Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Boo, Hoo... My coach was mean to me

PNG version of the emblem
PNG version of the emblem (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Rutgers is back in the news again... and again in a negative way.  The new AD no sooner took her job than she was pilloried by the Newark Star Ledger for allegedly abusing her players as a women's volleyball coach.  She denies the accusations.

All this noise about abusive coaches raises the broader issue of how kind and gentle mentors --- be they parents, coaches, teachers, or bosses --- ought to be.  In recent years I've heard supervisors frequently complain that, if they aren't patting their employees' heads every other day, the employees become hopelessly insecure.

My mind goes back to my nine weeks in Coast Guard Boot Camp at Cape May< New Jersey.  My DI was Boatswain's Mate Green:  about 6' 5" and 275, pure muscle.  He referred to us as "pukes."  I personally saw him (1) crack a window with the back of a recruit's head while the recruit stood at attention, (2) pour a cup of coffee on another recruit's back, while the guy did push ups, (3) make a guy shave with a clam shell until he bled, (4) make another guy stand in a galvanized trash can and scrub himself with cleanser and a toilet brush, while chanting, "Rub a dub dub, I'm getting clean in the tub."  Gee, I wonder what the media would make of all this?

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