After his team won by 88 points earlier this week, a Connecticut high school girls basketball coach was punished for one game. After a 92-4 loss to Lyman Hall on Monday night, Sacred Heart Academy reprimanded coach Jason Kirck and apologized.
“Sacred Heart Academy values the lessons taught and cultivated through athletic participation including ethical and responsible behavior, leadership and strength of character and respect for one’s opponents,” Sister Sheila O’Neill
Psychosis is a mental illness marked by a loss of connection to reality. Telling a team that they must not play their best for fear of offending the other team is just that, not reality. In the real world, if you fail a test by one point, they are not going to bump your score up to make sure your feelings are not hurt. They are going to hold you accountable to the score that you earned.
When we shelter our students from reality, we produce life long consequences that will sit with them for the rest of their lives. They are not being given the tools to cope and react appropriately which will carry struggles on into their adult lives.
In the real world, there is not a trophy for every participant. Only those who are successful are rewarded. Altering outcomes is not ethical because it creates a false and dishonest illusion. The school acted in bad faith by not protecting the coach for simply wanting his team to be successful and do the best that they could.