When Is Enough Enough?

January 26th, 2009
By

As an aging athlete, I've been playing sports all my life - from the time I could run, you could say that I haven't stopped running. I've been a player on both winning and losing teams - mostly losing as a youth - in almost every imaginable sport there is. I've won and lost championships - mostly as an adult and as a coach, the story is the same... but different.

If you haven't heard by now, there was a blowout in Texas.

No, Texas didn't lose to Texas Tech again but in a small religious Class 2A District 3 high school girls basketball league game on Jan.13, The Covenant School defeated - demolished, humiliated, *insert your own adjective after reading* - Dallas Academy...............  100 - 0.

No typo there. Das' right - ONE HUNDRED to ZERO.

WASSSAP WIT DAT!

There's just so many things wrong with this story that I don't even know where to begin.

Could it be the most obvious one, the score? The Covenant was already up 59-0 at the half. Could it be that the parents and coaches were "encouraging" the run up in their effort to reach 100? Could it be that The Covenant was still pressuring the Academy, stealing the ball and performing lay-up drills every single chance they got even with the game waaaaaay in hand? Could it be that the coach has no remorse and refused to apologize for the game?

For one thing, as a coach in any sport, you prepare your team against an opponents weakness'. The Convenant should have already realized that they had the game "in hand" by the opening minutes considering they play against each other in the same district. If you saw the video of the the Academy's practice (link above), you would have recognized that too without even being a coach. Did I mention that The Covenant has a "star player" showing her skills featured on YouTube? (I'm sure anklebiters can find it. :wink: )

Dallas Academy didn't hide their disadvantages considering they only have eight girls on team from the total enrollment of 20 in its high school. The haven't won a single game in the last four seasons and they boast of its specialization in teaching students struggling with "learning differences", such as short attention spans or dyslexia.

It's a shame that all this happened. Where's the humility? Where's the repsect? Where's the sportsmanship?

Even in my basketball league, if by chance our team is up by a good margin, we don't pressure the other team. We play a "soft zone" allowing them to take shots but at the same time making them earn their points. In my softball league we run bases at three-quarter speed allowing the other team to throw us out (although my full speed is about everybody else's three-quarter speed  :cry:    ) if we've got a good lead.

And as a coach, I hold my players to singles, no base stealing, no taking a base on errant throws - I tell them to still play hard and show respect even more so. In one game a player once asked how come we're not stealing bases any more. I simply asked him, "why do we need to?". He couldn't answer. I then asked him to remember a game - any game - he's played in where it seemed like the other team was "mean" and not letting up making him and his team feel like crap.... then I told him to look at the other team's faces and see if those faces looked familiar.

As a young player you're taught to do things but for no reason why other than to help your team win. I believe a good coach in all it's glory, can/should still coach humility and respect.

The Covnenat and Dallas Academy did teach us something... that even in a gym full of God-fearing people, God can't enter the game.

 

 

 

Posted in WWD! | 33 Comments »

33 Responses to “When Is Enough Enough?”

  1. 9th Island Girl:

    first?


  2. 9th Island Girl:

    Whoa, heavy topic, and you're right that Covenant School had no respect for their opponents and were in it to humiliate them.

    What I like about your sports posts is that so many of the things you talk about can be applied to life in general, outside of the sports arena. I liked your lesson about stealing bases when there's no need to.


  3. roach:

    BL,

    100 to 0 was really obscene but the players on the losing team learned a valuable lesson about not giving up and that the real world contains many people that enjoy beating down (not physically) the underdog. Also, being a ballplayer, would you really have enjoyed scoring a point if you knew that the other team was "letting" you do it ? I think not.


  4. onenutbugga:

    I read that the winning team was forfeiting the game because of poor sportsmanship.


  5. Braddah Lance:

    9th Island Girl:
    first?

    Why do you put a "?" wen you know you're first already? :lol:

    I liked your lesson about stealing bases when there’s no need to.

    Well, truth be told I've been on both sides of the fence. I believe it's wen people/players have only been on one side consistently do they lose grasp of wat da oddah side is like.
    .
    .

    roach:
    100 to 0 was really obscene but the players on the losing team learned a valuable lesson about not giving up and that the real world contains many people that enjoy beating down (not physically) the underdog.

    Rogah dat!

    Also, being a ballplayer, would you really have enjoyed scoring a point if you knew that the other team was “letting” you do it ? I think not.

    Tu che. That being said, while I did mention playing a "soft zone", I didn't elaborate in detail. We (I) still "play hard" (my motto all the way) but we're not playing up in your face D at half court. If they drive in, we'll defend - it's not a walk in the park into our "house". And no, I don't appreciate wen teams just "let up". It's all subjective how you do it really but in most eyes, you can tell who's in it to humiliate, and who's in it playing with heart.


