Coaches Deserve Respect, Support


I am writing this letter as a concerned citizen as well as a concerned daughter.

As you may know, the head girls' varsity basketball coach at Payson High School recently resigned. To me this was quite upsetting because I feel coach (Jerry) Daniels was doing a great job. I know for a fact that Mr. Daniels put a lot of time and effort into the job. To me, this is a great loss to the girls' basketball program.

Being a daughter of parents who both coach in this district, I have had the opportunity to see other players and parents push issues way out of control.

For instance, a couple of seasons ago, some players were demonstrating some very hostile and uncivil behavior. The head coach told the lower coach to kick these kids off (the team) if they demonstrated those behaviors again.

The very next game those players kicked and threw chairs around and used inappropriate language in front of the crowd because they were taken out of the game so other players might have the chance to go in and do what the coach asked.

When these kids were kicked off the team their parents became very hostile. They blamed the lower coach and excused their children's actions without hesitation. These kids were allowed back on the team due to a higher authority's decision and parent threats. Needless to say, the season went on in turmoil.

This past basketball season, my father was shoved by a player and told to f--- off. The kid received a minimum of five days suspension for this incident. The maximum suspension for assaulting a teacher is 10 days. I don't feel players or students should be able to conduct themselves in such a manner and receive the minimum punishment, if any punishment at all.

I believe that players should be held completely accountable for their actions. When these issues arise, it makes me stop and (wonder), "Do I really want my parents involved in a career where they are pushed around and nothing is really done about it?"

In closing, I hope the citizens and students in Payson stop to think before they act because a lot of times good people are the ones who get hurt.

Hopefully in the future, these types of actions won't occur, and if they do, the consequence will fit the crime.

Whitney M. Hardt

Eighth-grade student

Rim Country Middle School

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