May 09, 2011

No Shirt No Service: High School Coach Jobless After Boys Track Team Goes Topless: Westwood High track coach Tom Davis was fired last week because one of his runners decided to whip off a shirt during training on a 75-degree day. This wasn't a girl, by the way. It was a boy.

posted by Demophon to olympics at 08:19 AM - 12 comments

At my Alma Mater, the guys weren't allowed to run without shirts based on the facts girls can't. Seemed fair to me. If the coach was fired on the spot with no warning, then that would be unfair, but I have to wonder if there's more to the story (prior warning, clear indication this happening with result in firing, etc).

posted by jmd82 at 09:02 AM on May 09, 2011

I suppose it's possible that there is an MIAA regulation that could disqualify a runner who shed a shirt -- I know that they do have a very strict regulation about jewelry, and I know a competitor who won a race and was disqualified because he was wearing a cross -- but that would be in a meet, not in practice. Sounds like the AD has Issues.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:13 AM on May 09, 2011

This is absurd. Not allowing the boys to take off their shirts because the girls can't is ridiculous. I hate to inform these lame brains but boys are different than girls.

posted by JohnSoCal at 09:52 AM on May 09, 2011

Clearly there's something underneath this story: is it district policy? Does he have religious beliefs which promote modesty by covering the body? It also would be interesting if he is a teacher in the school district, since most coaches are full-time educators. Firing him in front of his athletes meant the AD clearly wanted to embarrass this coach, so this coach does teach at the school, that's even more of a reason to sue both the AD and the district.

posted by jjzucal at 10:25 AM on May 09, 2011

Always two sides to a story, but the AD is, at the very least, not capable of being a professional at all times. He needs to go ASAP. Wish he had swung at the coach. That would have sealed the deal.

Lots of competent workplace attorneys in Eastern Mass. and no doubt Coach Davis will connect with one of them.

The school superintendent will regret coming so quickly and vigorously to the defense of the AD and having his comments go on the record, which was not intelligent under the circumstances.

At minimum, the AD's conduct is going to cost the school district tens of thousands of dollars that would not have been spent otherwise. If I were a team parent or a taxpayer in that town, I'd stick the AD in a third floor bedroom of an ugly building and send the SEALS in after him.

posted by beaverboard at 10:33 AM on May 09, 2011

Unless this coach was drooling while watching the shirtless boy, where was the harm?

posted by BornIcon at 12:33 PM on May 09, 2011

Maybe a religious thing? Like I said, some kinda nuttiness going on.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 01:02 PM on May 09, 2011

So, if the AD warned the coach that players should not be taking off their shirts, how is it unfair or lawsuit-worthy that he was fired for just that behavior? I would bet that most districts have some sort of keep-your-clothing-on rules. If the coach can't get his players to follow the rules, well, those are the breaks.

posted by bperk at 01:39 PM on May 09, 2011

If an athlete taking his shirt off is a firing offense, what is flipping out on your coach in front of students?

I'm amazed that a male athlete going shirtless as part of an athletic practice is a big deal anywhere in this country in 2011.

posted by rcade at 02:38 PM on May 09, 2011

I suspected that it had something to do with a double standard. In many places, girls are not allowed to run with a sports bra on, and have to wear a shirt as well. So, maybe they have a shirt rule for the boys as well.

posted by bperk at 03:54 PM on May 09, 2011

He needs to go ASAP. Wish he had swung at the coach. That would have sealed the deal.

While he didn't swing at the coach, it appears that this AD has taken swings at students before.

Hardly seems like the type of offense that gets one fired, especially since the coach did threaten to kick players off the team for taking their shirts off.

posted by dviking at 08:01 PM on May 09, 2011

I've got two girls in H.S. in the same state. Every day after pm team practices, there are always a few hardbody stringbean boys wandering around shirtless carrying their gear, looking for their ride home.

Doesn't seem to bother the girls much, if at all.

It bothers the hell out of guys my age, though, looking wistfully at a level of fitness that not only is nevermore for us, but may not have ever been there to begin with.

posted by beaverboard at 08:31 PM on May 09, 2011

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