Sunday Commentary: Is Soccer Incident an Embodiment of a Larger Problem?

The recent incident that resulted in the suspension of seven members of the Davis High soccer team is troubling. The referee, at least in the minds of the players, missed a critical call. The players reacted in an unacceptable manner.

As the local paper describes it: “Instead of awarding the Blue Devils a penalty kick, the center referee waved it off, resulting in a mass confrontation, with the seven players rushing at the official.

“The players surrounded the official in a semicircle, forcing him backwards until he was met by a two-handed shove from behind by (the goalkeeper).

“(T)he team’s starting goalkeeper, ran the length of the field in order to make contact with the referee. After the shove, the referee showed (the goalkeeper) a red card and immediately blew his whistle to end the game.”

Give credit to the district administration for immediately taking actions, suspending the seven players.

But what catches my attention is the statement from DHS Athletic Director Jeff Lorenson, who said, “I think it’s important to report that this single incident does not define Davis High School soccer, our school (or) our district as a whole.”

That statement caught my eye because it takes me back to last spring when I met with outgoing Athletic Director Dennis Foster. It was a tumultuous time for the school district, as a volleyball dispute had consumed the community.

Mr. Foster had just stepped down, effective at the end of the school year. One of the things that became clear was this air of entitlement. Often, on-the-field decisions that were disputes were taken were taken to the site level or the district level and there was a lack of respect for the chain of command.

Parents begin to insert themselves at levels that they should not, with the Superintendent, the HR Director or the Board of Education. This throws the structure off and parents end up putting political pressure on the upper administration, which then imposes decisions on the site level administrators.

But really, this is a reflection of a much broader problem – a sense of entitlement by the students and the parents, feeling they are entitled to certain treatment and to be given certain things, whether it be starting positions or what not.

Certainly there are problems across the nation, with people acting inappropriately in youth sports to bad calls by referees. Mr. Foster told me that this was a bigger problem in Davis than other communities.

The attitude by the parents will bleed onto the field into the conduct of the students. So yes, the athletic director is sending the strong message that this is not acceptable, but he is failing perhaps to understand that this actually is a reflection of a broader problem in this school district.

Over the last few months, one of the school board candidates expressed concern about the elitism that pervades this community. There are apparently chants that go something along the lines of: “That’s alright, that’s okay, you’ll be pumping our gas someday.”

That said, we agree with the athletic director when he said, “It’s something that we will use as an educational experience to be better and to improve education to our student-athletes… Right now, you can’t turn back, but we can make it an educational experience and ensure that our Davis Blue Devil jerseys are pursuing victories with honor, code of conduct and continuing to be great sports on and off the field.”

But to me that does not go quite far enough. We can teach our students to act properly and use this as an educational moment. But we need to go further than just our student-athletes, we need to take it to the student population itself, the parents, and the community at large.

There will rightly be severe consequences for this action beyond just the disciplining of the offending soccer players. The California Interscholastic Federation, the governing body for prep athletics, and Davis High administrators are looking into a scenario that could result in a one-year period of ineligibility for all athletics. And if any of the players assaulted the referee, they could be banned from high school athletics.

These are good starts that deal with the conduct, but the concern here goes beyond the conduct of these players.

To that end, I want to hear someone above the level of the athletic director weigh in here  – the upper administration or the school board, because there is a broader issue at stake, namely this air of entitlement that pervades a lot of these disagreements.

Until we can have an honest dialogue in this community, I see these incidents happening more frequently rather than less frequently.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

72 Comments

  1. sisterhood

    Wonder how many of the kids used to play in “Select” and thus have an attitude that they are the “select” of our community? A good friend  urged me to place my kids in “select” and told me if I couldn’t afford it, I could get sponsors. I told him there were better uses of charity and my kids would do just fine in AYSO. I believe “select” is just another way to segregate kids in Davis.

    Oh, boy, I can hear the comments already. Probably won’t read any more on here today. Happy Sunday, everyone. Just my humble opinion…

    1. Elizabeth Bowler

      This incident was described to me by one of the players who was not involved in the incident and indicated that at least some of the involved players have played with Legacy.

