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Learning From Coach's Mistake

November 29, 1987

The Capistrano Valley High School football team was recently handed a double whammy because of a mistake made by its coach, Dick Enright, who viewed an illegal film of El Toro's practice. Not only were they forced to forfeit their hard-fought victory over El Toro, but they were also forced to lose Coach Enright when he was suspended for the remainder of this year and for next year as well.

That the players (and coaches) have suffered is obvious. An important question, though, aside from the justice or lack thereof, is what, if anything, will be served by the punishment.

Maybe some students will come away with the notion that what matters is, after all, how one plays the game, rather than the win-at-any-cost philosophy. School is, first and foremost, a place for youngsters to learn (and this seems to be quite a lesson in ethics). It is only secondarily a place where they play football. Maybe this can be the purpose served by the seemingly harsh punishment.

Though it was a minor infraction, Coach Enright did not attempt to defend what he did. He appears to be handling the affair quite honorably. Indeed, many people do not think that what he did was unethical, but was, instead, a rather minor infraction of an unjust rule.

MILTON B. ROUSE

San Juan Capistrano

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