bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Coach is fired for being pregnant and unmarried

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Earlier this week, a Dallas television station reported on a story about a local coach/teacher who had been fired from her job for having a child despite being unmarried. Cathy Samford, who had coached volleyball at the Heritage Christian Academy for the last three years, and who had also recently started teaching science, was let go by the school in the fall. She has filed a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and is considering a lawsuit. I am quite surprised by this, but I find myself siding with the school.

I want to be clear that I find the idea of firing someone for having a child out of wedlock to be reprehensible. The very idea goes against every instinct toward fairness that I possess. I am regularly amazed that people are still judged by social mores that either did or should have gone out of style decades back. The world is a very different place than it was 100 years ago. Will a single mother have a hard time raising a child in 2012? Perhaps. The thing is that Samford will not be a single mother. She is in a committed relationship…she just doesn’t happen to be married. The current debate about gay marriage tells me that I should not be surprised that there are people who would openly judge a woman as being immoral for being pregnant without being married. I fail to understand how people can think this way, but I certainly know that many do.

Here’s the thing, though: Samford was not a public school teacher. She taught at a Christian school. I do not know this for a fact, but I would not be at all surprised to learn that she had signed some kind of contract with a morals clause when she took the job. As much as I dislike this kind of archaic thinking and basic unfairness, a school like that has the right to dictate a code of behavior to its employees. People enroll their kids in a school like that because they want them to receive a very specific type of education. I would assume that they would prefer that the teachers who are imparting that specific education be held up as excellent examples of the types of people being discussed in the material being taught. If fairness and equal opportunity were the goal, they would send their kids to public school. I am sure that sounds like a condemnation of religious education, and it probably is, but that is beside the point. These people made that choice, and I am sure they paid good money as part of that decision. Ms. Samford chose to ignore the teachings of the private organization that employed her. They had the right to terminate her employment.

I know this is a bit off of my usual subjects, and it is only barely sports-related, but I thought it was an interesting case. I hate to agree with the school here, but I really do feel that they were within their rights here.

Bad sports, continued:

2) Skiing great Lindsay Vonn has had a huge tax lien filed against her by the I.R.S. Apparently she owes over a million dollars for the 2010 tax year which was never paid.

3) One of the accusers of former Syracuse assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine has changed his story. Zach Tomaselli, who, along with several other men, accused Fine of sexual abuse a few months ago, now says that he never even knew Fine.

4) Piermario Morosini, an Italian soccer player who played for Livorno, collapsed and died during a match at Pescara on Saturday. He suffered cardiac arrest early on in the match and was dead before he reached the hospital. Morosini was 25.

5) This has been a fantastic year for Baylor athletics, but it hasn’t all been good news. The school was put on probation for three years by the NCAA this week for a number of secondary violations in recruiting that occurred over the last several years. The number of transgressions is what brought on the punishment, as opposed to the nature of them individually. The issue involved text messages and phone calls during times that those things should have been limited or not happening at all.

6) Lamar Odom has essentially been sent home by the Dallas Mavericks. After spending much of the season disgruntled after being traded to Dallas from the Los Angeles Lakers, the Mavericks decided, ostensibly with Odom’s agreement, that the team would be better off without him. They did not waive him, however, so he is not eligible to sign with another team this season.

7) If you want to see one of the worst baseball slides ever, watch this video.

Good sports:

1) Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Aaron Harang struck out nine consecutive batters in a game against the San Diego Padres on Friday, setting a team record. The major league record was 10, and it was set by Tom Seaver back in 1970.

2) Alabama running back Trent Richardson, who is likely to be a top five pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, showed that he is also a pretty good guy this week. Richardson attended a senior prom in Birmingham with Courtney Alvis, a high school senior who is suffering from Leukemia.

Bad sports, good sports appears every Monday

Alan Spoll is a software quality assurance director from the suburbs of Philadelphia where he lives with his wonderful wife and children. He has spent his entire life as a passionate fan of the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, and Penn State. Recent Phillies success aside, you will understand his natural negativity. Follow me on Twitter - @DocAlan02
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