FanSpeak Dec5

Sunday, December 5, 2004

Protecting prep coaches?

I'M WONDERING why you print some calls that are critical of coaches but other coaches seem to be off limits. You've printed calls that were very critical of Southeast basketball coach Gary Garner, very critical of Southeast football coach Tim Billings, yet you do nothing about some of the area high school coaches and I'm wondering why. So, what is it about the area high school coaches that you're afraid to criticize them? Maybe we need someone to come in from outside, maybe a paper from St. Louis, because you don't seem capable of covering this.

(While college coaches, who are often second-guessed, are paid tens of thousands of dollars with a primary job duty of coaching, high school coaches are paid much less and often add coaching to other job duties. Also, a comment about a high school coach for an opinion or comment that appears in these pages, such as the case in a recent boys soccer story on suspensions, is more likely to be published than a comment about a coach's practice methods or comments on the radio.)

Going down the tube

Southeast's administrators misled the public when they promised that Southeast would be competitive in Division I. After 10 years, we are minimally competetive in a generally weak conference. They argued that a move to Division I would increase visibility. It has increased visibility as a loser. If it is so important to the mission of the university, then put your money where your mouth is and improve the athletics budgets and facilities, especially in basketball and football, so we can at least be an elite player in the OVC. If you don't, your athletic department and community support are going to continue down the tube fast.

Needing an adjustment

Gary Garner cannot coach down the stretch. Look at the last few years, how many times has Southeast been in a position to win only to give the game away in the last couple of minutes. It's a game of adjustments. Make some.

Appreciation for a coach

AS THE parent of two children at Central High School who doesn't have a child on the tennis team, I feel I absolutely have to call. My son has played sports with Patrick Slattery for several year and we've gotten to know tennis coach Annette Slattery because of that. In her dealings as a parent, as a fan, as a coach and everything I've ever seen of her in the past four or five years, she is truly a lady in every respect. She loves what she does. She approaches her job with humor yet respect toward the kids, toward parents. She is always a good representative of Cape Central. I'm glad we have Coach Slattery on staff.

The right to cheer

I'm a parent of a Scott City High School boys basketball junior varsity player. I've attended boys basketball games for over a decade, and the student body has been very good. But recently the students have been limited in what they can cheer or do. The administrators won't let them chant anything without being strict and yelling at them. They're not even allowed to boo, which is pathetic, because that's been a part of sports forever. They're not even allowed to do good, clean chants. The administrators need to grow up.

Better days ahead

DON'T BE too alarmed of the rough start by the Southeast Missouri State men's basketball team, although they did let one slip away at Wisconsin-Green Bay. Even with a less-than-healthy squad, Southeast should be able to win their share of games coming up and they could have a decent record heading into OVC play in January. This team is a bit more talented than last year, should win a few more games and may even make some noise in the OVC race. Don't give up on this team just yet. There are a lot of games to be played.

Time for a change

HERE'S AN idea, If Southeast Missouri State is in such financial trouble, why don't they dump Gary Garner and hire Anthony Beane. They'd save some money in salary, and ticket sales would soar.

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