Coach Comes Out, Later Loses Job

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Lex, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. Lex

    Lex
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    From ESPN.com.

    Note: They also featured his story on SportsCenter and he is a member of outsports.com (as Frustrated Coach).
    Is gay coach's dismissal a cautionary tale?

     
  2. bstexas

    bstexas Member

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    Hate to see he was let go even tho he came out recently. But that might not necessarily be the reason he was let go. He had a losing season and we have no idea about his history (other than W/L). Not making excuses, but there are probably other things we don't know about. It's just his being gay is the headline. As it says, he decided to make his personal life over his professional life. Maybe dealing with that issues took over and could have caused some of his coaching skills to faulter. You never know ... if I read correctly. As it says in the article (and is more prominent in others I have read) the team voted to boost him out. If they felt it was necessary then maybe it was. But then again ...
     
  3. TitanicJake

    TitanicJake New Member

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    I can see gay coaches having a tough time in aggressive sports such as lacross, football and wrestling. It is not right at all but in the sports world Homosexuality is still so taboo which is so odd as in wrestling we often masturbated in front of each other in the showers after a meet. We were so pumped and needed the release. Some guys did it before the meet but I never could.
    I believe my high school coach was gay. I never said a word but there was a buzz. He would watch us shower and talk to me while I was comletely naked and wet. All I wanted was a towel and I had to stand there and listen to him.
    I believe there are many gay coaches that are not like him. He was not only gay, he was an asshole. I think men fear a coach like the one I had in hs because coaching is such a powerful position and you can be vulnerable at times (even if it is just in your head). Fear limits people.
    My brother's swim coach in college was gay. He is one of the nicest men I ever met.
    Jake
     
  4. novice_btm

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    Very true (agreeing with BS). I mean, it seems to be a case of "if he was straight, would we ever have heard this story?" It could be outright descrimination, but I agree that there's not enough info for me to form a strong opinion.
     
  5. B_Think_Kink

    B_Think_Kink New Member

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    That's terrible.
     
  6. Freddie53

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    The whole thing probably was not right. The playes voted to oust the coach. I didn't know that the players not voted on coachs' contracts. It was the coach's first losing season. This these two things having anything to do with the coach outing himself. Can't prove it, but I know it did. Many guys playing this sport are homophobic. I doubt a swimming team would have as many homophobic swimmers.

    All of this to say, that I doubt the coach was fired for being openly gay. A school like U. of M wouldn't do that for that reason or offically for that being one of the reasons.

    But the coach outing himself brought on a losing season because the players he had playing for him lost confidence in him. That was wrong on the part of the players. But it doesn't change how people feel.

    And in sports, coaches with the best winning season in the history of the school have been fired becaue some of the fans didn't like him. Case in point. Ken Hatfield at Arkansas. Most winning football coach in the hisotry of the University of Arkansas. His contract was bought out because some of the fans didn't like his religous beliefs. Hatfield was a fundie which didn't go over well with the sports people at U of A. I didn't agree with Hatfield's beliefs and public statements. But they were made as a private individual. Nevertheless, at Arkanas, he is not there anymore.

    And yes Lex, it is as wrong as hell. But it is not just homophobia that is a problem in sports.
     
  7. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    Perhaps he saw the handwriting on the wall and came out hoping that they wouldn't dare fire him?
     
  8. transformer_99

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    Maybe he should have waited for the year his team had a stronger WL record or was undefeated, even won the national championship ? Duke came in 2nd this year, lost by a single goal 12-11 to John's Hopkins.
     
  9. playainda336

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    I think it was timing, definitely. Along with the fact that he recently came out, but if he had the strong winning record and THEN came out, it would be a different story.
     
  10. GoneA

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    Except he should be able to come out any time he desires, without having to worry about the security of his job.
     
  11. ieatcats1426

    ieatcats1426 New Member

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    But see as an athlete, the coach's personal life DOES matter. The coach is inspiration, a leader, a mentor. If players don't respect and trust their coach, his effectiveness is diminished. I imagine the losing record is due to his compromised effectiveness as a coach.

