@Mac of the MIAC wrote:
The only point I need to make is that hazing is wrong. Bullying is wrong. Coaches who turn a blind eye, condone, or even participate are cowards. They should not be leading a team, especially a team of impressionable young adults. If you don’t have it in you to make a stand for something that matters, something that every administration condemns, then you should not be a swim coach. You should not be a swim captain. This exact same thing happened in 2007 at Middleburry.
I’m embarrassed that Peter Soloman came on this board, expecting sympathy, and actually getting it from most of you. Quit embarrassing yourself. You’ve already done enough of that. Do you really need another internet page devoted to your scandal? Is ABC news not enough? Are the 10’s of parents whose trust you’ve violated, and who will probably follow you around from job to job, emailing AD’s not enough?
You failed to stand up for your swimmers last year. Start now. Admit that you were wrong. Admit that hazing is wrong. Apologize to the parents. And then wait for it to blow over. This is honest career advice that I suggest you follow.
I agree with Mac on a lot of points. When I was a swimmer in the league, I did have a problem with him and its bothered me since I became a coach. I don’t think that he encouraged his team to lack sportsmanship or go over the line, it just didn’t seem like he stood up to them when they did it. I remember being at the women’s NESCAC championships and seeing a girl from Middlebury rip Amherst’s banner from the wall. Then I watched a girl from Amherst come up and confront Pete about what just happened- he just stood there and ignored her. I don’t doubt that he was good at coaching and extremely positive and cared a lot about the kids he coached. But you have to be the adult and set the tone and expectations for your team.
I think Colbybr said what I was trying to get across better than I did (must be a result of the excellent education he received at his high school). When he needed to stand up to the team and reel them in it seemed like it never happened. They even had a coaches meeting at NE’s my senior year to discuss his team’s behavior. I didnt swim for him, I have no idea what he said to the team, but the situation didn’t seem to improve.
The great part about swimming is that you can excel and win even while your competitor has an excellent time — your competition is the clock, not just the swimmer in the lane next to you. In my opinion that opens the door for better sportmanship, friendships with people on other teams, etc., than sports without a timing element allow. While I didnt swim for him and he probably couldn’t pick em out of a crowd, I am not sure that his teams ever got that.