The self-esteem police are active and on patrol in New York, targeting a high school football coach who allowed his team to beat their opponent a little too soundly and allowed his own players to play too well and too long.
The New York Times reported that Plainedge High School coach Robert Shaver was penalized with a one-game suspension after a Nassau County committee found he could have avoided a blowout 61-13 victory by his Red Devils against the Cyclones of South Side High School in Rockville Centre.
A margin over 42 points triggers a review by a special committee, under rules adopted about three years ago by the county and designed to preserve players’ self-esteem. The committee determined Shaver should have pulled his starting players as the 4th quarter began.
Superintendent Ed Salina took strong exception to the ruling and suspension, writing an open letter in which he called the committee a “kangaroo court.”
“I am all for treating everyone justly,” the letter read, “but it is my opinion that Coach Shaver was ‘done wrong’ by this group of self-professed experts on sportsmanship. Who said they are experts on sportsmanship? Who appointed these people to run this kangaroo court, being the judge, jury, and executioners?”
Newsday reports Shaver told the committee both teams were unbeaten, and he feared a Cyclones come-back if he took out his starters.
An official with the National Federation of State High School Associations says in most places lopsided wins are typically handled by running out the clock or stopping play.