Shanley baseball coach of 14 years says contract not renewed due to parent complaint about text message

As a parent of a young baseball player, I am appalled.

I think the message that the Coach sent out is awesome and struck a nerve.

FARGO – When the Fargo Shanley baseball team hits the field this spring, it will do so with a new coach.

Joel Swanson, who started the Deacons program in 1999, was informed by school administrators Monday that his coaching contract would not be renewed for the 2014 season.

According to Swanson, the reason for the nonrenewal is a complaint from a parent of one of the players in the Shanley program regarding a text message he sent to players last week regarding preparations for the upcoming season.

Swanson told The Forum that he met with Shanley activities director Randy Nelson and Dr. Michael Smith, the Superintendent of Blessed John Paul II Catholic Schools Network of Fargo on Monday to discuss the text message. In the meeting, Swanson said he was told a complaint had been issued by a parent.

“They told me the text message was considered threatening in tone and wording,” Swanson said. “They went on to say that it violated Shanley’s values and that my contract would not be renewed.”

Nelson confirmed Wednesday that Swanson’s contract was not renewed, but declined to comment on what prompted the decision, citing the matter as a personnel issue.

Swanson, who teaches alternative education at Cheney Middle School in West Fargo, coached 14 seasons with the Deacons and was coming off of a 10-12 season in which Shanley won the North Dakota Class A state championship.

Defending that championship is what prompted Swanson to send his players the text message.

Swanson provided The Forum a letter he sent Nelson and Dr. Smith in response to his dismissal, which included what he says is the transcript of the text message he sent to the players.

The text goes into great length about Swanson’s expectations for the 2014 season and his displeasure with players having poor attendance at non-mandatory open gym sessions.

“We are two months into open gyms and obviously all of you are satisfied with last year’s title,” the message reads. “We are the team that will have a target on our backs. We are the team that everyone throws their ace against. We are the team everyone wants to beat this year. I am sick of stupid excuses to not come to open gym. … If you want to be an athlete commit to it. One hour a week is not too much to ask if you want to be an athlete.

“If you make an excuse not to come then you are telling me what kind of athlete you are. I cannot require you to come but I thought I would have a group excited to try and defend a title. Not to make excuses and not care. Some of you are not even in a sport right now, which is even more pathetic. … I will not send out another message like this, but some of you may be in for a rude awakening when the season comes and you are not in the lineup due to a younger player that puts in the time.”

The Class A baseball season opens March 17, with the first contests scheduled for March 28.

Swanson has received hundreds of emails and text messages of support following the decision, which he cites as unjust due to the lack of opportunity to defend himself.

Swanson said he was afforded no challenge to the complaint nor was he allowed to meet – in a mediated setting – with the parent that issued the complaint, which he considers to be standard practice.

“It seems like something is missing here,” Swanson said. “If they want me to step down from my position, then fine, but it was done in an unprofessional way. I was released without ever being able to talk to this parent. I wasn’t able to defend myself as far as what the content of the text message was.”

In May of 2013, Minnesota passed a law preventing parent complaints as being the sole reason for a board to not renew a coaching contract in its high schools. No similar legislation exists in North Dakota.

“It is just too bad,” Swanson said. “We have a large senior class this year and they are a good group of kids. We didn’t have the best record in the regular season last year, but they were fun to coach. … It is tough to leave that. As a coach you want to help kids and share your knowledge, but there always is somebody who seems to think that is not good enough or they can do better.”

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Quincy sounds lazy like the kid that wasnt showing up, thats why he thinks it was the right decision

yelowjackt Said:

Quincy05 Said:

MuskyManiac Said:
Quincy,

You're arguing for the sake of arguing.  Give it up. 

Anyone who's ever played sports at a higher level than average knows what kind of work it takes, and there are a set of "unwritten rules".  This example would be one of them.

If you need it explained to you, you will not understand anyway.

So you don't think I believe what I do? What's to give up?

I know what it takes and what kind of work it takes. I've never said differently. Coaches can still relay that information and attempt to inspire kids. They can't be an a-hole, however. And there are written rules that are in place to protect kids from the unwritten rules. This would be an example of why they are in place. Clearly he needs to step aside if high school baseball is consuming his life so much that he needs to control the lives of his players.

If you need it explained to you, I'll give it a try. Doesn't seem like anyone cares enough to attempt to anyway.

Obviously Musky you didn’t type slow enough…

 

Quincy – your points are valid only if the coach did things to warrant this type of reaction.

The gap in this discussion lies with the fact that 80% of us feel what the coach did was with in his coaching parameters …then there is the 20% of you that feel this was a blatant abuse of authority and over stepped his bounds.

