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Today’s episode of Wussification of the Woo comes from the lovely town of Paxton. A few parents have reached out to us about this one. Here’s the story from one of the emails:
The Paxton middle school basketball coach conducted 2 days of tryouts and selected his team. One kid missed the 2nd tryout due to a concussion. The coach selects his team and it includes five 6th graders (including the kid who missed 1 day of tryouts.) This is the same group of 6th graders who won the Summer basketball League in Holden this past summer. Talented group of hardworking kids who deserved to make the team….well because they made the team the coach needed to cut some 7th and 8th graders who were on the team last year. That obviously did not sit well with some parents who complained of “unfair” treatment of their kids and they “deserved” to be on the team over the 6th graders because they were in the team last year. The school administrators step in and declare the coach needs to conduct ANOTHER tryout, but school administrators need to be present. Tryout is held and coach picks the same kids again. Parents of kids cut complain again and administration fires the coach. New coach is hired and requires two more days of tryouts. Basically Little Johnny gets cut, but parents refuse to allow it and the administration is too soft to tell the parents to get lost.
Alright, first of all, all that stuff about winning the Holden summer league and the kid with concussion means nothing to me. There’s only one thing that matters in this story – the coach made a decision. Period. End of story. He’s hired by the school to coach, so he gets to pick the team. He did his job, not once, but twice, and was fired for it. None of the other details matter.
The coach’s names is Matt Ruppert. We reached out to him for a comment but to no avail. Not surprising, since administrators basically scare the shit out of teachers/coaches if they try to speak to the media. It’s cool though, because we have all the information we needed. The guy was fired because he didn’t pick kids that the administration at Paxton Middle School approved of. That’s all you need to know. He had a job. He picked what he thought was the best team. Should’ve ended right there.
But because these small town administrators are so gutless and petrified of the Paxton version of Tracy Novick with a Mommy blog, principals like Kathi McCollumn would rather just let them have what they want so they shut up and leave them alone. That’s the downside of living in the burbs – dealing with overbearing, insane, helicopter parents who think their kids are all going D1.
I gotta say, good for Coach Ruppert for what he did. That second tryout was OBVIOUSLY a sting. Administration was there not to observe or be fair, but as a reminder to the coach that he had one job to do – pick the team that got the parents to stop annoying the administration. It was a shakedown and a show of force. It’s like the player who wants to win the game, but Fat Tony and crew are sitting in the stands making sure he shaves points so that his team doesn’t cover the spread. You know what the consequences will be if you do the right thing.
But instead of picking the team they told him to, he picked the team he wanted. The SAME EXACT TEAM that got him into trouble in the first place. Such a power move on his part. I gotta tip my hat to him. He must’ve known he was gonna be in trouble if he picked all the sixth graders again. He knew the fix was in. But he did it anyway and went down with the ship. Sure, he could’ve collected the stipend and coached the kids he didn’t pick (who I assume hate their parents right now, because when you’re in middle school all you want your parents to do is shut up and NEVER be seen). But then he’d be completely selling out and he’d be in it for the wrong reasons. It’s like being a teacher and being told you have to pass a kid who is failing. What’s the point of even doing the job?
It just kind of sucks that the bad guys get to win again. Look, Turtleboy Jr. sucks at sports. We try to get him to play soccer but all he wants to do is eat oranges, talk to the girls, and tell all the other kids long, boring stories about what him and his cousin did at Grandma’s house. When it comes to athletics he brings me nothing but shame. And one day he will be in middle school and he will more than likely get cut from whatever team he tries out for. And I will support that coach because I recognize that Turtleboy Jr. doesn’t deserve to make the team. These parents in Paxton should do the same.
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