Hot Topic: Did coaches go overboard in Pembroke basketball case?
Among the most interesting debates among Concord Monitor website commenters in recent days has been in response to news that Patrick Welch, a star basketball player at Pembroke Academy, was stripped of an award and banned from two all-star games because of an off-color tweet aimed at the team Pembroke beat in the state championship game, Portsmouth High School. Here’s a sampling of the conversation:
Reverend_Citizen: High school is for learning. It appears the lessons continue for this big fish in a very small pond. His coach has lessons to learn as well.
Sanchin: Shouldn’t an athlete’s first response to winning a big game be to thank family, friends, teammates, coaches, community? Why would the thought of attacking the opponent, using the most vulgar of language even enter into his mind? That is learned behavior coming from someone close to him. His parents, coaches, school, and community ought to take a good, hard look at where the roots of such terrible behavior come from. Great leaders lead by example, and someone is not providing good leadership here.
Tillie: I think the punishment was too harsh; after all didn’t Rep. (Kyle) Tasker set an example for him?
RabbitNH: I personally think the punishment was too harsh. This kid took the post down after 10 minutes, as he had the realization that it was wrong. He gets no credit for that or his history of work he does with groups. That tells me he is a good kid who made a mistake based on emotion at the time. Quite a bit different than a kid that does something like this and does not own up to it, but instead makes excuses.
He caught it too late; once you put it on the web, there are folks who will use it against you. Especially if they do not like you. A lesson learned.
Chipstone: Congrats to the coaches organization for their decision! Does anyone love a sore winner? What a telling tweet that was: so easy to kick someone while they’re down, and so easy to apologize after the fact. If one is taught correctly, it is actually easier to be magnanimous in victory. It opens more doors, leads to future partnerships with former rivals and shows true leadership quality. It appears that this boy missed out on a few very important lessons while learning to put a ball through a net. Oh well, another banner year for the coaching staff. Hopefully, this lesson serves this young man well.
chipstone: Monitor columnist Ray Duckler wrote: “. . . something tweeted that in no way reflects the character of the tweeter. In this case, Welch.” Sorry, Ray, but I believe you’re missing the point; that tweet is his character. He wrote it, he hit send, it is his, he owns it. It appears as though he was being a sore loser from an early season game and now he’s being a sore winner. He may also be Mr. Wonderful, but please don’t tell us the tweet “in no way reflects the character of the tweeter.”
CWMoss: A very sad and tragic affair, but can’t say the punishment didn’t fit the crime. Would’ve been much worse to ignore it, and where’s the middle ground? Be a long time before another kid makes the same mistake. That said, I do feel badly for Patrick Welch and the Pembroke Spartans. They had a great year, which deserved a happier ending.
James: An 18-year-old with no other discipline issues admits to using profanity and has an achievement award stripped from him by a governing board of composed of adults? Yet a hockey coach who is arrested for DWI keeps his position and gets elected to the New Hampshire hockey hall of fame? What’s the lesson here?
RabbitNH: I am always shocked at the things I read about in regards to our schools. It pretty much gives me the message that a lot of folks connected to running our schools have no common sense and are major hypocrites.
I read the story about the 9-year-old girl who was suspended because she shaved her head to support her best friend who was going through chemo for cancer. The school said that was against the dress code. So their thinking is that a dress code trumps a nice kid supporting her friend. These are the same folks who believe that they need to be parents to their students.
CWMoss: Should Pat Welch get a “bye” here in your estimation, James? Electronic social media isn’t the world I grew up in, and perhaps was not yours either, but looks like it’s here to stay. There has to be some accountability for his misdeed, so what would you suggest? Pat will survive this punishment, and the message sent is a good one. Otherwise, I think the hockey coach/DWI analogy is less than parallel. Besides, two wrongs don’t make a right.
mcfolsom: I couldn’t agree with you more, James. Maybe the New Hampshire Basketball Coaches Organization should be governing the hockey coaches organization. Clearly they have a higher standard they hold players and coaches to.
DarkPlainsDrifter: Whoa, McNellie. Wait just a minute here. Pat Welch didn’t simply “admit to” using profanity. He put it out there on the world wide web. Once done, it doesn’t much matter what Pat did or didn’t admit to. The deed was done, and it couldn’t go ignored.
I applaud the NHBCO for their expedience of discipline here. Our youth needs to be held accountable for any/all immature and irreverent whims launched via social media. Such malicious missives can do lasting harm. They are not merely a harmless joke.
CWMoss: Again, an apples vs oranges comparison. The hockey coach and his DWI have nothing to do with the poor judgment Pat Welch exhibited via his obscene tweet. Casey Anthony, OJ Simpson, Lizzie Borden, all shouldn’t have walked perhaps, but that doesn’t mean Pat Welch gets away with the height of poor sportsmanship. Your pretzel logic doesn’t cut it here.