or for playing hard the whole way. I said I learned from their not letting up much.

Is dignity and sportsmanship treating your opponents like sucks? Is it about deliberately screwing up and not playing your best? My sportsmanship doesn't look like that -- yours does. Fine.

Finally, I'm especially glad you were there to see exactly what went down. Here's a quote from an email from Grimes, which is quoted in the story I linked below:

In Sunday's email, which didn't appear to be copied to school officials, Grimes said his team stopped applying full-court defensive pressure after the score reached 25-0 three minutes into the game, dropped into a relatively benign zone defense and began resting his starters in favor of his three bench players.
Dallas Academy coach Andrew Lott agreed Covenant stopped pressing but returned with an alternate press later in the game. "I am 100 percent sure," said Lott, who estimated his team was able to get off "seven shots" all game.

So I goofed -- apparently Covenant has eight players, not six, as had been reported before. But even the opposing coach says they let up, and then used a different defense later. Hmmm ... maybe they were practicing that defense for use in a later and more competitive game?

And your use of the word "retards" is disturbing at best. We don't know what Covenant thought of the kids from Dallas Academy, but you're willing to think they would think that. Pretty fucking sad.

Just so you know -- the Covenant coach has now been fired. Maybe if he's the guy that schedule Dallas Academy, he deserves it. If not, maybe that person should get the ax.

posted by wfrazerjr at 07:52 PM on January 25

Seems to me there are indeed a number of questions here. In my mind, the bottom line is the coach of the winning squad should have spoke up at the half, given that his squad was already up by 59 points, and suggested they consider alternatives to playing the second half straight up. On the other hand, I have to wonder why did no one from the opposing team, or the officiating crew, or anyone else in attendance, spoke up then either.

Yes, the Covenant team could have, and without question should have, taken it easy; considered their alternatives. But basketball is not like football, so comparing a shut out in one to another is not reasonable in my mind. How a basketball team at any level could not score a single point against another squad at the (relative) same level is baffling to me. When I was in college I played intramural ball and when facing a team composed of much bigger guys that played other varsity sports (ie the skill position players on the football team put together a basketball team for kicks and giggles) my friends & I got creamed. But we wouldn't go scoreless. Not even close.

Point being: the playing field isn't always going to be level. But when it's so far off that one varsity squad can score 100 points and the other can't score any (ZERO!), the problem extends well beyond the two teams themselves.

posted by MW12 at 07:56 PM on January 25

Cjets, I said a guy bit me. I didn't fault the entire team for it, or for playing hard the whole way. I said I learned from their not letting up much.

You said that the Crusader team started their Junior starters against your (overmatched) JV squad, that they ran up the score and went for it on 4th down more than once late in the game.

Even an NFL team would punt the ball in that situation. And these are high school kids. It's good that you were able to take a positive out of your situation. That doesn't mean that the Crusader coach was right, or acted in a sportsmanlike manner. And as far as the linebacker's actions, I've always believed that the fish stinks from the head.

Is dignity and sportsmanship treating your opponents like sucks? Is it about deliberately screwing up and not playing your best? My sportsmanship doesn't look like that -- yours does. Fine.

I think there's a huge grey area between treating your opponents like "sucks" and deliberately trying to humiliate them. From the article Joaquim posted:

Against Covenant, Dallas Academy was surprised to see an obviously superior team keep the pressure on until it scored its 100th point in the fourth quarter. "I'm sure they could have won by 30 points and still had just as good a time," Civello said.....

"They are really good," Civello said. "Their point guard is terrific. This is what it came down to in the second half: steal at half court and layup. Steal and layup. Steal and layup. It was a layup drill. They finally eased up when they got to 100 with about four minutes left." Covenant's point guard had 48 points.

As noted by several different posters above, there are many different ways for the team to practice their skills during the game that would not have involved this humiliation.

And your use of the word "retards" is disturbing at best. We don't know what Covenant thought of the kids from Dallas Academy, but you're willing to think they would think that. Pretty fucking sad.

