For the Kids or For the Money?
First of all, if you do a job for an agreed-upon price, you should get paid for doing the job. However, I think the coaches at East Providence High School are handling this the wrong way.
In Saturday’s Providence Journal was a story about the EP varsity sports coaches walking out on the kids due to non-payment, plus a game got postponed because the coach refused to attend.
Unpaid the $2,800 he earned for coaching the East Providence girls to the Division I volleyball final last month and expected to take a 60-percent cut in the $3,800 he is supposed to earn for coaching Townies boys basketball this winter, Alex Butler on Friday said enough is enough.
Butler initiated a walkout by coaches of winter sports teams after he and the other coaches of fall sports did not receive checks on Friday, as they were promised.
As a result, Friday night’s EP-Bishop Hendricken basketball game was postponed.
If I was a player on the team, I’d be absolutely irate. The coaches deciding they’re not going to show up to work anymore? Postponing or canceling games? I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the Hendricken coach and athletic director were to demand that the game be declared a forfeit. It was a scheduled game, weather wasn’t a factor, it was simply that the EP team refused to show up. That’s a slam-dunk forfeit.
This isn’t the East Providence school administration who hasn’t paid the coaches, it is the state-appointed Budget Commission.
[T]he checks for the fall coaches had been withdrawn by the Budget Commission, Butler said. He added that Val Lawson, head of the East Providence teachers’ union, received word from the city finance director — Malcolm Moore holds that title, according the city website — and passed it on to Paul Amaral, the athletics director. In addition to not paying the fall coaches, Butler said the Budget Commission wants coaches of winter sports to take a 60 percent pay cut.
Ok, that is just wrong. If you’re going to do something like this, let the coaches know so they can decide what to do.
However, this statement troubles me as well:
“If they take 60-percent from my boys basketball salary, I figured I would get paid $4.50 an hour,” Butler said.
That sounds like he’s doing this for the money. No coach is paid any amount that realistically compensates them for the amount of time they spend with their players. The payment is often not much more than a sign of appreciation. The coach was slated to earn $3,800 for the season, clearly not that much money, but again, no one should be doing this job for the money.
I coached a high school hockey team and though I knew I was getting paid, I sure wasn’t doing it for the money. When the check arrived, it was nice to get, but it sure wasn’t what drove me. Plus, I made less than half what Coach Butler was supposed to earn this season.
Bottom line, I agree with the coaches’ frustration. However, I just wish they could find another way to show that frustration. To take this out on the kids is just the wrong answer. Canceling games on the kids is the wrong solution. Hopefully the coaches will be back for their teams’ next game.