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02-25-2011, 11:50 AM   #1
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Of Sports , Lawyers , Media Spin and Ignorance

John O'Conner has resigned as basketball coach for Holy Family University.
A small portion of a video shown out of context and media sensationalism have cost this man his career.

College Basketball Coach Caught on Tape Allegedly Abusing Player - ABC News

Words erroniously used such as "strikes" , "abused" ," kicked", "elbowed" and "assaulted" put a strong spin on the story. After watching the video and reading the story it is apparent to me that Coach O'Conner was just training his team how to play in a tight quarters , rough rebound scenario. Although basketball is not considered a hard contact sport bumps and scrapes do happen.
I've studied body dynamics extensively over the years as a student of the martial arts and it is obvious that when O'Conner went into the drill and stripped the ball from his player Kravchuck was allready off ballance and simply fell down with a slight bump.
The "kick" which everyone made such a big deal about was just a little "c'mon get up" nudge to the butt. Trust me when I say I know what a kick looks like and that wasn't it.
If a coach can't simmulate real game scenarios in practice then what is the point?
Matt Kravchuck is a terrible example of what an athlete / sportsman is supposed to be . He even stated on national TV that what he wants now is something from the college in the form af a settlement.
Yes there are cases where a coach is flat out abusive , but this is not one of them.Christine Brennan has in my opinion lost all credibillity as a sports writer and if this is what coaches and schools can expect from the future we may as well abandon all athletic programs now.

The scariest part is that the media was able to turn so many people against O'Conner . Just think what they can do with a bunch ignorant people and some political hype!


Last edited by seacapt; 02-26-2011 at 02:43 PM.
02-25-2011, 12:43 PM   #2
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And to think..........the media ain't got S*** compared to AHIP.
02-25-2011, 06:42 PM   #3
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I'm a college coach, and there is no excuse for this kind of aggressiveness with a player.
02-25-2011, 09:22 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by gnaztee Quote
I'm a college coach, and there is no excuse for this kind of aggressiveness with a player.
With all due respect sir , I have to ask if you watched the long version of the video?
I've watched it a number of times and never saw O'Connor backhand or elbow Kravchuck. It looked more like what an opposing player would do to gain control of the ball and get clear.

02-25-2011, 10:09 PM   #5
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Where is the long version? I'll watch.

Edit: I think the link you posted is the long version, please correct if I'm mistaken. I watched the whole thing and I stand by my assessment. I didn't see the coach backhand the player either, and I'm not sure the player isn't embellishing a bit as well. That being said, it doesn't excuse the coach shoving him down (which clearly happens after the coach has grabbed the ball). The coach may have gotten too aggressively caught up in the moment, I suppose it happens, but that still isn't an excuse.

Last edited by gnaztee; 02-25-2011 at 10:16 PM.
02-25-2011, 10:23 PM   #6
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ABC did show it but then apparently pulled it. I think the Philladephia Fox affiliate still has it online.
Basically it showed the players before and after the incident working an aggressive drill.
The segment that everyone has seen only shows O'Connor going in and Kravchuk going down.

I have walked off a team because the coach cared more about winning than the good of his players. When I left I cleaned my locker and didn't go back. Kravchuk continued to practice for 2 weeks after the incident. I'm somehow thinking that the net gains of a law suite might be his motivator.

Last edited by seacapt; 02-25-2011 at 11:19 PM.
02-26-2011, 08:39 AM   #7
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Very clearly, the coach kicked the player after knocking him down. It looks to me like he also struck him with his hand at the beginning of the aggressive rebound. Whether it is a "backhand" or not, I don't know. The kick is not an "accident" as the coach keeps saying. It is conduct that would draw a technical, and get a player ejected in a game. I can't see any justification for trying to teach a player to deal with that level of misconduct, other than teaching him to shoot the free throws he'll be getting before his team gets the ball.

These suits against the university are not huge money-makers, and the player will never get enough out of this suit that will compensate him for leaving the team.

On a broader scale, all kinds of nasty things happen in competitive sports. That does not mean the coach needs to duplicate them. I stopped playing City League amateur basketball a decade ago, when the elbows led to frequent fights, even between old guys. Somewhere, perhaps in the Olympics a few decades ago, this game changed. We don't need coaches following suit and legitimizing the trend.