If the coach did in fact go too far then your point is valid…the problem is he did not, therefore negating yours and Allen’s argument

Now the concern here is that unfortunately you truly believe the coach was in the wrong, for this is what baffles me the most as a belief is a tough to change. It does explain a lot though as once again the voice of the few upends the consensus of the whole.

I like white chocolate macadamia nut cookies

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I pissed away more talent because i didnt show up to these types of things back in my day, would have been alot better if i did. Some guys still couldnt carry my jock back then but i still could have been more dominant with puttin in more work and lifting. Wished i had a coach that would have pushed me harder, had good coaches tho.

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yelowjackt Said:

If the coach did in fact go too far then your point is valid…the problem is he did not, therefore negating yours and Allen’s argument

Not the first time I have been in the minority, probably won't be the last. 

Despite the U.S. being a democratic republic, I am pretty sure the rules under which it operates doesn't let everything fly simply because the majority approves of it.

You know, every now and then, you too may be on the side of the minority.  Given your history of standing up for what you like, I highly doubt you would let some Fargo Forum poll get in your way either.  So on this, we are just going to have to agree to disagree on the appropriateness of the coach's message.

That being said, I doubt like heck I would have initiated a call to the school to seek his dismissal.  I certainly can see me sending him a text back asking "just who the he!! do you think you are?" kind of reply. 

Just my luck, he'd probably have some sort of "dude, societal training of your kid is in my position description" reply.

    <----- just for gst's sake since I know he's following along. 

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” ~ Mark Twain

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MuskyManiac Said:
But that's the problem, Quincy, what exactly are we protecting these kids from?   Hard work, dedication, sacrifice?  

We're raising a nation of pussies and people that make excuses and blame others for the bed they've made.

From abusive authority figures.

We aren't raising a nation of pussies any more than the previous generation was. To use that scape goat is lazy and inaccurate. And to excuse poor coaching and disrespect because of "pussies" is part of the problem, not the solution.

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Quincy05 Said:

MuskyManiac Said:
But that's the problem, Quincy, what exactly are we protecting these kids from?   Hard work, dedication, sacrifice?  

We're raising a nation of pussies and people that make excuses and blame others for the bed they've made.

From abusive authority figures.

We aren't raising a nation of pussies any more than the previous generation was. To use that scape goat is lazy and inaccurate. And to excuse poor coaching and disrespect because of "pussies" is part of the problem, not the solution.

Are you referring to Sandusky?

                                                                                                                         

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This guy liked to control the kids too.

                                                                                                                         

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yelowjackt Said:

Quincy05 Said:

MuskyManiac Said:
Quincy,

You're arguing for the sake of arguing.  Give it up. 

Anyone who's ever played sports at a higher level than average knows what kind of work it takes, and there are a set of "unwritten rules".  This example would be one of them.

If you need it explained to you, you will not understand anyway.

So you don't think I believe what I do? What's to give up?

I know what it takes and what kind of work it takes. I've never said differently. Coaches can still relay that information and attempt to inspire kids. They can't be an a-hole, however. And there are written rules that are in place to protect kids from the unwritten rules. This would be an example of why they are in place. Clearly he needs to step aside if high school baseball is consuming his life so much that he needs to control the lives of his players.

If you need it explained to you, I'll give it a try. Doesn't seem like anyone cares enough to attempt to anyway.

Obviously Musky you didn’t type slow enough…

 

Quincy – your points are valid only if the coach did things to warrant this type of reaction.

The gap in this discussion lies with the fact that 80% of us feel what the coach did was with in his coaching parameters …then there is the 20% of you that feel this was a blatant abuse of authority and over stepped his bounds.

If the coach did in fact go too far then your point is valid…the problem is he did not, therefore negating yours and Allen’s argument

Now the concern here is that unfortunately you truly believe the coach was in the wrong, for this is what baffles me the most as a belief is a tough to change. It does explain a lot though as once again the voice of the few upends the consensus of the whole.

I like white chocolate macadamia nut cookies

If that's your biggest concern, childish insults won't help you out FYI.

What's right isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always right. Take your 80% and feel better if you want. I won't lose any sleep about this guy getting fired.

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WormWiggler Said:

you skipped my first question,  what if the coach in question was pulling kids from the sport you coach?

I guess I didn't see that you had asked that question.  I can't speak for this coach but we cleared it with the basketball coach before we set up preseason workouts.  We also said we wouldn't expect any basketball players to participate if they were banged up.  Does that answer suffice?


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Ice _Fishing_Pro Said:

Quincy sounds lazy like the kid that wasnt showing up, thats why he thinks it was the right decision

Seriously? You sound like someone that still wears his letterman jacket and bullies kids.

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WormWiggler Said:
Are you referring to Sandusky?

Partly yes. And there is a reason Coach K is still in the business and Knight isn't.

