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Rocco’s Realm: Lessons to be learned in coach’s controversy

The whole uproar created by the situation with Weston High head boys varsity basketball coach Mike Hvizdo seems to have worked out for the best for all parties involved. However, there are a few lessons to be learned.

One concerns what you have in your past. In Hvizdo’s case, it was a nine-minute comedy short in which he appeared about 10 years ago as a professional actor. It involved no illegal activity, no nudity or pornography. But it did contain obscene language and implied sexual situations.

A link to this video on the Internet was emailed to Weston High administrators, who, upon seeing it, felt it was “inappropriate for a leader of kids.” As a result, Hvizdo was no longer viewed as a good role model for the team and was asked to resign his position.

Fortunately for Hvizdo, because of the overwhelming support he received from the community, plus apparently having intellectual property and first amendment law in his favor, he was able to get his job back. But, what you have in your past, no matter how far back it may be, may come back to haunt you later on depending on the path you chose in life, especially in this Internet age.

Another lesson involves handling a delicate situation. Sometimes it is necessary to take a sufficient amount of time and not jump to conclusions.

How the Weston school administration responded when the video surfaced was subjected to a lot of criticism. Less than 24 hours after it had been brought to the attention of administrators, Hvizdo was no longer coaching the team.

Such was viewed by many as a “knee jerk” reaction. The administration was a bit too hasty in deciding that Hvizdo should step down from his position.

Timing is everything, according to an old proverb. In this instance it was a bit off.

With basketball season more than three quarters complete, couldn’t the administration have  waited until after the last game was played before acting initially?

There’s also a lesson about who should play the role of “morality police.” The answer is no one. While the administration may have indeed felt the video was offensive enough to warrant their decision, that didn’t mean everyone else would feel the same way.

The last lesson concerns why this short video even surfaced in the first place. It was never clearly established who brought its existence to the attention of the administration.

There was indeed a lot of speculation that it was someone had an issue with Hvizdo’s method of coaching and the intent was to ultimately get Hvizdo removed from his position as head coach.

Initially, it appeared to have worked. Little did anyone realize Hvizdo’s stepping down would generate such so much attention. The matter took on a life of its own, not just among those in the basketball community, but well outside of the town of Weston itself, creating such a furor that Hvizdo was eventually reinstated.

If such person(s) did indeed have a gripe with the coach, coming forward and making these concerns public would have avoided a lot of speculation on everybody’s part. Who knows? The video may not have even surfaced in the first place.

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