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OPINION: Some of us need to remember: football is only a game

The Oct. 4 school board meeting at which was publicly discussed the status of the investigation into allegations of illegal recruiting and false residency of football players, was not only frustrating to witness, but also embarrassing. And I’m not talking about the board of education. I’m talking about the parents and residents and other 50 or so attendees of the meeting. The way they behaved, the personal attacks they made against the board, the sheer insularity with which they approached this issue was embarrassing. Embarrassing for them, embarrassing for our community.

It is embarrassing because, in the end, football is only a game.

Its advocates say it develops strength, character and integrity, and teaches young boys the meaning of teamwork. I’m sure it does. But when there are accusations that a football program is acting not just immorally but illegally, then to defend it, to say winning at any cost is more important than ethics, than morals, than fairness, than regulations and codes and laws, than the damage a negative adult influence can have on impressionable youth — and even apparently more important than academics — that is not only misguided but dangerous.

At the Oct. 4 meeting, there were numerous attendees who clearly, and vocally, cared about nothing other than a winning football team and season, regardless of how or why it happened. There were others at the meeting, players’ parents, who were so blinded by their love for and pride in their sons that they also saw everything as an attack on their kids, on their team and on their winning season.

Is this really what our community has come to? Do we care more about winning a game than about right versus wrong, honesty versus dishonesty, accountability versus selfishness?

It is painfully obvious that the school board was deluged with complaints — 63 complaints, Superintendent Phil D’Angelo revealed at the meeting — and was obligated to investigate. How could it not? If it did not, and the district was sanctioned by Section III and the team’s season dramatically affected, then all the people currently calling this a “witch hunt” against the coach and the team would be up in arms demanding to know why the district did not investigate.

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Comments

dummy56 2 years, 10 months ago

This article contains blatant lies about the type of language and treatment used by the Skaneateles football coaches. Blatant!! This writer will be lucky if he avoids a lawsuit with an irresponsible article like this. Once this first witch hunt is over, I would challenge this writer, who is clearly in cohoots with the Doctor's and King's to interview each player on that Varsity Football team on any of these bs accusations.
Honestly, this is extreme for a letter to the editor, I cannot believe this was printed without some verification. I mean, I could say that I was at one of Ron Doctor's lax practices and make the same accusations. Or worse. Doesn't make them true, just that I have an ax to grind. WOW!!! Get a good lawyer.

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LakersFootball4Life 2 years, 10 months ago

I play for the Varsity football team and attended the meeting and would just like to say that this article isn't true at all. Our coaches never talk to us anything like you said here... "It was screaming at the players with much fouler language, and that they were worthless, they were scum, they were pathetic losers, and on and on." Our coaches are very positive and sure they yell just like every other football coach in HIGH SCHOOL in CENTRAL NEW YORK. I'm not 100% sure why our town cant be happy to have a good football team for once. And the only player that talked during the whole meeting was Ryan Sherman who was asked to stand and speak he didn't interrupt anyone. This article is untrue and childish... and i thought we were the kids?

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SkanBaseball 2 years, 10 months ago

This just isn't true. Im not sure what board meeting or practice you attended. I don't get how people can lie in the paper to make our team look bad. Jason Emerson is a complete liar and I'm embarrassed to be from the same town as you.

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Q1 2 years, 10 months ago

Wow Jason. It's hard to even respond to how out of touch you're view was from what I saw Tuesday. Did you happen to notice the school board members changing their stories? How about the pounding the desk (common type of occurrence from one board member)? How about the screaming or avoiding questions? If you were a parent and saw that this was how your school board was acting you would question the choices they are making on behalf of your children. If the investigation was started without the full consent of the school board and withholding the info from anyone on the board who might be objective is so wrong.

Please in the future try to report more objectively and responsibly.

