Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Ugly altercation between coach, player leads to tense TV apology


Watch the video to see the altercation, then evaluate the coach's apology below.

Host: A player at Holy Family University says his coach shoved him during practice, but the coach says he was teaching his team to play tough. It was all caught on tape.  The player later filed a police report claiming the coach elbowed him and backhanded him giving him a bloody nose and scrapes to the head and lip.

Coach O'Conner, on tape: Got a little blood on you. Good!

Host. Coach O'Conner later apologized, but has been suspended pending a review.

CO: on tape: I can't believe this happened to me. <crying>

CO: on tape: Instinctively I grab it with both hands and, kind of, what they call basketball,  kind of cleared my space, ha ha, you know, normally when this stuff, when I've always been very hands-on with my players, maybe I helped you learn that, you know, take pride in what you do and if you're gonna do it, do it to your best ability.

Live Interview

Host. Let's try and go back to what happened. You said you call this a rough rebound?

CO: It's called a combat rebounding drill, and you know, the idea of the drill is just to compete against two guys, and while you're also teaching them how to rebound, get offensive rebounds.

Host: You did feel badly enough about what happened right there to apologize to Matt and the whole team?

CO: Ah, No question, no question.

Host: What happened?

CO: It was an accident. It was an accident and  umm.. It was unintentional and  umm.. ..

Host: That kick was unintentional?

CO: Yes,

Host: Looked pretty direct…

CO: The drill itself is, you're supposed to continue to try to keep the drill going, so, as he goes down I'm trying to get them to stay competitive and keep the drill going, so I just nudged him with my foot to try to keep him kind of moving in the drill.


Host: The athletic director did take some action, once you met with her?

CO: Yes. She brought me in and we reviewed the tape and she went through the tape with me, just mentioning, you know, as far as going through each part of it. And what I would you know need to improve and what she felt that umm..  was out of hand and what wasn't out of…

Host: So you know now that what you did was over the line right?

CO:  umm.. Not really. I, I just feel that, you know, I was a coach and I was trying to get my team more competitive and in doing so, umm..  I made a mistake.

Host: Do you feel what you did was justified or do you feel what you did was a mistake? You seem to be saying both things right now.

CO: Well, I mean the whole thing here is that, as it, as it went on, I just felt that it was an accident, and it was unintentional, and I was really sorry that it happened, and if that 30 seconds I could take back, I certainly would. But unfortunately in this world you can't do that. umm..  And for that I really apologize.


Host. You two are sitting right here right now. Coach, Matt is right there, tell them what you feel and what you're sorry for.

CO: The main thing is that this was an accident..

Host: Tell him, not me.

CO: Matt, Matt this was an accident, you know, I was just trying to make us a better team, make us more competitive and in doing so, an accident happened and it was unintentional by me and I'm really sorry that it happened. If I could take it back. I certainly would.  umm.. But again it was an accident and I'm really sorry that it happened.

Host: What's your response?

Matt: To be honest, it's kind of hard to accept your apology. Just because, you know, you claim it's justified, you claim you weren't crossing the line. And also I came here to play basketball and now I'm injured and I can't play. I can't play for you anymore. Just because, you know, as your player I'm supposed to be able to respect you and I don't feel I can do that anymore.

CO: One of the things I'd also like to say is, you know, me and Matt had really kind of bonded through the year. Because in beginning of the year he kind of struggled picking some things up, but I was really proud because every day when Matt would come in. He'd work extremely hard, and I think as he got along and start to pick up the things that I was doing. I was really proud that where he came as a player and I just feel it unfortunate if I never get a chance to coach him again.

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