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Quincy, were you not got at sports?  Could that be why you are so vehemently against this type of coaching?  You are the pot calling the kettle black in this entire thread.  You don't want a coach "bullying" the kids in the sport yet you'll sit here and make smart remarks such as the lettermans jacket  towards your fellow FBO brethren. 

Quincy05 Said:

Ice _Fishing_Pro Said:

Quincy sounds lazy like the kid that wasnt showing up, thats why he thinks it was the right decision

Seriously? You sound like someone that still wears his letterman jacket and bullies kids.


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DirtyMike Said:

WormWiggler Said:

you skipped my first question,  what if the coach in question was pulling kids from the sport you coach?

I guess I didn't see that you had asked that question.  I can't speak for this coach but we cleared it with the basketball coach before we set up preseason workouts.  We also said we wouldn't expect any basketball players to participate if they were banged up.  Does that answer suffice?

Not really.  Did you read the highlighted portion that you wrote about the kids sitting on the couch.  You make a lot of assumptions to argue your case.  I don't think this coach was way out of line, and I don't think the punishment is correct for the crime.  but it is what it is and abuse of kids by coaches whether physically, verbally, or emotionally is not allowed in this day and age.  

                                                                                                                         

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DirtyMike Said:
Quincy, were you not got at sports?  Could that be why you are so vehemently against this type of coaching?  You are the pot calling the kettle black in this entire thread.  You don't want a coach "bullying" the kids in the sport yet you'll sit here and make smart remarks such as the lettermans jacket  towards your fellow FBO brethren. 

Quincy05 Said:

Ice _Fishing_Pro Said:

Quincy sounds lazy like the kid that wasnt showing up, thats why he thinks it was the right decision

Seriously? You sound like someone that still wears his letterman jacket and bullies kids.

I was good enough. I don't see how that has any bearing on the issue. I'm against this issue because there shouldn't be a place for it in high school sports. I hope you have a little better argument than just taking it personal and attacking me. It's getting old. What's next? You've attacked my manhood, my abilities, my experience, said I was probably the parent. Did I miss anything? Not sure where you'll go next, guess I wait in anticipation (hopefully a succinct argument).

I respond in kind to people directing posts at me. I'm calling the kettle black at the same time they are calling the pot black. If they (you) don't like it, then cut the childish antics and stop the bullshit insults. It's pretty simple really.


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What does what I said about a kid sitting in the couch have to do with pulling kids from other sports?  Are you just digging for something?  I'm pretty positive I answered your question about pulling a kid from an 

WormWiggler Said:

DirtyMike Said:

WormWiggler Said:

you skipped my first question,  what if the coach in question was pulling kids from the sport you coach?

I guess I didn't see that you had asked that question.  I can't speak for this coach but we cleared it with the basketball coach before we set up preseason workouts.  We also said we wouldn't expect any basketball players to participate if they were banged up.  Does that answer suffice?

Not really.  Did you read the highlighted portion that you wrote about the kids sitting on the couch.  You make a lot of assumptions to argue your case.  I don't think this coach was way out of line, and I don't think the punishment is correct for the crime.  but it is what it is and abuse of kids by coaches whether physically, verbally, or emotionally is not allowed in this day and age.  


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 *another sport. Please elaborate on what detail I am withholding from you. 


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Quincy05 and gst have similar debate stamina!

 

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guywhofishes Said:
Quincy05 and gst have similar debate stamina!

Ha...

Also testes ;)

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So you're going to assume this person wears a letter mans jacket and  bullies kids in his spare time because he said you may have been lazy. I mean that sounds like a firm defense. I'd polish up a few areas of it but hey, it's not my life.  Either way, you're far too immature to continue arguing with. You want every coach to say good game even if little Johnny scored in his own endzone or if Lucy travels every time she touches a basketball. We get it. Every one is equal and no one should be mean. 

Quincy05 Said:

DirtyMike Said:
Quincy, were you not got at sports?  Could that be why you are so vehemently against this type of coaching?  You are the pot calling the kettle black in this entire thread.  You don't want a coach "bullying" the kids in the sport yet you'll sit here and make smart remarks such as the lettermans jacket  towards your fellow FBO brethren. 

Quincy05 Said:

Ice _Fishing_Pro Said:

Quincy sounds lazy like the kid that wasnt showing up, thats why he thinks it was the right decision

Seriously? You sound like someone that still wears his letterman jacket and bullies kids.

I was good enough. I don't see how that has any bearing on the issue. I'm against this issue because there shouldn't be a place for it in high school sports. I hope you have a little better argument than just taking it personal and attacking me. It's getting old. What's next? You've attacked my manhood, my abilities, my experience, said I was probably the parent. Did I miss anything? Not sure where you'll go next, guess I wait in anticipation (hopefully a succinct argument).