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ashamedresident 2 years, 10 months ago

Jason you call yourself a reporter and blatant lie about everything that was brought up at the meeting. Were you at the same meeting everyone else was at? You are the worst reporter i have ever seen and this isnt the first time you screw stories up. Do you ever get them right? Thats why you work for a little town paper. As for the football players being rude, not one of them said a single word except for the player who was asked to talk. He did nothing out of line except to tell the truth about what is going on and the board and you can't handle the truth. As for being out of line and blatant lieing to the people the board and Evan Dryfuss was very unprofessional and is a great role model to the kids who were there by pounding his hand on the desk and getting up to get in peoples faces. Thats pathetic. He should be voted out next election. People are upset because we are being lied to and told nothing. The board changes its story every time you ask them a question, know wonder why people are upset. Isn't it really strange how the Doctors are saying all this"heresay" get over it and move on. You should worry about what goes on at your lacrosse practices, ive been there and seen what goes on. We should look at what goes on in the school with teachers, "principles", and other coaches.

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Seriously 2 years, 10 months ago

Jason.... I'm not sure what BOE mtg. you attended last week because your recollection of the Skaneateles BOE meeting was not only a one sided fictional recreation of reality but was insulting to those young, polite, courageous, and prideful football players, as well as, the concerned tax payers who attended the meeting . I strongly feel a written letter of apology should accompany your resignation. I do feel however, the "National Inquirer" may be interested in your particular reporting style. Need I remind you, everything that is said at these meetings is on record both written and recorded. This record includes the multiple choice answers that Mr. Dryfuss and Mr. D'Angelo choose to use to respond to innocent questions the tax payers raise regarding the initiation of the "investigation". I would hope the BOE and Mr. D'Angelo have a paper trail to back -up what their response of the day maybe. If you attended both meetings the obvious and balant "hunt" for Coach Green questions the integrity of many of BOE indicated by the straw pole Ms. Cogswell offered. This all started because of "alledged" violations, by who? Who truly initiated the investigation because according to Section III, they did not. This will end with questions of the true integrity of a few BOE members, as well as, the Asst. and SuperIntendent of Skaneateles Schools. You have made a mockery of our community, shame on you and shame on you Jason for being so blind sided.

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footballordie 2 years, 10 months ago

alrighty, where to begin? First of all, whats your problem? were winning games and being successful. I truly don't understand why there are so many arrogant idiots like you walking around saying all this garbage. Heres the thing buddy, you clearly never played sports or you were the bitch on the team that sat out cause you sucked and now your trying to take it out on our football team. So lets see here, you think that the coaches treat us like were in "Boot Camp." That is incredibly insulting to our soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan right now that your comparing war where people die every day to high school football. Also, in case you didn't know, people get seriously injured ever year playing football. Our coaches jobs are to train us and put us through hell so we don't get seriously injured when it comes to playing tougher teams. See our coaches care about us athletes and aren't going to fatten us up for the slaughter, there preparing us for what is to come. If you can't understand, fine by me, we don't need little pricks like this in our town. If you don't like our team, thats ok too, not everyone likes Greatness.

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oldlaker 2 years, 10 months ago

Jason, I want to start by thanking you for reducing your carbon footprint, by car pooling to the board meeting with Doreen and Ron Doctor. This was one of the most one sided articles I have ever read. You stated that the players in the back were shouting out. The only time I heard any player speak, was when Ron Doctor decided to announce a rumor that he heard in front of everyone present. The player politely stood up introduced himself as the captain of the team. He then stated that the rumor was false and sat back down. It is nice to see that football is making a comeback in our town, It's great to go to a game now and see that we actually have more kids on the team than our opposing team has cheerleaders. As for all the complaints that have supposibly come in, doesn't it seem odd that no one can find any of them and none of the phone calls were documented. There were not any personal attacks on any board members, The board was asked by a reisdent, if they all approved the investigation. Kate Cogswell stated that it was approved by the members of the board. Unfortunatley, after a show of hands, it was clear that only some of the board members had approved it. Yes football is only a game, so are all other sports. Then why do athletes train and why do we have coaches? Just turn the scoreboard off and we can go back to tee ball where everyone gets a trophy and every game is a tie. That is not reality though nor is your article Jason. Keep up the attacks, maybe the boys can go back to dwelling, year after year, in the league basement again. The team is working hard and thier work is paying off. That is the same philospohy these kids need going into a life after HS.