       

  2. Barack Palin

    Or it was just a group of students that badly over-reacted to an official’s call.   It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s some underlying problem with the community.  This article seems to have a racial undertone to it.  Is that where you’re going David or am I wrong in my assumption?

    1. Rich RifkinWDE 73

      “This article seems to have a racial undertone to it. Is that where you’re going David or am I wrong in my assumption?”

      “The players surrounded the official in a semicircle, forcing him backwards until he was met by a two-handed shove from behind by (the goalkeeper).”

      The equivalent of the black High Five and the Hawaiian Hang Ten has always been the white Two-Handed Shove. So clearly this article was meant to be a racist attack and culturally insensitive to those who believe in the Two-Handed Shove.

      Source.

      1. Barack Palin

        I get your sarcasm Rich, but I’ve read enough articles by David to know that he often likes to take things in a racial direction even when in my opinion there’s nothing there.  So when I see David using words like ‘elitism’ and ‘entitlement’ when referring to a group of people I had to ask if that was were he might be going.  It was just my opinion, I did ask David if that’s part of what he’s getting at.  Is that okay with you?

    1. hpierce

      Tia, your knee just jerked.

      If you read the Enterprise article on this topic, as I did, and as perhaps Barack did, one could have looked at the surnames of the players suspended, and noted that those names would appear to be ethnically linked.  And we’re not talking WASP.

      I tend to criticize David for “spinning things” to look for “victims” amongst the “perpetrators”, but I don’t see it here.  I think Barack is wrong, but David and others contributing may prove ME wrong, and Barack correct.

       

       

      1. Tia Will

        hpierce

        If you equate an honestly asked question as “knee jerk” that’s fine. I do not. I had not read the Enterprise article and was honestly just enquiring about what I might have missed.

        1. hpierce

          I sensed “tone” in your question, perhaps given the dichotomy of many of your and Barack’s exchanges. Neither of you would tend to go by my ‘views’.  I’m too much on the “right” for your tastes, too much on the “left” for Barack.

          I guess I misjudged, and there may well have been no “tone”.

          Mea culpa.

  3. Tia Will

    Over the last few months one of the school board candidates expressed concern about the elitism that pervades this community”

    I believe that there is an elitist attitude in our community. Not just in sports but in other areas as well. My most direct contact with it was with a neighbor whose kids occasionally taunted  mine as not being “as smart” as they were because mine were not in Gate. I don’t believe that children develop this kind of attitude on their own, but express it as a reflection of what they hear from parents and other adults in the community.

    My son also encountered the elitist attitude in the sports in which he participated including in line hockey and lacrosse. Swimming seemed to be the exception as both my son and daughter participated in club competitive swimming where there seemed to be a more celebratory and less elitist attitude, likely because of the primarily individual rather than team nature of the sport.

    I believe it is a natural tendency of humans to form packs and claim that there own pack is somehow better than the rest. This does not mean that this is a tendency that we need to encourage. We could choose instead to encourage and elevate other human tendencies such as concepts of good sportsmanship, collegiality, compassion. I would be much more impressed if our coaches were to stress the importance of a game well and fairly played with appreciation of excellence when it occurs on either side rather than simply stressing “the win”.

    1. hpierce

      Watch out for the label “elitism”, Tia.  It could be applied to someone (anyone?) who believes they think and act on a higher “moral plane” (and/or ‘knowledge plane’) than others.  I see that type of “elitism” frequently in posts to this blog, and if I look in the mirror, I recall a number of times where I wrote something, and all I can say is “mea culpa”.

      I do believe the community DOES need to look at the messages we give to, and/or reinforce, regarding our children, be it in sports or academics.

      I have “reffed” a lot, in youth soccer, and most of the problems I saw were due to the parents.  I was warned to watch for a lot of fouls when Davis teams played against Winters teams.  The Winters team often had high percentages of ‘hispanic’ players, particularly compared to Davis.  The ‘dirtiest’ game I reffereed was a game between Davis and Winters teams.  Davis was committing the most (and dirtiest) fouls, and half of the Winters team fouls were “pay-back” fouls, when I and the other refs missed questionable fouls due to view angle, etc.  The parents who were in my face were Davis parents, for favoring Winters.  Yeah, right.

