Coach Who Allowed Beatings to Coach Again?

Here is a partial list of good qualifications for leadership positions in high school athletic departments: Extreme patience. An interest in molding young men and women. A willingness to confront bureaucracy. An ability to tolerate verbal abuse. A sense of order. General human kindness. ↵

↵And here is a summary of bad qualifications for leadership positions in high school athletic departments, courtesy of former Mobile County (Alabama) high school basketball coach Marion Dunn: ↵

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↵⇥The school board dismissed Dunn before the 2004-05 season for allowing his players to discipline one another in a barbaric ritual known as the "Circle Drill." ↵⇥

↵⇥This tactic involved teammates encircling a player who had been singled out for discipline and then hitting and kicking him for 15, 30 or 60 seconds, depending on the offense, according to Alabama Court of Civil Appeals documents. ↵⇥

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↵⇥Dunn would time the beatings, although he instructed players not to punch or kick a player in the head or face. ↵⇥

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↵Ok, so I guess he gets points in the "general human kindness" category for prohibiting head shots, and the timed beatings demonstrate a strong sense of order. But still, the Circle Drill generally would appear to be a bad fit for a high school leader, all things being equal. ↵

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↵The legal process following Dunn's dismissal led to a four-year ban from coaching, a ban that is about to expire. And, according to the Mobile Press-Register, B.C. Rain -- the Circle Driller's former school -- has apparently been acting as the school's athletic director, informing the team's current coach that he was fired. Sure, he didn't punch or kick the current coach, but is the Circle Driller really the appropriate choice to lead a high school athletic department? Well, this was from a 2006 AP story: ↵

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↵⇥The so-called "circle" drills were believed to have been used 11 times during the six weeks leading up to the 2004-05 season. A 16-year-old player complained to his aunt after being subjected to the beatings twice during a practice once for being late and a second time for not trying hard enough during a defensive drill. ↵⇥

↵⇥The youth, who was not named, said he was "stomped, kicked and punched," sustaining scratches and bruises to his ribs, legs and back. ↵⇥

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↵Didn't try hard enough on defense? Give that kid an NBA contract, not a beating. I mean, maybe you could justify letting that guy coach in the SEC, but it just doesn't seem like a great resume for a high school AD. ↵

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↵For more of Dan Steinberg, visit his blog with The Washington Post, D.C. Sports Bog. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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