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gamespeopleplay 2 years, 10 months ago

I am astonished that any paper would allow an article such as yours to be published. Not only does it not state facts correctly, but in your own words...what about right versus wrong, honesty versus dishonesty, accountablilty verses selfishness. The parents of this district have been patient long enough and are fustrated with this boards actions. They have not given any proof of their alligations - not only that but the investigation into the residency issue was discovered to be FALSE! I never heard a number given to the number of complaints phoned into the Superintendent. Nice of our superintendent to share that with you, the press, and not the parents there. Did he have the list for you? I'd like to see it. I personally do not have a child in the football program, but am sure I can speak for all of the parents when I say, our childrens education is always more important than winning a football game. By the way, what ever happened to the time line the board keeps giving the parents as to when this "investigation" will be over. The September 20th meeting they stated they hope to have it concluded in a week. The October 4th meeting it was going to be handled in 48 to 72 hours. We still have no answers. More alligations - really. We are cutting programs from Skaneateles Central Schools, cutting teachers, cutting corners everywhere we can, as I am sure the Board of Directors will attest to, How long do we have to keep paying lawyers on these alligations. As far as I can tell it's been going on since November 2011. I for one believe it is time to give our schools, our team of fine young gentlemen football players, and our wallets a break. The school board wants to keep raising this towns taxes for our schools? They need to find a better way of spending OUR hard earned money.

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justsayin 2 years, 10 months ago

Part 1 of 2

Wow. Here’s a piece of garbage I don’t have to pay anyone to come and pick-up at my house.

For the record, Mr. Emerson: The content of the substantive questions asked by residents (you know, the ones you chose not to accurately convey or discuss) included some pretty important stuff: 1. Why did the Board cite in the public forum of the September 20th Board meeting that the investigation was triggered by formal letters of complaint from both Section III and NYSPHSAA? 2. Why was the Board now coming out stating the public statements regarding those letters weren’t true? 3. Was the entire Board made aware of any pending actions prior to starting a ridiculously exhaustive investigation of Coach Green and his team? 4. Did the entire Board vote unanimously (or at all) to approve the same-said ridiculously exhaustive investigation of Coach Green and his team? 5. OK, no clear answers there. Then, who proposed and who authorized this investigation of Coach Green, his staff and his team? 6. Did anyone sit down with Coach Green and his staff prior to starting this ridiculously exhaustive investigation? 7. No? Why didn’t anyone sit down with Coach Green and his staff to review any documented complaints prior to launching a ridiculously exhaustive investigation? 8. Was anyone ever going to sit down with Coach Green and his staff prior to the conclusion of the aforementioned investigation and discuss any of the details of the ridiculously exhaustive investigation? 9. No? Why not? 10. So, who exactly are the judge, the jury and the executioner in this little Skaneateles passion play? 11. Oh, that’s right, yet again no answer from the Board.

Now, Jason, why would a Board of Education have trouble answering the questions I’ve outlined above? Damn, Jason, you missed all the good parts of that meeting. I wish I were at the same meeting you were, I would have had a lot more to talk about. Next time, dear God, send a reporter or someone with some set of journalistic credentials that might actually require them to seek some form of the truth. Lucky for you, Jason, I don’t own this newspaper and you don’t work for me. Because if I owned it and you worked for me, I would fire you tomorrow morning.

You see, Jason, in the America that I know, this whole thing seems very un-American to me. Secret investigations, anonymous tips, undocumented complaints, mysterious phone calls, private eyes, unauthorized surveillance, crazy petitions, secret letters by teachers to the administration…if you took away the context it would all sound so very much like, oh, I don’t know, 1960’s Cuba or 1940’s Germany to me. Yet no one has ever bothered to sit down and have a face-to-face meeting with Coach Green and his staff. Not once, ever…before, during and, now evidently, after the ridiculously exhaustive investigation. Really? Wow, that’s a rare form of courage.

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justsayin 2 years, 10 months ago

Part 2 of 2

Come on, Jason, this is a journalist’s dream and you’re missing the whole story here.

In addition, Jason, I feel that you have misrepresented all of the citizens who showed up to provide comment in that public forum and, most regrettably, I feel that you misrepresented a fine group of young men that are the Skaneateles football team. You see, Jason, I was there. And what you’ve printed here is just simply untrue. I take misrepresentation of citizens speaking in a public forum very seriously. I think the other citizens that were there do, too. And, I would happily march into a court of law tomorrow and put my account of that meeting up against your account of that meeting. I mean it, tomorrow.