  6. KAN:

    Roach used the right word to describe that score - "obscene." There are much more important lessons to be learned in team sports, especially at that age, than winning by as big a margin as possible without regard to the consequences.


  7. islandgirl in nc:

    Unfortunately it's the coach(es), parents, community, etc that dictated this kind of behavior. Why would a team continue to humiliate another team knowing it already won? The values taught today is about winning... about "I" and "me" and not "we" or "us." This is my fear when my little one wants to play any kind of team sports. I want him to enjoy himself and learn things like sportsmanship, teamwork, etc. But with the attitude of win, kill, beat them down, etc, I worry. I don't like seeing parents berate their children for not playing well or scolding them for missing a goal, basket, etc. For goodness sakes... it's just a game folks. Let them have fun and learn about respecting others instead of encouraging them to beat others down.


  8. opso:

    i think need D-2 or D-3 kine leagues ova dea. gotta make shua da skeel levels kinda da same.

    but WWD with da Covenant skool! gotta blame da coach for dis. he coulda call off da dogs early. aigoo.....

    but da Dallas Academy girls get good attitude. das how.


  9. Ocean Lover:

    BL.....I'm too lazy to look, but I read that the coach who's team "won" was fired after the game by the "winning" school.

    Anyone else heard if there was a follow-up to this story?

    OL


  10. Ocean Lover:

    Guess I'm not THAT LAZY ;-)

    "06:04 AM CST on Monday, January 26, 2009

    By BARRY HORN / The Dallas Morning News
    bhorn@dallasnews.com

    The Covenant School fired its girls basketball coach Sunday, the same day he posted a message on a youth basketball Web site saying he disagreed with school officials who had publicly apologized for the team's 100-0 victory over Dallas Academy.

    In reporting the firing, Kyle Queal, Covenant's head of school, emphasized that former coach Micah Grimes "now only represents himself" when discussing the game, which has become a national talking point. Queal said he could not say whether the firing was a direct result of the posting and declined to answer any questions.

    In a statement posted Sunday on http://www.flightbasketball.com, Grimes offered his first public comment since the story was first reported.
    Also Online

    Lopsided loss raises questions on what's fair

    Covenant coach disagrees with apology

    01/24/09: Dallas Academy gains national attention

    Floyd: Show sportsmanship instead of condemning Dallas Covenant

    01/23/09: Covenant School seeks forfeit of 100-0 win
    Link: Covenant statement regarding the game
    Opinion blog: Remorse as sportsmanship
    Metro blog: Cuban invites Dallas Academy players to Mavs game

    01/22/09: Dallas academy coach sees a win in 100-0 loss

    Learn more about Dallas Academy athletics

    Dallas Academy girls basketball scores, schedule

    "I respectfully disagree with the apology, especially the notion that the Covenant School girls basketball team should feel 'embarrassed' or 'ashamed,' " part of the post says. "We played the game as it was meant to be played and would not intentionally run up the score on any opponent. Although a wide-margin victory is never evidence of compassion, my girls played with honor and integrity and showed respect to Dallas Academy."

    Grimes also included the quarter-by-quarter scoring on his post: 35, 24, 29, 12.

    At the end of his post on the Web site, which identifies him as co-founder of Flight Basketball, Grimes wrote, "So if I lose my job over these statements, I will walk away with my integrity."

    Grimes did not teach or work at The Covenant School. He was in his fourth season as girls basketball coach, having built the program from a 2-19 record his first season to a state championship contender last season. Covenant, which plays larger out-of-district schools, is 6-3 this season and undefeated in its Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools district. It has informed TAPPS headquarters that it has chosen to forfeit the Dallas Academy game.

    Grimes responded briefly to an e-mail request for an interview, indicating that he might speak at a future date.

    On Thursday, Covenant posted a statement on its Web site that said it "regrets ... the outcome of the game with the Dallas Academy Varsity Girls Basketball team. It is shameful and an embarrassment that this happened. This clearly does not reflect a Christ-like and honorable approach to competition." It was signed by Queal and Todd Doshier, chairman of the school's board of trustees.

    That was also the day the national spotlight began focusing on the game, following a report in The Dallas Morning News on the 100-point shutout on Jan. 13.

    Dallas Academy coaches and administrators say Covenant kept the pressure on until it reached 100 points midway through the fourth quarter.

    Until Sunday, Grimes hadn't made any public comments since he e-mailed The News on Wednesday night. In that e-mail, which was also sent to Queal and athletic director Brice Helton, Grimes called scoring 100 points "unfortunate."

