I've always thought that male coaches of girls' youth and high school athletics was a disaster waiting to happen. Especially since schools don't do background checks and often allegations that are never investigated don't show up on these checks.
So it really wasn't that big of a surprise when allegations of sexual harrassment caused the reassignment of the women's baskteball coach and the resignatons of other basketball coaches in Merkel, Texas (a gas-stop town in between Sweetwater and Ablilene on I-20). It was sad, however, to hear that another young girl's life was entrusted to a sexual predator by a district that hasn't done it's homework.
The Albuquerque Tribune did a series a while back on sexual harassment and girls' basketball. Yeah, it's from January, and yeah, it's from Albuquerque, but it's worth a read to get a handle on the problem.
Crossing the Line: A tainted record. (a coach that keeps getting hired despite allegations)
Crossing the Line: Blank checks. (the difficulty of background checks)
Summer Ball adds risks to girls. (lack of supervision on AAU travel teams)
Crossing the Line: Shades of grey (how coach-player interaction can be misconstrued)
Coaches more cautious about interaction with players (what male coaches are forced to do to avoid allegations)
(special thanks to Women's Hoops Blog, without which I would have never found the articles)
Now, onto happier moments in women's athletics.
Congratulations to Cat Osterman and the University of Texas women's softball team on their Big XII Championship.
While the Spurs continue to slide against Seattle, Dallas has surprised every expectation by making their series with Phoenix competitive. Dallas tied their series at two with a 119-109 victory yesterday, a victory described by the DMN's Eddie Sefko as "grind it out".
If 119-109 is "grind it out", I'd like to know what Sefko considers a free flowing game.
Last Chance for Jeff Bagwell
Jeff Bagwell is undergoing surgery to repair his shoulder. The surgery is being described by the Houston media as "the last chance" to save the slugger's career.
Even if he does come back, I think we've seen the last of Bagwell as a productive hitter. Which is a shame because he's been a steady force in the middle of the lineup for years, even though he doesn't have the numbers to show for it because he played most of his career in the Astrodome, a notorious pitcher's park. And it's a shame to lose him because he stuck by the Astros, and never went elsewhere, even though the Astros stunk for many years of his career (Which isn't supposed to happen in the post-collusion free agency era). Plus, he's one of the few sluggers that has applied his trade without the allegations of performance enhancing drugs hanging over him.
Richard Justice, Houston Chronicle
Lisa Gray at The Dugout
Throws Like A Girl (another Astros' Blog)
Tomorrow: Golden (Bear) Years