Chicagoist - Chicago Public Schools has suspended the head basketball coaches from Simeon and Morgan Park high schools after a fight broke out during the handshake line at the end of a Jan. 16 game. Shortly after, Tyrone Lawson, 17, was fatally shot multiple times in a parking lot outside the gymnasium at Chicago State University. Simeon coach Robert Smith and Morgan Park coach Nick Irvin each will be suspended for four games for violating the Code of Conduct “through both words and actions.” CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett wrote in a statement:
Coaches in Chicago Public Schools must serve as mentors, instructors and role models for our students both on and off the court or field of competition. The children under their charge take their cues from them on what is acceptable behavior and what is not. Knowing this, coaches must at all times conduct themselves in a professional and sportsmanlike manner. Through both words and actions, the boys basketball coaches of Morgan Park and Simeon High Schools on Jan. 16 violated the Code of Conduct to which they all must subscribe as a basic responsibility of their positions. We have taken the proper disciplinary steps to address their actions.
I was originally gonna post this as a Pussification of America story. But somebody died in this whole mess and it wouldn’t be right to use a gimmick under those circumstances. So I’m in no way trying to make light of their death.
But the fact that these two coaches each got suspended for FOUR games because a handshake line got out of control is absolutely ridiculous. It doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. Two of the top teams in the state battled it out and things got out of control. The players got into it. The coaches were yelling at each other. It happens. That’s sports. The fact that it spilled outside and someone was fatally shot has nothing to do with the coaches. Suspending them for any amount of time in some way implies guilt on their part. Or at the very least implies they could have prevented it. That’s bullshit. It would be like Dunkin Donuts suspending a cashier for selling a 9/11 highjacker a jelly donut and an iced coffee before his flight. There’s no connection to what the coaches did or didn’t do and the end result of someone dying.
And I know people are going to say that this is strictly discipline for what happened inside the gym. Well that’s bullshit too. Listen at the end of the day coaches have to protect their players, and that’s what these guys did. They saw an altercation, they tried to get their teams back in the locker room and separated. Yeah they were mouthing off at each other. Of course they were. It was the heat of the moment. These guys aren’t coaching little kids, they’re coaching some of the best hoops players in the country. They can handle a little scuffle and not be scarred for life. The fact that the CPS thought they needed to step in and discipline these guys instead of letting them continue to coach and teach their players is absurd. And it probably does more harm than good in the end. But that’s just school administrators for you. Heroes of the community butting into every nook and cranny they can fit their face into.