    "It just happened," he wrote. "Please know Covenant intended no harm against them. I see this as a real learning opportunity, so we can prevent this from happening in the future."

    Grimes said in his Sunday post that his team stopped applying full-court defensive pressure after the score reached 25-0 three minutes into the game, then dropped into a relatively benign zone defense and began resting its starters in favor of its three bench players.

    Dallas Academy coach Andrew Lott agreed that Covenant stopped pressing at that point but returned with an alternate press later in the game.

    "I am 100 percent sure," said Lott, who estimated that his team was able to take seven shots all game.

    Dallas Academy, renowned for its work with students who have learning disabilities, is winless this season and has not won a game in at least four seasons.

    "He's entitled to his opinion," Lott said of Grimes' assessment of the game. "If you ask 10 people about it, you might get 10 different answers."

    Lott said his team did not videotape the game, hosted by Covenant, but he is certain Covenant did.

    "Maybe we could look at the tape," Lott said.

    Cheryl Bugg, whose daughter is one of Covenant's top players, said she didn't want to talk about the firing.

    She said the parents of the team's eight players met with school officials Saturday and outlined three goals for the program:

    "We want to represent Christ with the highest respect, we don't want to humiliate anyone ever and we want our students to be enthusiastic in everything they do."


  11. Coconut Willy:

    There's no joy in demoralizing a team that way. I think the coach should get fired. Especially when he didn't agree with the apology the President offered.


  12. Braddah Lance:

    KAN:
    Roach used the right word to describe that score - “obscene.” There are much more important lessons to be learned in team sports, especially at that age

    You should see the attitudes of the Academy in the interview by ABC. Classic.
    .
    .

    islandgirl in nc:
    The values taught today is about winning… about “I” and “me” and not “we” or “us.”

    And it's not helpful either wen get some - not all - professional athletes dat ack all high maka'maka kine too.
    .
    .

    opso:
    but WWD with da Covenant skool! gotta blame da coach for dis. he coulda call off da dogs early. aigoo…..

    I wondah if da second and third string got to play? No article mentioned dat.
    .
    .

    Ocean Lover:
    Anyone else heard if there was a follow-up to this story?

    He was fired yesterday. Funny, The Covenant had a losing record two years ago, hired him, he took them to the championship (I think) last year and now he's fired. Don't you think they hired him to "win"?


  13. Braddah Lance:

    onenutbugga:
    I read that the winning team was forfeiting the game because of poor sportsmanship.

    E Komo Mai to WWD! onenutbugga!

    And yes, the forfeit was submitted by the school but it wasn't because of poor sportsmanship, it was because the victory wasn't "Christ-like" - their words, not mines.
    .
    .

    Coconut Willy:
    I think the coach should get fired. Especially when he didn’t agree with the apology the President offered.

    He already got the boot yesterday.


  14. M:

    A win is a win, you don't have humiliate the other team.

    Kung Hee Fat Choy!!!


  15. buddahbelly:

    Thanks to Ocean Lover for tha additional information. I guess Grimes does know how to coach basketball since he did make his team competitive, but he knows squat about sportsmanship and character building.I coached baseball and basketball and in all the leagues we played I never ran across a coach who would humiliate an opposing team. Shame on this guy.


  16. jaydee:

    That score was ridiculous! I feel sorry for the losing team. I know in softball we always had the "Mercy Rule", you know, when the score is 27 to 0 or something like that. They should have stopped the game at halftime.


  17. 2B:

    Unfortunately got too many coaches and parents out there that are out for the "kill" and unfortunately instill that value onto their children. For the rest of us, I think that we were brought up to win humbly and lose humbly.


  18. roach:

    To the girls of the Dallas Academy basketball team and anyone else who has been humiliated in a game or in life:

    The words of the late Jim Valvano - "Don't give up ! Don't ever give up !"


  19. JuSaMee:

    wow coach...that was inspiring!! i'm jus kidding!! but as you said how, how can Covenant hold boast over beating out a school for special needs?? the coach should've showed more compassion...beat the other guys by 60 pts...but 100? thats insane!!


  20. B:

    like roach's quote from Jimmy V, neva give up! kinda sad wen get dat kine score. no serve anykine of purpose. yes, covenant should have called off da "dogs" an show some respect. there is a time and place for everything. gotta give props to da girls of Dallas for completing da game.

    mahalos to you BL for teaching our keiki da real way for play.


  21. 808Dad:

    Hey Lance,
    As you know like you I also coach. Coach Grimes should be banned from coaching at any level. He actually tried to defend his coaching during that game. I take off my hat to those girls on the losing team. They showed pride and courage when faced with the fact that they were beaten so badly. In every victory there is also a loser but there is also a wrong way to win and Coach Grimes showed us this.