Jason, if you want to throw around catchy phrases like “win at all costs”, you might want to address those phrases to the Board of Education and the administration at SCSD. This whole silly episode has been unfolding since the first day that Coach Green and his coaching staff was hired. For the taxpaying residents on hand that night, I know one thing for sure: the last thing on their minds right now is winning a damn football game.

Jason, if you want to be embarrassed, pleased be embarrassed by your journalistic skills. You don’t have to go out of your way and be embarrassed on our account. If you can’t account for something accurately, don’t write it. If you want to hide behind the label of opinion, then don’t present falsehoods as facts and provide them as the foundation for your argument. If you want to cover something, then cover it from the very beginning and know your facts. In this case, I would start with the very first day on which Coach Green and his staff were hired. It’s been a love story ever since.

Jason, just a bit of advice, obviously there’s been a lot of emotional discussion on this subject. Perhaps this piece was a lapse in judgment. So, really think back to what you witnessed and heard that night. Does what you wrote match it in a fair and balanced fashion? If so, stand by it. If not, I would suggest that you very rapidly print a retraction and an apology to all parties that you misrepresented in this piece.

I’m just sayin’.

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Breck 2 years, 10 months ago

This article is 100% wrong. I am proud of our community for standing up and holding the school board and school district reps accountable. A few board members took it upon themselves to spend our money on an investigation based upon lies, rumors, and jealousy. The truth will come out. Section III has already repeatedly denied any complaints against Coach Green. The 63 complaints solicited by the investigation will turn out to be much to do about nothing and my guess is the school board will start to throw each other under the bus. I am curious about one thing Jason.........did you always want to be a hockey player?

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reality 2 years, 10 months ago

Wow Jason...obviously you were not at the same meeting as the rest of concerned citizens of Skaneateles that actually care about the wellfare of their children and our sports program. Here's some reality for you since you seem to have trouble interpreting life around you..... 1. If the board had anything tangible to say about Coach Green they would have been singing to the press and the parents at the meeting. 2. A minority of the board members proceeded to spend THOUSANDS of dollars of tax payer money on a witch hunt because some petty, jealous people in town can't stand that Coach Green is the better man for the job. 3. No letter was ever sent by Section III to initiate this witch hunt, as confirmed by Section III. 4. After the investigators came up with NOTHING the Board realized they backed themselves into a corner, so instead of admitting that they overreacted they CONTINUED to investigate in the hopes that they would validate their ridiculous actions. We don't have enough money to support our sports team but the Board in their infinite wisdom has no problem spending our money on CRAP.

It's petty, jealous, uninformed people like you that started this whole mess with ZERO consideration for the kids. Notice that not ONE CHILD said ANYTHING remotely negative about the coaching staff or their experience on the football team. If they were being abused the parents would know about it. You tried to do your worst to Coach Green and the kids and it didn't work out for you.......so now it's time to sit down, shut up, and move on. We have more important people to worry about than whiners like you. We're focusing our energies on protecting our kids from people like you.

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cjc2196 2 years, 10 months ago

Wow you call yourself a reporter get actual facts next time, do not make up stuff and you do realize how bad you are making yourself, the football team, the school and the town look. It is football, the coaches are gonna get angry and if you make a mistake repeatitivly they are gonna get mad and yell and swear just like any other sports coach in this district and around the world and abusive really the coaching staff here has worked miracles and all you are doing sir is spitting in their face i think you need to look at the story from every angle and stop writing these crazy articles

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proudmom 2 years, 10 months ago

I am one of those proud mothers whose son has gained beneficial character building, discipline, and pride in the result of all his hard work. I am also one of the community members incredibly disappointed that this story has received all this attention when so many other valid concerns should have been identified by parents over the years I have lived here. and my children have attended Skaneateles Schools. These concerns include but are definitely not limited to: burnt-out but tenured teachers who have been allowed to disparage children over the course of much more than an athletic season; an athletic trainer whose position has been successfully defended but who continues to be more concerned with cell phone conversations than the safety and well beling of the team; and blantant unsportsmanship by coach after coach in sport after sport earning our school a reputation of being righteous, spoiled bullys.