    So this doesn't mean gay coaches can't be good coaches, but it may mean that gay coaches may need different strategies dealing with players in order to make his team successful.

    I don't know what happened with the firing, none of us do, it's not really our business to judge anyone in the situation, but we can give our opinions based on what we say we think may have happened.
     
  12. Lex

    Lex
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    If you read the entire article (not saying you didn't) they address this possibility. They ask him point blank before he was fired (when they recorded the video) and afterwards.

    Coming out is much to difficult a process for me to believe that he could have machinated its timing for his employment benefit. I know I could not have and I don't know anyone who could do that, from the number of coming out stories that have been shared with me.

    Isn't that the whole point, really?

    You are basically saying that a gay man can not be a good coach, which I think is crap. There are ALREADY tons of gay coaches and players--statistically speaking, you would have to think somewhere around 10-12%. As he says in the ESPN video: "To those people who say 'I would never want a gay teammate' I said, you have already showered with a gay person, you just did not know it."

    His "compromised effectiveness" is the result of bigotry, not his orientation. It's the same bigotry that said that Black Men could not be effective quarterbacks or head coaches in the NFL.

    I call BS. In fact, I would hold that straight players (and people in general) may need different strategies in dealing with their discomfort around gay people.
     
  13. fortiesfun

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    Exactly right, Lex, on every single point.
     
  14. ieatcats1426

    ieatcats1426 New Member

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    I said I'm sure there can be sucessful gay coaches, but it's like anything else about the coach's life that differs from coach to coach, they have to deal with it and possibly change the way they coach. It's not the players' problem if the coach is ineffective. You see coaches fired all the time in any league for really minor things. I can see why the athletic department decided to make the change.
     
  15. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    I can't possibly understand the pressure and angst caused by such a situation but it does serve to remind me of its unfortunate existence.
     
  16. playainda336

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    Ehh...I wasn't trying to say he shouldn't have come out. I was saying that was why he was fired.

    ._.;

    Misunderstanding is so frustrating.

    He could have come out whenever he wanted to. BUT he had a bad winning record. The "coming out" just gave a convenient reason to fire him. Had he a winning record and then come out, he would have been cheered on and people would have protected him from being fired.


     
  17. Lex

    Lex
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    Great point Pecker.

    If we could learn to say "eh, it's no big deal to be: female, gay, black, hispanic, disabled, etc." in regards to people's qualifications to perform jobs and rights and privileges, then people who are different and can hide their differences would never have to "come out" because there would never be a need to BE closeted.

    I am thankful that I live in a state and work at a place that places discrimination based on sexual orientation in the same light as discrimination based on any of the EEOC categories: race, gender, national origin, religion, etc.

    I am hopeful that more and more states will at least begin to recognize the importance of protecting sexual minorities as well as all other minority groups.
     
  18. LeeEJ

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    I watched the story on ESPN maybe four or five times since I had the day off and, naturally, ESPN has a tendency to repeat itself. A lot.

    It's a really interesting situation. The players were thinking of firing him before he came out, not afterwards. As a coach, he had begun slipping, and the team started playing worse than it had before. They were on a two-year slide when the team decided to approach him about leaving.

    Then, since he was so stressed about everything (understandable), he came out to them as part of explaining why his personal life had been such a wreck -- enough, in fact, to affect his coaching abilities. The players then didn't want to dismiss him right away for fear of another lacrosse scandal (the Duke episode was mentioned).

    I could see him being dismissed because of his increasingly poor coaching. However, I would rather see him supported while he gets himself back together, and being able to coach his team would be a big part of that process.

    IMO, this would not even be on the news if he wasn't gay.
     
  19. Lex

    Lex
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    The story was originally poised to be about the first "openly gay coach in college sports." It was only after his subsequent firing that the additional spin of him losing his job was added.
     
  20. Freddie53

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    Man, it is a new world. NEWFLASH - College baseball players vote to fire their head baseball coach.

    Once upon a time, players weren't consulted much less allowed to make such a decision.

    Every spin on this story is imaginable. As usual, there will never be a consensus. But I can't help but believe that being gay and COMING OUT was part of the firing. I rather doubt that COMING OUT helped his situation at all.
     
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