I respond in kind to people directing posts at me. I'm calling the kettle black at the same time they are calling the pot black. If they (you) don't like it, then cut the childish antics and stop the bullshit insults. It's pretty simple really.



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DirtyMike Said:
What does what I said about a kid sitting in the couch have to do with pulling kids from other sports?  Are you just digging for something?  I'm pretty positive I answered your question about pulling a kid from an 

WormWiggler Said:

DirtyMike Said:

WormWiggler Said:

you skipped my first question,  what if the coach in question was pulling kids from the sport you coach?

I guess I didn't see that you had asked that question.  I can't speak for this coach but we cleared it with the basketball coach before we set up preseason workouts.  We also said we wouldn't expect any basketball players to participate if they were banged up.  Does that answer suffice?

Not really.  Did you read the highlighted portion that you wrote about the kids sitting on the couch.  You make a lot of assumptions to argue your case.  I don't think this coach was way out of line, and I don't think the punishment is correct for the crime.  but it is what it is and abuse of kids by coaches whether physically, verbally, or emotionally is not allowed in this day and age.  

They were separate questions.

                                                                                                                         

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 What the hell are you asking in reference to lazy kids on couches. 


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 I actually had Swanson as a coach. There is a reason they won state last year. He is good at helping kids become better and put in that extra work. I wish I would have put more effort in when I was in High School and I know a lot of those kids need someone to push them. That time that is not required is when you separate the state champions from all the rest.

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DirtyMike Said:
 What the hell are you asking in reference to lazy kids on couches. 

DirtyMike Said:
quincy, quincy, quincy.  Voluntary doesn't mean you don't have to go to it.  If you have a valid reason for not showing up, so be it.  But some of these kids aren't even participating in a sport.  It is pathetic to think these kids could come to 1 hour of open gym and are choosing to stay at home and do nothing.  I'm glad I don't know you.  I recommend the brass rail in MPLS if you want to start showing your sack to a bunch of dudes.  They'll take care of you.  Now go back to Fargo and wonder why life isn't fair.

your post  please read

                                                                                                                         

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later  gotta drive

                                                                                                                         

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Thanks allen!

There was a noticeable shortage of emoticons in this discussion. 

guywhofishes Said:
Quincy05 and gst have similar debate stamina!

my "stamina" is legendary!!!

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DirtyMike Said:
So you're going to assume this person wears a letter mans jacket and  bullies kids in his spare time because he said you may have been lazy. I mean that sounds like a firm defense. I'd polish up a few areas of it but hey, it's not my life.  Either way, you're far too immature to continue arguing with. You want every coach to say good game even if little Johnny scored in his own endzone or if Lucy travels every time she touches a basketball. We get it. Every one is equal and no one should be mean. 

Yes, if someone posts some crap about me I will respond in kind. I'm really confused why that's so hard to understand.

I'm not sure what to say about accusations of immaturity from someone that said I need to grow a sack and has apparently called me out in real life. Whatever floats your boat dude.

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curtikins_bac Said:
Don't know if everyone can open this, may have to be registered for infool'em.

http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/425761/

Since the source for this story is what the coach says, maybe there is more to the story.  

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 Yep, can't imagine he gets fired for just this text.

Candiru Said:
 
curtikins_bac Said:
Don't know if everyone can open this, may have to be registered for infool'em.

http://www.inforum.com/event/article/id/425761/

Since the source for this story is what the coach says, maybe there is more to the story.  

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 I'm a Shanley grad, and Shanley is a joke. I hope the kid quits an is embarrassed for bringin the text to his parents, just shows he's a coward, an the parent or parents are bigger cowards for goin to the school about their kid not wanting to get better at something. His dad must have sucked at sports to if he didn't wana kick his kids ass for not goin. Straight up pussys in my mind. Makes me wonder what the parents are thinkin when the coach yells at em when they are in season?? Wtf. Wake up. So u can't tell me the parents haven't yelled at or pushed their kid to better himself. This had turned into a joke

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Mr_steve Said:
 I actually had Swanson as a coach. There is a reason they won state last year. He is good at helping kids become better and put in that extra work. I wish I would have put more effort in when I was in High School and I know a lot of those kids need someone to push them. That time that is not required is when you separate the state champions from all the rest.

So here we have some one with first hand experience with the guy.  No guessing no what ifs.   Doesn't sounds like he was a good coach.   Unless there are some way out there details the punishment surely does not fit.

 Adn

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gst Said:
Thanks allen!

There was a noticeable shortage of emoticons in this discussion. 

guywhofishes Said:
Quincy05 and gst have similar debate stamina!

my "stamina" is legendary!!!

also he is not even near your level of stamina 12 pages that is just a warm up

 Adn

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