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Sunday, January 20, 2008

IUPUI coach makes disappointing remark

An extremely distuburing phrase rumbled through the Gold Dome on Saturday afternoon in the heat of the action. The foul mouth didn't belong to a player, rather a coach. The coach of the IUPUI Jaguars women's basketball team.
Shann Hart, a 12-year coaching veteran (four at IUPUI), was arguing a foul call in the first half of the Jaguars game at Centenary. She wasn't arguing the call itself, but which Ladies player should go to the line to shoot free throws.
As Centenary freshman Ashley Jackson stepped to the line, Hart went crazy, saying Jackson wasn't the player who was fouled. Jackson was clearly the player fouled -- look at the tape Ms. Hart -- but this was not Hart's most egregious error at that moment.
As Hart continued to argue, she uttered (paraphrasing) "it wasn't 34 that got fouled, it was the Chink." After a second, when she obviously realized what she had said, she quipped, "I mean, it was 52."
A direct reference to Centenary freshman Sarah Weiler, who was born in China.
Since the Gold Dome was practically empty, the outburst was easily heard from press row. Who knows how many fans, and players and coaches from IUPUI heard it. Since Centenary's bench was on the other end of the court, no members of the Ladies caught it. Or at least I assume they didn't. If they did, it's likely they would have gone bonkers.
I nearly went bonkers.
I'm not perfect. I'll be the first to admit I've chuckled at an off-color joke and likely told a few. However, I hold no grudge or ill-will against any group. Friends know I'll pick apart myself in gest as much as anyone else.
But this was different. This wasn't a joke. This was a completely irresponsible statement from a woman who's supposed to be leading young adults -- of all races, backgrounds and colors.
However, I'm not the type who's radical and will call for Hart's dismissal -- unlike the situation Golf Channel anchor Kelly Tilghman ran into after her comment about "lynching" Tiger Woods.
A simple apology is in order -- to Centenary, its players (especially Sarah Weiler) and coaches and the players and coaches of IUPUI.
I thought long and hard about whether to even post this thread. Not much good can come of it, but it is my job. I thought about Sarah Weiler -- if this makes it to her, she will be disappointed. I thought about IUPUI women's basketball coach Shann Hart, knowing she'd catch a lot of flak if word of this got out.
Obviously, I thought a lot more about the siutation than Shann Hart.


Blogger Jimmy Watson said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:23 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Watson said...

I can't believe that you're picking on Shann Hart. She is a fine representative of IUPUI and one slip of the tongue shouldn't put her in a bad light. An incident earlier in the day may have however. Seems she refused to get her team off the Gold Dome court so a YMCA, that was scheduled to practice there, could get in a session. IUPUI's time slot was over, but it made little difference to Hart. Can't you she how she is a quality representative for America's student-athletes. Are you blind?

5:27 PM  

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