Last edited by GeneV; 02-26-2011 at 08:44 AM.
02-26-2011, 02:24 PM   #8
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Gene , you say kick and I say nudge. It is obvious the the coach's foot made contact with the player's butt , no question about it. I guess it depends on the definition of "kick". I base my opinion on the speed or lack there of that the coach's foot was moving and the part of his foot which made contact. It does not appear to me that the coach intended to hurt the player. Had he intended to do harm the foot would have been moving much faster. It even looks like he slowed his foot in mid movement.
In any case the Philly DA's office after examining the tape saw no reason for assault charges.

DA's Office Won't File Charges In Holy Family Incident

Was Holy Family Coach Just Doing Job?

Do I think O'Connor went a little over the top ? Maybe but bear in mind that these are college athletes not kids in rec league
Do I think he intended to or did do any real harm ? No
Would I be OK with him coaching one of my boys? Absolutely.


Last edited by seacapt; 02-26-2011 at 02:36 PM.
02-26-2011, 03:35 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by seacapt Quote
Gene , you say kick and I say nudge. It is obvious the the coach's foot made contact with the player's butt , no question about it. I guess it depends on the definition of "kick". I base my opinion on the speed or lack there of that the coach's foot was moving and the part of his foot which made contact. It does not appear to me that the coach intended to hurt the player. Had he intended to do harm the foot would have been moving much faster. It even looks like he slowed his foot in mid movement.
In any case the Philly DA's office after examining the tape saw no reason for assault charges.

DA's Office Won't File Charges In Holy Family Incident

Was Holy Family Coach Just Doing Job?

Do I think O'Connor went a little over the top ? Maybe but bear in mind that these are college athletes not kids in rec league
Do I think he intended to or did do any real harm ? No
Would I be OK with him coaching one of my boys? Absolutely.
Come on, Ken. The definition of a kick is "To strike out with the foot or feet. " You are splitting hairs about how hard he kicked. The coach stepped back, then stepped toward him and kicked him while he was down on the floor. There is no legitimate reason for that kick or nudge. I'll bet that if I "nudged" you in the ribs with my foot that way I'd get my butt "nudged."

Whether assault charges are filed have lttle ito do with whether that was proper conduct for a coach. Hardly anyone gets prosecuted for assault unless they have a weapon or hurt someone badly.

Last edited by GeneV; 02-26-2011 at 06:28 PM.
02-27-2011, 02:55 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
I stopped playing City League amateur basketball a decade ago, when the elbows led to frequent fights, even between old guys.
I agree with you, Gene. I officated basketball and soccer for more than 25 years and I gave up doing adult leagues (if you can call them adults) after 1 year, because they wanted to b*tch and moan and fight more than they wanted to play ball. The ladies were just as bad as they guys.
02-27-2011, 09:58 PM   #11
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The "kick" was nothing to even talk about, but I see some personal foul, at least, on the coach's part with the hand and shoulder.
02-28-2011, 07:20 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
The "kick" was nothing to even talk about, but I see some personal foul, at least, on the coach's part with the hand and shoulder.
I saw the kick as more to talk about because it was after the attempt to get the ball, and it involved the exposed ribs of a man who was down. Ribs are vulnerable in that position. (I just recovered from 5 broken ribs, so I may be sensitive). It just seemed gratuitous.
02-28-2011, 07:37 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by cardinal43 Quote
I agree with you, Gene. I officated basketball and soccer for more than 25 years and I gave up doing adult leagues (if you can call them adults) after 1 year, because they wanted to b*tch and moan and fight more than they wanted to play ball. The ladies were just as bad as they guys.
Partly it is the way leagues are constructed, too. You put officials out there, and everyone thinks the game is a bigger deal and will be organized and officiated perfectly. I played for more than a decade and watched the attitudes get worse.


By our last game we had moved to the lowest level of league. However they pitted our middle aged team (I was the youngest at 40 ish) against a team of very tall 18 year olds who probably just finished playing HS ball. By the second half, they were about 40 points ahead but still throwing elbows, when one of our old guys lost it. I look over and see a 50 year old guy wailing on some kid. That was it for me.
02-28-2011, 08:08 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by seacapt Quote
I'm somehow thinking that the net gains of a law suite might be his motivator.
Well, I don't know on this one, but why assume that's the real motivation? For all we know, this coach is more abusive off-camera and someone thought they'd finally caught him on it, or there's an overprotective family involved or a just-plain personal conflict there.

If sports are rough, they're rough, but I've seen enough that I don't leap to assume this is about the cash.
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