    808Dad


  22. Braddah Lance:

    M:
    A win is a win, you don’t have humiliate the other team.

    Dat's right.
    .
    .

    buddahbelly:
    I coached baseball and basketball and in all the leagues we played I never ran across a coach who would humiliate an opposing team.

    Dat's cause lucky we live Hawaii. Get choke mo' "shame" factor if dat kine stuff happened. Although I have (still do now and then) seen my share of lopsided scores not only in youth but OIA/ILH games as well.
    .
    .

    jaydee:
    I feel sorry for the losing team.

    Don't be cause the Academy doesn't feel dat way. They have way more pride and character and actually said they've "learned" from it. Class act I tell ya! They also are kind of enjoying the limelight and even got invited to watch a Dallas Mavericks game in the owner's suite! How sweet is dat!
    .
    .

    2B:
    For the rest of us, I think that we were brought up to win humbly and lose humbly.

    But wen you think about the keiki out there now, isn't dat "our" keiki? So dat would mean dat we (adults now) have lost a piece of dat humble pie we grew up with no?
    .
    .

    roach:
    The words of the late Jim Valvano - “Don’t give up ! Don’t ever give up !”

    Oooooooh! Jimmy V!
    .
    .

    JuSaMee:
    the coach should’ve showed more compassion…beat the other guys by 60 pts…but 100? thats insane!!

    Not too much compassion when da shoe is on da oddah foot yeah? :???:
    .
    .

    B:
    gotta give props to da girls of Dallas for completing da game.

    Rogah dat! It must have been da longest hour they've evah had to go through. They showed a lot of heart and I think dat's part of da reason why da story broke mainstream.
    .
    .

    808Dad:
    In every victory there is also a loser but there is also a wrong way to win and Coach Grimes showed us this.

    Yup! Too bad not too much people see da morale victory any more.


  23. NKHEA:

    Howzit BL :)

    I thought the saying goes Love Thy Neighbor not humiliate thy neighbor.


  24. Kelli:

    Ouch! I couldn't believe that story when I read it. That's pretty upsetting and disturbing. It's a shame that people often forget what sports are all about. I'm glad the coach got fired. Shame, shame!


  25. 2B:

    I think that you, 808Dad, and others out there still preach the "humble" aspect of the game. It's some of the other coaches out there that are the "go for the jugular" types that inject the negativity, taunting, and trash talking.

    I guess it doesn't help that guys in the pros that make a good play on sack, score a touchdown, or dunk over someone do their little dance or stare a guy down. These are the people we watch week in and week out with our kids and they think that it's acceptable and even required to emulate their heroes on tv.


  26. BananaFysh:

    Brah, dat no can.

    Dat coach belongs in the NCAA. No Class At All. :evil:

    But you know who I feel for? The players on the Covenant team. Yeah, I know, they need to downshift to a lower intensity game, but what are you supposed to do when you ARE playing at your lowest intensity, and are still kicking their butt? Not saying that's what happened, but I could see it happening. What are you supposed to do, throw the ball out of bounds on purpose? Turn over on purpose? At that point you no longer honor your opponent either.

    And now those girls gotta forfeit the game cause of their no-class coach. Well, partially cause of their coach, I guess. I dunno, I guess I can kinda see it from both sides.


  27. Braddah Lance:

    NKHEA:
    I thought the saying goes Love Thy Neighbor not humiliate thy neighbor.

    I guess it all depends on who da neighbor is eh? :roll:
    .
    .

    Kelli:
    It’s a shame that people often forget what sports are all about. I’m glad the coach got fired.

    Isn't it all about $? :roll:
    .
    .

    2B:
    I guess it doesn’t help that guys in the pros that make a good play on sack, score a touchdown, or dunk over someone do their little dance or stare a guy down.

    Exactomondo! Every single time yeah? Gotta stare down. Wat gets me is wen in football da guy who made da tackle purposely walks "over" da guy... watch Super Bowl Sunday... guarans-ballbarens going get a few of those. :wink:
    .
    .

    BananaFysh:
    But you know who I feel for? The players on the Covenant team....What are you supposed to do, throw the ball out of bounds on purpose? Turn over on purpose? At that point you no longer honor your opponent either.

    Yes, that is entirely true but in sports there's a right way and there's a wrong way to play. The Convenant team was still pressing at half court in the second half and stealing the ball. They were scoring wenevah they could instead of maybe running some plays (prepping for the next game) and taking time off da clock.

