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Prepnet / Speak Out

February 06, 2001

Should coaches leave star players in the game so they can achieve records at the expense of embarrassing an overmatched opponent?

DAVID RANDLE

San Clemente, Wrestling

No, it's not right. Even when a record is at stake. I don't think it's right to embarrass another team or player. In our case, when we overmatch an opponent, we'll use guys from JV. It's good for them because they get a chance to wrestle on the varsity level and it might be the only chance they get all season.

ATHENA VASQUEZ

Newport Harbor, Basketball

If I was in that situation, it would be awesome that I got the record. In another way, it would be self-indulgent because I would embarrass the other team and it wouldn't be right. If it was against a good team, that would be a great game to get a record, but against a lesser team, I wouldn't do it because it would feel like it wasn't much of an accomplishment.

FRANK J. HAFFNER

Woodbridge Booster/Irvine Sting

Coach (Travel Softball Team)

The coach would be doing a disservice to the player, her teammates and their opponents by leaving the star performer in the game. First, college scouts are not very interested in a player's statistics, especially if it were against weaker opponents. Second, a team is only as good as its weakest link. Against weaker opponents or when a team is significantly in the lead may be the best time to develop other players, which a team may need in a crucial spot sometime during the season. Third, a good player only improves when the competition makes them play at a higher level. Fourth, in the spirit of good sportsmanship, it is not fair to not only beat your opponent but also to humiliate them. This is a bad lesson for both the winning and losing teams.

BEN HALEY

Anaheim, Football Coach

At what expense? Four years ago at Santiago High, I could have left James Thomas in the game to become a 1,000-yard rusher. He ended up with 984 for the year. The problem was that we were ahead, 53-0. He could have gained those yards in nine other games. Why reach a goal and humiliate a group of kids that are giving their all?

GABRIELLA SHEFFIELD

Edison, Soccer, Cross-Country,

Swimming

Coaches should leave a star player in even if it means embarrassing the other team because how else will records be made? Records aren't broken while playing the No. 1 team in league.

LARRY JAMES

La Quinta, Volleyball

It doesn't really apply to our sport, but in that kind of situation, I would pull the player out because you probably have other people who don't play a lot on your bench at that time. I would do it in the interest of sportsmanship, and if you leave someone in there just to run up big numbers, I don't know how valid those numbers would be anyway.

NEXT QUESTION

Does the Southern Section's 11-win rule (11 victories guarantee a playoff berth, no matter where a team finishes in league) cheapen the boys' and girls' basketball playoffs?

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