Earlier this week, Westover High School in Fayetteville fired head girls basketball coach Theodora “Tammy” Brown, after the coach continued a longstanding team tradition of hosting a team bonding sleep-over at a local hotel.
“It’s very hurtful because we finally got a basketball coach that’s willing to invest in our team,” said parent Melanie Kincy. “She nurtures them. She guides them. She helps them with academics.”
According to parents and students, the traditional sleep-0ver was not only approved by all parents in written form, but also had the green light from the school’s athletic director.
“The team bonding was chaperoned,” Kincy said. “There was nothing out of the ordinary. She had permission not only from parents in written form but she also had permission from the school’s athletic director.”
On Friday morning, prior to the team’s second game without their coach, dozens of student’s showed support for Brown by staging a peaceful protest at Westover.
Students also took to social media to make their voices heard.
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Westover High School Principal, Dr. Vernon Lowery, was present at the team’s game Friday night, but according to WRAL, refused to comment on the situation.
Whatever the reason for Coach Brown’s firing, we should all be able to agree that a coach, chosen by the school to lead and mentor student-athletes, shouldn’t be punished for trying to bring her team closer together, especially when every parent approved of their child taking part in the activity.
Every season, at every high school across the country, sports teams take part in overnight camps, road trips that may require an overnight stay, and even the exact same team bonding type of event Coach Brown attended with her team. Even academic clubs at schools host overnight events.
The school’s silence on the matter is rather disturbing. If they truly have cause for firing the coach, it shouldn’t be hard to prepare a statement and let their reasoning be known.
Otherwise, they’ll continue to look ridiculous for firing a coach for simply doing her job – inspiring team unity, cohesion, and sportsmanship.