Coach Michael Anderson and the girls on his team did too well.
At least according to officials at Arroyo Valley High School in San Bernardino, who suspended him for “running up” the 161-2 score.
Here we go again.
Anderson is, alas, apologetic. But there’s nothing morally wrong with winning — or with losing, either — an honest basketball game. No matter what the margin.
And it’s vicious to teach either adults or kids that they should shoot for less than their best. Should kids also be telling their bosses, twenty years down the line, that they’re deliberately doing third-rate work this month so that less able co-workers (or competitors) won’t feel so bad?
Bloomington Coach Dale Chung says people should not feel sorry for his team, but for the Arroyo team, which “isn’t learning the game the right way.”
No, coach. To accept responsibility for a bad loss without casting blame, then to work to improve, takes grit, persistence and grace. It’s something we all must learn to do in life. It’s the real magic of sport. And easy wins don’t teach us that. Hard losses do. Why are you communicating the opposite?
If you’re doing very badly at an important task — figure out how to do better. Don’t assume that you should be accorded a fraudulent “better” regardless of actual effort and achievement; don’t chastise winners and call them “unethical” for doing their very best; don’t teach your charges that winners should hobble themselves out of “fairness.”
And if you’re a winner? Don’t apologize.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.