    I don't think people realize how hard it is to score 100 points in a basketball game. If I'm not mistaken, high school games are 4 8-minute quarters. That means that Convenant had to score every 19 seconds. They were not playing at a lower level and just from dat small stat I can probably conclude dat da starters were in for da majority of da game (starting point guard had 48 points).

    And now those girls gotta forfeit the game cause of their no-class coach. Well, partially cause of their coach, I guess.

    And yes, I do feel for The Covenant but it was all da coach. There's so much he could have done without having his players "play down a notch". He could have run sets and plays, put in his reserves and actually let them play a game to get experience when he needed them later in the season. If efforts like that were made and they still scored a 100 points, I surly wouldn't be blogging about it and I guarantee you this story wouldn't even have made it out of Dallas.

    I have no qualms about winning but it's how you win dat mattahs most, imho. :grin:


  28. BananaFysh:

    @BL - Cool, thanks for more info. I didn't really think about how often you would have to score in the high school game to reach 100. Sheesh, even in a pro game with 4 - 12 minute quarters get teams that are hard pressed to score 100.

    Yeah, the players must have been pushing too. 48 points from the point guard? Dang. I bet they was filming her for her "highlight reel" that she could send to colleges. :evil: Real nice, beating up on the "scrub team." I would have yanked her after the 1st quarter, or put a tight leash on her, and just have her put up assists and run set plays.

    I wonder if potential scholarship offers are drying up for that girl, once they find out that she has questionable moral character? Nah, cause most of the college coaches are all about the "W." Oh well.

    I have no qualms about winning but it’s how you win dat mattahs most, imho.

    I agree with you 100%, BL. :D


  29. snow:

    shucks, my co-worker just mentioned this to me and i didn't know what she was talking about! aisus! i shoulda read WWD! earlier!! my bad... dunno what's going on in da world unless i ready WWD! hee hee...

    anyway, i agree that it was a coaching decision that was off-the-mark. playing with integrity and sportsmanship includes knowing how to back off without disrespecting the other team. usually girl's basketball is such a low-scoring sport... hard to imagine 100 points being put up in a single game! unreal, but not very classy.


  30. Kelli:

    Oh yeah, I forgot to rant. The Honolulu Advertiser decided to spell my name with a "y" in my blog promo today. Aigoo! WWD! They got it right the first couple of times. Yeah, I get small kine irritated when my name gets spelled with a "y," which is why I'm Kelli with an "i."


  31. Ynaku:

    Hey BL, I gotta add my two cents. Just so you know I was hea.

    For a "Christian"school, was kinda shame for them to treat the other school like that. The other school only get 20 in the whole school and the players trying with the enrollment they have.

    I quoted "Christian" cause aren't they supposed to follow Christ? He showed great Love and humility and NEVER talk down on other Faithful Christians. Competition or Win-at-All-Cost is selfish. And that is not Christian Conduct.

    Like everyone said, why not use the opportunity to use the other players that rarely play? And the rules doesn't allow for "Mercy" but they said they have the "Golden Rule".

    As Christians, the Golden rule is "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" How would they feel if the tables were turned?

    It shouldn't matter whether you win or lose. It's HOW you play the game with the "Spirit" that matters while we are alive.

    Thanks for training your kids those values.

    OK that was my 2 minutes.


  32. Ynaku:

    Oh I found this:

    GOLDEN RULE OF COACHING
    If athletes are coached with criticism, they learn low self esteem.
    If athletes are coached with hostility, they learn to fight.
    If athletes are coached with ridicule, they learn to withdraw.
    If athletes are coached with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
    If athletes are coached with patience, they learn to improve.
    If athletes are coached with encouragement, they learn confidence.
    If athletes are coached with praise, they learn to have faith.
    If athletes are coached with fairness, they learn justice.
    If athletes are coached with approval, they learn positive self esteem.
    If athletes are coached with honesty, they learn to trust.
    If athletes are coached with modesty, they learn teamwork.
    If athletes are coached with acceptance and friendship, they learn to find
    love in sport.

    Susan E. Warren and Donna Volpe
    National Youth Sports Safety Foundation, Inc.


  33. anklebiters:

    This situation comes up often, doesn't matter what sports it is and probably a coach's worse nightmare. You can't tell your players to simply lie down and play dead but on the other hand you can't have them play pedal-to-the-metal either....catch 22...a no win situation for the coach and players. A mercy rule would have helped immensely for this game. My sons have been in lopsided games, on both ends. And as a parent, watching games like that is just pure agony, you just want the game to end quickly and move on. No team wants to lose and to hold a team scoreless and win by 100 doesn't really show sportsmanship. The game should have been stopped at halftime.