It's meant to be disturbing. Clearly, I have no idea what the Covenant coach said. But running up the score on a group of learning disabled kids so egregiously is disturbing as well. And after his actions, I'm certainly not going to give him the benefit of the doubt.

posted by cjets at 10:42 PM on January 25

Covenant has fired their coach after he repudiated the school's apology in an email to the local newspaper.

posted by Scottymac at 09:38 AM on January 26

I can hardly believe they fired the coach. What a joke. If you go to the coach's website he notes that four years ago they lost a game by 76 points...

posted by chmurray at 10:40 AM on January 26

It sounds to me like the coach was fired for public insubordination, not just for the game. If you've made your Christian school a national embarrassment by beating a team 100-0, it's probably not the best idea to publicly challenge how your employer is handling the aftermath.

posted by rcade at 01:07 PM on January 26

Yea, I second that rcade.

posted by BornIcon at 02:04 PM on January 26

it's probably not the best idea to publicly challenge how your employer is handling the aftermath

I don't know if I buy that. The local meathead sports radio station has been talking about this all afternoon and I hate to admit they make some decent points (all based on the assumption the coach's claim is accurate that they didn't keep pressing).

  • The coach claims they were up 25-0 after 3 minutes, at which point he gave up on the press and started subbing in his limited bench.
  • As chmurray notes, the league seems to have a problem with blowouts, as the winning team here got crushed 4 years ago (in the coach's first season).
  • The losing team has been getting their ass handed to them all season. They don't post every score to their website for some reason, but 100-0 is just a round-numbered ass kicking this year
  • The losing school is competitive in other sports and even has some all-state players in soccer, so the "disabled" angle feels overblown.
Making the assumption all of that is accurate, I can see where the coach would rather fall on his sword rather than accept blame he doesn't feel his team deserves. I am not condoning running up the score in school athletics, I'm just wondering if this guy has gotten a fair trial.

posted by yerfatma at 04:18 PM on January 26

If you haven't tired of the subject, it's now a topic on metafilter. One mefite does an excellent job of explaining how his high school coach handled a similar situation and how the situation should have been handled (pasted below as well): Well, now that the binary view has been fully aired, here's a more nuanced way to frame this . . . When I was in junior high, I was on our boys' basketball team and we were the league powerhouse. We had a centre who'd not only shot up a good six inches past the next tallest kid in the league, but he'd been going to the gym daily to shoot hoops, plus this was a Canadian military base in northern Alberta that hosted a huge multiweek military exercise every year, and these US military ex-college ballers would take over the gym during that period, and our centre and a few others had learned a ton from playing pick-up ball with them. I mean, he was averaging 40 points a game easy in games where the winning team usually only scored 50-60 max. As a point guard, my job consisted mainly of dribbling to mid-court and tossing the ball in his general vicinity at the top of the key. It was the only time in my youth sports career I was on the undisputed powerhouse, and it was indeed all kinds of fun. So one game, we're playing a small rural school, and by halftime I think we were up by 50 points. Our coach - who was a Canadian military firefighter, not that that particularly matters - put in the second stringers and told us to ease up, I think it was five passes before anyone could shoot, and no hard drives to the basket. He left the star centre in for part of the second half under strict instructions to not shoot at all (in retrospect, I think he did this so as not to insult our opponents by blatantly benching our best guy). The game carried on, and I think our opponents scored a few more than they did the first half, and I believe with just a few minutes left it was eightysomething to 25 or about that. We on the court were kinda giddy about the idea of scoring 100 points. Our coach called a timeout and read us the riot act. The score goes over 90, he said, and he'd forfeit the game. He told us to keep playing, move the ball, whatever, but no shots. He used the word "class" repeatedly, and I never forgot what it meant after that. I don't remember the details of any other game we played that year except the district championship. And that's definitely the only lasting lesson of my couple years in junior high ball before my lack of a sufficient growth spurt benched me for good. That, I submit, is great coaching.

posted by cjets at 01:28 PM on January 27

I really do not miss Metafilter. Yikes. Nice comment, horrible thread.

posted by yerfatma at 02:03 AM on January 28

One mefite does an excellent job of explaining how his high school coach handled a similar situation and how the situation should have been handled

I think our own tahoemoj did an excellent job as well.

posted by BoKnows at 02:26 AM on January 28

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