Mother believes TPS administration failed to support coach
To the Editor,
I read the article in the Tecumseh Herald regarding skin infections among the wrestling team. As the mother of a Tecumseh varsity wrestler, I was surprised that such an article would appear in the paper two months after the end of wrestling season.
Knowing the recent controversy with the repeated attempted firing of coach Greathouse, I was hoping for a balanced and informative article.
Unfortunately, it became clear quickly that this was another attempt to discredit and malign coach Greathouse. One has to question the motive behind such an article. If all wrestlers were notified during the season as Mr. Randolph states, steps were taken to curb the outbreak, then what purpose was served with this article, except to try to influence public opinion against the head coach? The anonymous parent who felt compelled to contact the Herald said it was “the right thing to.” He states, “We have been personally and dramatically affected by the poor decisions of an overdriven-to-win coach.”
What “poor decisions” is he referring to? The article states times that the source of infection was unknown, but goes on to try to insinuate that somehow the coach is responsible, without any evidence or proof showing such. I picked my son up from practice numerous times over the season and heard the coach instructing wrestlers to shower and put on clean clothing. The mats were cleaned daily with clean mop heads, and the coach used the recommended anti-bacterial/anti fungal soap. (We went through two large bottles over the course of the season.) At our beginning of season parent meeting, guidelines for personal hygiene were given. Was this anonymous parent’s child 100 percent compliant? Mr. Randolph, himself a former wrestler, knows all too well how common such infections are to a close contact sport such as wrestling. Herpes Gladiatorum (HG) is only spread from skin to skin contact-there is no association with mats! Over Christmas break, there was mandatory practice per the Athletic Director.
During this time, the hot water was turned off to the showers at the high school. If we are going to be serious about preventing outbreaks, we can’t remove the means for wrestlers to shower and try to prevent these things. It is ridiculous to try and blame this on one person. Having been introduced to the realities of varsity wrestling this year, and growing to appreciate the hard work and dedication of the wrestlers AND the coach, it’s upsetting to see all of that wiped out because of what is appearing to be a personal vendetta between the athletic director and his successor. Other programs that work as hard as ours have also suffered similar, and even worse outbreaks, but apparently they have an administration that actually supports the coach and the student athletes. I can only hope that going forward our athletes can be shown the same support and respect.
(Editor’s note: The Herald published the story as soon as it was brought to our attention. The seriousness of the infections, and the number of athletes affected, warranted the news for the community, including all parents, especially those whose children are involved in athletics.)