      [And in that particular game, Winters out-played the Davis team big time]

    2. Frankly

       I don’t believe that children develop this kind of attitude on their own

      I completely disagree with this.  Children develop all sorts of behaviors on their own and within their peer group.  It is up to parents and other adults to intervene for recognized bad behavior and model good behavior.   But kids will largely ignore the parents if other kids in their peer group are behaving a certain way.  It is a pack mentality.  It is tribalism.   And so the response from parents and adults needs to be robust enough to break up the pack/tribe.

      But everyone here is missing a key element.   We should be looking at the coaching of this team.  Because a good coach would never have kids responding this way to a call they disagreed with.  A good coach would have these athletes clearly understanding their ass would be kicked significantly for even the slightest slight against any referee.

      But in come the liberals and the helicopter parents… making sure no little darling gets his or her feeling hurt and sending away any coach that has the audacity to raise his or her voice.

      My guess is that the coach is a passive and “be a friend to all the players” type of coach.  I might be wrong, but then thinking about my high school experience playing sports… and considering that I would do the same as these kids did in the heat of competitive passion… I would have been laying on the field a bloody mess after my coaches got done educating me on appropriate behavior.  And I would have learned that lesson and grown to become a better human being.

      Good sportsmanship is the first and foremost lesson that coaches should be teaching student athletes.

      1. hpierce

        Don’t completely disagree with you, but one of the lessons that should be taught is “fallibility”… whether it is a player who shanks the ball when there is an easy goal to be had, a ref who misses or blows a call, or a parent that fervently believes little Johnnie (or Jeanine) is God’s gift to the world and woe befall anyone who believes differently.

        Watched the video, and the center ref was not in a good position to see that the player had indeed handled the ball, and thus had fouled.  Unclear whether the assistant referee saw/should have seen the infraction. Would it have changed the outcome of the game?  Maybe… IF the foul was awarded;  IF the PK was scored; IF it was, IF Davis would have won in extra time or a kicks from the penalty mark ending.  So many IF’s, reasonable doubt has to figure in to whether either team SHOULD have won (which many of the Davis parents probably thought they were ENTITLED to).

        Fallibility.  Part of the human condition. Deal with it.

    3. Frankly

      Although I disagree with that one point, I agree with much of the rest of your points.

      I was just thinking how maybe Davis athletics is more prone to these types of events because Davis schools are more matriarchal than patriarchal.   Fear of a strong coach does wonders for keeping the emotions of student athletes in check.

      1. Michelle Millet

        While I don’t think that kids who behave in this manner should end up bloody, I do agree with your broader point.  This incident, if dealt with in right way, could be a great learning experience for these kids. How coaches, school administrators, parents, etc. handle these situations is much more telling then the fact that they happen.

    4. South of Davis

      Tia wrote:

      > I don’t believe that children develop this kind of attitude on their own

      You need to read “Lord of the Flies”…

      With that said jerk parents increase the odds that a kid will be a jerk…

  4. wdf1

    My reaction is also to wonder what role the coach had in all this.  I would expect that the coach should set a tone that the players should cue off of.  If the coach has a tendency to a heavy “blame the ref” response, that is clearly not good.  It means that the players might absolve themselves of responsibility for their own actions, because it was deemed the ref’s fault.

    Championships are nice, but there are plenty of other lessons and experiences that should be taking place.  Part of the lesson in all this for the students is how to respond to adversity and loss.  And in a playoff setting, I think this issue becomes even more critical for the coaches to address.  You’re dealing with teams that have rarely lost during the season, and at that stage, the losses have greater consequence for future play.

    Another lesson is in addressing how the team represents the school.  Clearly the team poorly represented the school.  Maybe they had playoff success, but all many will remember of this season is the poor sportsmanship of the team.  If this incident had not happen, then we would be remembering the team more positively, even if they hadn’t won that game.