I for one would like the BOE to be morally courageous and vow to answer all questions being asked of them. Specifically, I believe it would be illuminating to know who originally asked the investigation be initiated as well as to speak clearly about how much this issue is costing the school district.

I for one am okay with questions being raised and answered however, if all the efforts and attention to this issue has not revealed any wrongdoing after all that has been discussed and investigated to date - the issue should be set aside.

I believe Tim Green has brought a wonderful balance to the established and sometimes small minded Skaneateles "old boys" athletics and believe the attention given to this "story" has been fueled by jealousy and fear of his success and new found influence.... how sad this community of priveledge and unlimited opportunity has stooped to this level of function and behavior.

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ashamedresident 2 years, 10 months ago

First of all, unanimously the community is in support for our wonderful football program, and thank you Tim Green!!!! Second, there have been rumors and complaints as long as I have experienced sports at all levels for years!! Yes, we are talking rumors about coaches, teachers, Vice principals and even athletic directors! If our BOE is shallow enough to act upon verbal complaints then we need to reelect a new board. I refuse to pay for this private investigator and legal council.

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OldTimeLaker 2 years, 10 months ago

Please do not say unanimously as there are many who side with the BOE and this very sad state of affairs. Since when did football at Skaneateles Central School become win at any cost? I think we should just all wait until the investigation is over before our minds are made up. For if the allegations are indeed true, the BOE was correct in their handling of this case.

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Blindsider15 2 years, 10 months ago

Ok, this is not intended to hurt the writer at all. I think you have gotten your fair share of hate from our town. But it dissapoints me that we have people in this town that root against the football team. I think you should be supporting the team Jason, not putting it down. *But I strongly think that an appology is in order.* You have insulted the whole coaching staff and the players. They have been working soo hard through the past months and it shows come game night. But what you said in your article is wrong and offensive to the town. So we all expect an appology from you.

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Getalife 2 years, 10 months ago

wow- I am appalled! I did not grow up in this town, in fact it was in a town far away where i played on a section winning football team. And my coaches were tough, called us pussys and made us strong. But I have grown up and I have left football far behind. I was not at the BOE meeting so I do not know the truth of the situation but i have been in similar meetings where the ones doing the yelling feel they are never wrong- it was the other guy's fault. The vitriol and anger spewed out in the above comments is simply wrong. It is wonderful that Skaneateles has a winning team but at what cost? Pride and integrity- oh that's right we don't need it as long as we win. Don't want to pay the cost of the lawyers investigating the complaints? Well, who is paying for the "run it like a college program" roster of 6? 7? assistant coaches? More than any other team Section 3 through 1A anywhere in the state! And yes the team is winning, for the first time in my memory they are not a joke. BUT they have won 3 games by 20 points and 3 games by over 50 points. Win by over 50 points? There is NO reason for that- being up by thirty and your starting QB is still on the field throwing to the star receiver. That is Wrong! OK I wasn't at any game and maybe they were playing against the 9th grade team and the coach's son didn't mean to throw a TD (or run for one) but c'mon. It's a frickin GAME give the other team some pride (no not to play t-ball and give everyone a trophy as some dim wit mentioned) And since when is Coach Doctor such a bad guy? Not when he is winning section titles in lacrosse but obviously that doesn't mean he understands the psychology of coaching. And yes he did some ahole things too- it comes with the coach's hat. and would he have been a better football coach then Tim Green- probably not. In the end I am sure that Coach Green will have his A covered and will come out smelling like a rose- vindicated and pure. That's our culture. Football is everything. It will be great to see all these cash strapped school districts putting more money into football programs, hiring big name coaches with extensive staffs. Anything to win, right? The schools can just lay off the music and art teachers- no need for them! Maybe a calculus teacher or two, no state test in calculus. Bulls*&t. Damn, I miss AD Pound

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SkanFootball123 2 years, 10 months ago

^^^ this guy and and Jason dont know anything that they are talking about. Get your facts straight before accusing

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