Accountability in Athletic Programs
Accountability in Athletic Programs
We are writing you today because we feel that our character and integrity as a community is in jeopardy, particularly in our Boys’ High School Basketball program.
Fairfield Athletes have historically been known to have the highest personal character, unwavering ethics, and unmatched sportsmanship. Our parents have, in the past, reinforced these attributes by being respectful to officials, coaches, and opposing teams. And our coaches of the past laid the foundation to help athletes grow into adults with integrity by requiring accountability and sportsmanship.
These qualities have slowly been eroding in the boys’ basketball program over the last few years. Our athletes are no longer held to the standard of personal integrity, work ethic, and respect for the game. Some parents have become disrespectful and degrading to officials, coaches, and opponents and their behavior is going unchecked. Athletes can be heard yelling profanities when they don’t get a call from an official, we have seen some pout on the bench like school children when not given the playing time they feel they deserve, and we have witnessed them degrade their teammates in front of fans and have heard it also happens in locker rooms. All the while the coaches have sat by and allowed these behaviors, putting winning above integrity and refusing to instill work ethic that builds leaders. Parents are being thrown out of games for arguing with officials and disagreeing vocally with coaches during games. And apparently, parents who disagree with a coach’s decision about playing time can drum up enough support from other parents to put a coach’s job in jeopardy. This puts ALL of our athletic programs in a delicate position by not being able to hire good, qualified coaches. How can we expect coaches to sign on to a program that allows the politics of playing time and the loud clanging of parent opposition to be hanging over their heads as they fear for their jobs?
We parents are coming to you to demand accountability. We are embarrassed by the behavior of these athletes, parents, and coaches. We are tired of watching coaches not hold our athletes and parents accountable, for not requiring respect for officials and opponents, and watching the character of Fairfield Athletics erode from the inside out. We are tired of the actions of the few being allowed to speak for the many.
These shortcomings are not limited to boys’ basketball alone, however the actions of the players, parents, and coaches more recently have grossly misrepresented who we are as a community and we will no longer be silent. We would like it to be known that we are not only speaking of the recent departure of Randy Deshone but of the lack of leadership and accountability still evident even in his absence and throughout other sports at Fairfield. We believe the problem lies with the continual hiring and retention of coaches who don’t hold kids accountable and refuse to stand up for our values. We also believe it is a disservice to our programs to only seriously consider Head Coach candidates that are teachers.
It is our understanding that there will be an upcoming search for a Boys’ Head Basketball Coach. We want our voice to be heard. We fully expect a coach that will teach our sons how to be leaders of the community, to be students of the game, and to be fair and unwavering in upholding Fairfield Athletics’ code of conduct. We demand a coach with a history of integrity and one that will hold our players and parents to the standard of the past, where respect and sportsmanship ruled over all. We need a coach that puts disrespect in its place and will choose character building over championships EVERY TIME. This coach should be reassured that when they are forced to confront a player or parent for not upholding our athletic code of conduct and character standards, they will have the full backing of the Athletic Department.
We would also like to call on every coach under the authority of Fairfield Athletics to adhere to these same standards. If you are not willing or capable of requiring athletes in your care to work hard, display sportsmanship, grow as leaders, and be the best version of themselves then we humbly ask you to step out of the way and allow someone else to take up the mantle.
We love our children fiercely and we work hard at home to ensure they grow up to people of character, honor, and integrity. We ask that you assist us in this as we have trusted you to do by placing our children in your athletic programs.
Parent’s of Athletes in Fairfield Community Schools