As a college basketball coach, when you recruit a young man out of high school, the recruiting process can take a while. You put in so much time on many recruits. You invest, you get to know the young man and their family. One thing most coaching staff’s tell the parents of the player is that they will treat their son like their own for the next four years.
Would you want a basketball coach to treat your son like this?
Yahoo.News via the A.P. with the story of Holy Family University head coach John O’Connor and his harsh treatment of one of his players.
Now, my thing is, ok so the coach knocked the player to the ground grabbing for the ball and he kicked him when the kid was down, that’s not cool to start. But my bigger problem with this whole issue is how the coach followed the player to the back of the line, screamed on him about his own blood and then kicked him out of practice.
The player was coming up with the rebounds during the drill? Maybe the coach thought he wasn’t aggressive enough?
Or maybe the coach was frustrated over the team’s 4-14 record and the fact they lost the night before?
“I never want to change my passion and my intensity toward the game and how I teach it,” he said by phone Friday. “I certainly would take a look at how I might deliver it. I don’t want to change the passion, but maybe how it’s delivered is something I certainly would look at.”
Ok, coach, you better change something but I ask you, what did the player do to make you so angry that you tossed him out of practice? Of course people who have worked with O’Connor or have played for him will all come to his rescue now.
Here’s a former player of O’Connor at Georgia Tech, now in the NBA.
Philadelphia 76ers forward Thaddeus Young played under O’Connor at Georgia Tech and they exchanged texts on Friday. Young had run the rebounding drill with O’Connor and called the incident “blown out of proportion.”
“He’s just trying to make the guys tougher,” Young said. “He didn’t really mean to do anything like that. I saw him nudge the guy off the court. I know the drill, so I know it was to get the next group onto the court.”
Yeah right Thaddeus, if O’Connor knocked you to the ground and kicked you, then screamed at you for bleeding and kicked you out of practice, you would’ve been cool with it?
ABC News.com has the sitdown interview with coach and player. Interesting video. Listen to the comments.
Look, there is teaching and there is abuse. O’Connor clearly crossed the line. Nothing wrong with a little screaming or yelling at a player but you strike someone, you have made a huge mistake. And don’t give me that B.S. about the player should ‘man-up’. That’s a cop-out. In coaching, there’s no room for this kind of behavior. Does a history professor at Holy Name University treat their students that way if they miss a question on an exam?
To conclude, I ask you, would you want someone treating your kid like that?
O’Connor resigned from his position on Thursday.
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