January 26, 2009, - 10:27 am
By Debbie Schlussel
On the one hand, this is involves girls basketball, so who cares? On the other hand, this story is important because it shows how absurd the attack on achievement has gotten on this country.
A Dallas high school basketball coach was fired because his team beat another team 100-0, and he refused to apologize for it. Even worse, the school has forfeited the game to the 0-100 losers in the game. Since when must a coach apologize for doing his job well? Since America became more concerned with people’s feelings–particularly kids–and not recognizing achievement. First, it was affirmative action. Then, it was getting rid of high school valedictorians at many school. And now this.
In just three years as coach, Micah Grimes took his team from a 2-19 joke to state championship contenders. And, now for refusing to apologize for his success, he’s out of a job.
The Covenant School fired its girls basketball coach Sunday, the same day he posted a message on a youth basketball Web site saying he disagreed with school officials who had publicly apologized for the team’s 100-0 victory over Dallas Academy.
In reporting the firing, Kyle Queal, Covenant’s head of school, emphasized that former coach Micah Grimes “now only represents himself” when discussing the game, which has become a national talking point. Queal said he could not say whether the firing was a direct result of the posting and declined to answer any questions.
In a statement posted Sunday on www.flightbasketball.com, Grimes offered his first public comment since the story was first reported.
“I respectfully disagree with the apology, especially the notion that the Covenant School girls basketball team should feel ’embarrassed’ or ‘ashamed,’ ” part of the post says. “We played the game as it was meant to be played and would not intentionally run up the score on any opponent. Although a wide-margin victory is never evidence of compassion, my girls played with honor and integrity and showed respect to Dallas Academy.”
Grimes also included the quarter-by-quarter scoring on his post: 35, 24, 29, 12.
At the end of his post on the Web site, which identifies him as co-founder of Flight Basketball, Grimes wrote, “So if I lose my job over these statements, I will walk away with my integrity.” . . .
He was in his fourth season as girls basketball coach, having built the program from a 2-19 record his first season to a state championship contender last season. Covenant, which plays larger out-of-district schools, is 6-3 this season and undefeated in its Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools district. It has informed TAPPS headquarters that it has chosen to forfeit the Dallas Academy game. . . .
On Thursday, Covenant posted a statement on its Web site that said it “regrets … the outcome of the game with the Dallas Academy Varsity Girls Basketball team. It is shameful and an embarrassment that this happened. This clearly does not reflect a Christ-like and honorable approach to competition.”
In real life, there are winners and losers–sometimes as lopsided as a 100-0 win. It’s a bad lesson for everyone to make a coach apologize for such a win and then to fire him when he won’t.
With this constant attack on achievement in America, we’ve become Mediocrity Nation.