Coaches at public schools in Chicago have been given a strict mandate that under no circumstances are they to hit the young athletes on their teams. That's the good news. The bad news is that the schools issued the rule against hitting athletes in a directive so broad that coaches can now get in trouble for infractions as minor as "displays of temper."
Sorry, but anyone who's played sports knows that occasional displays of temper are just part of organized athletics. The Chicago Sun-Times caught up with one high school coach:
"I really understand where they are going, but you have to wonder a little who's going to be running things -- the kids or us,'' said Simeon boys basketball coach Robert Smith, who won state titles in 2006 and 2007.
"It's not going to bother my approach to coaching, but I don't think I should be suspended for yelling at kids.''
I don't think coaches should be suspended for yelling at kids, either. But Calvin Davis, the Chicago schools' director of sports administration, said the "displays of temper'' ban is only going to apply to coaches who swear at kids:
"If you listen to some coaches, you hear language that is totally inappropriate. It has no place in our game. Neither do coaches that are grabbing kids' uniforms or yanking their [facemasks],'' Davis said.
The new directive about appropriate behavior by coaches was a result of four different Chicago public school coaches losing their jobs after they were accused of hitting students. The Chicago schools were right to crack down on that. Let's just hope they don't take the "displays of temper" ban too far.
Note: As you can see above, RedLasso is back. Great news for the blogosphere.