Trinity coaching situation leaves some questions

Published 12:03 am Sunday, December 1, 2013

Barely 24 hours after Trinity Episcopal Day School won its sixth football state title in school history, things took a turn for the unfortunate.

Actually, the news of head football coach Josh Loy’s termination was apparently two weeks coming.

Allegations made by parents and students of a hazing incident involving football players three weeks ago seem to be at the center of Loy’s termination. Allegedly, the incident occurred when Loy was supposed to be supervising the players.

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It’s not exactly clear what Loy is being accused of in relation to the supposed incident. Was he simply absent when the alleged incident took place, or is it the Trinity school board’s belief that Loy somehow condoned what was said to have happened?

Furthermore, it’s not clear what the three players purportedly did. However, all three seniors were suspended from the Saints’ MAIS Class A semifinal game against Cenla Christian Academy Nov. 15, but were allowed to play in the state title game a week ago.

Based on what is publicly known, at least a couple of questions should be raised.

For one, if what these three players allegedly did was so horrible that it led to the firing of their head coach, why were the players allowed to play in the state title game? Furthermore, if Loy committed a fireable offense, why was he not terminated immediately instead of being allowed to coach the final two games of the Saints’ season?

If, as alleged, the hazing incident involved some form of sexual contact, then law enforcement should have been called in to investigate.

The timing of this alleged incident — and the fallout — is especially unfortunate for the bulk of Trinity’s roster. Most of the players who celebrated winning a state title apparently had nothing to do with the alleged incident. Certainly, none of this should take away from the team’s accomplishments, but it does make for an unwelcome partner with which to share the spotlight.

It also brings attention to the idea of hazing in particular. Some former football players from older generations say hazing just came with the territory of being an athlete. The stories I’ve heard are not appropriate for print.

What current athletes have to understand is the world isn’t the way it was when older generations suited up. Even on the field, players used to be able to lay hard hits in football without fear of repercussions from the referees. Now, such play could get flagged for unnecessary roughness or targeting with the helmet.

Likewise, in this day and age when bullying has become a hot-button topic in our country, athletes need to realize while perhaps hazing was once acceptable, it no longer is.

Some acts done for a good laugh may seem harmless, but can be hurtful and such is not permissible in an era of zero tolerance. If you bully someone, you can expect school officials will take the matter seriously — and rightfully so.

Trinity’s players are likely still celebrating a state title win, as they should be.

However, negative emotions almost certainly surround the distraction this alleged incident has brought. That’s too bad, because it takes attention away from the accomplishments of the rest of the team that had nothing to do with what supposedly went down.