  5. Anon

    I don’t know if Davis athletes are prone to elitism, or whatever.  What I do know is that athletics in general, especially on television, has been setting bad examples for kids for years.  The NFL is referred to as the National Felony League and known for rough play.  Look at the tantrums thrown on the tennis courts by tennis players.  What about hockey?  It’s literally a zoo on the ice.  The professional sports leagues in particular often set very poor examples of sportsmanlike conduct.  I would advocate cleaning up all athletics, not just local high school athletics.

    That said, I heartily agree with the comments about the questionable coaching here.  A good coach keeps his/her players in check at all times.  Players know what kind of behavior is expected of them, and what the dire consequences will be if rules are not followed.  But how often are sports exalted over good moral behavior, even at the high school level?  It is not uncommon to hear about student athletes’ abominable behavior, e.g. rape, and how it is excused for the sake of the championship game.

    IMO sports should epitomize good behavior.  It is not about who wins or loses, but how well the game is played.  Call me old fashioned.

    1. South of Davis

      Anon wrote:

      > IMO sports should epitomize good behavior.  It is not about who wins or loses,

      > but how well the game is played.  Call me old fashioned.

      This is “old fashioned” and there are many people  in town who don’t talk to me since my focus is on the kids having “fun” and learning “sportsmanship” not just “winning” (it is sad when I hear adults teaching the kids how to cheat so they can win)…

      1. wdf1

        In competitive sports, where there is a winner and a loser, you don’t have more wins than losses.  How to deal with losses is definitely always present.  Even if you point out the strong sports DHS has, there are those other sports, football, and basketball in particular, that DHS isn’t always as strong in.

  6. Jim Frame

    My exposure to DHS sports is through the baseball program.  The varsity squad is pretty small — as few as 15, rarely more than 20 — so there can be a lot of tension around making the cut.  And though bad calls on the field, even egregiously bad ones, aren’t unusual, they rarely generate much protest, and most of that comes from the spectators.

    When you put a bunch of teenage boys in physical competition there’s bound to be a certain amount of testosterone on display, but hostile contact between opposing baseball players is rare.  I only saw one incident last season, and it got calmed down pretty quickly.  Direct challenge to an umpire seems to be the preserve of coaches, but most of the time I think that’s more for show than the result of actual unhinged behavior.  A coach getting himself thrown out of a game is usually less a matter of bad sportsmanship and more a matter of management strategy — a way of ginning up team energy in a tough situation.

    A more common (but still unusual) response to a bad call (especially a bad strike call) is the passive-aggressive head-shaking or muttering by one of the more high-strung players.  Most umps are pretty good at calling players on it, warning them that another such display will get them ejected.

    Malicious taunting of the opposing team is common at a few other schools, but I’ve seen very little of it coming from the DHS dugout.  Even more rare is the intentional hit batter.  It isn’t unheard of, but there seem to be fairly well-defined criteria under which that occurs, so it wouldn’t be unexpected.  Or so my pitcher son tells me.  I’ve yet to see it in a high school game.

    From my admittedly limited perspective, there isn’t a broad practice of unacceptable behavior by DHS athletes.  The soccer incident was clearly over the top and warrants a strong sanction, but I don’t think it’s emblematic of the DHS athlete population.

    1. Anon

      Thanks for your personal insight into DHS athletics.  I would agree that the soccer incident was definitely over the top and warranted strong sanctions.  I would hope that their behavior was not emblematic of all DHS athletes.

      1. hpierce

        Not likely that the bad behavior was/is pervasive for DHS students.  The whole community may want to look about “bragging rights”… in sports, in ‘planning’, in bicycle advocacy, in academic degrees, in [pick your item…].  Not many people are jerks, but when they get center stage, they are perceived as reflecting on their parents, their ethnic group, their social status, their hometown, [add your own].  Whatever.

        1. wdf1

          hpierce:  The whole community may want to look about “bragging rights”… in sports, in ‘planning’, in bicycle advocacy, in academic degrees, in [pick your item…].

          Not quite sure what you’re framing as possibly appropriate/inappropriate bragging rights, but I would like to see (and brag about) high participation rates among students for various group/team/interactive/club-connected activities in the schools.  High rates of participation in athletics, in music and performing arts, in student government, in journalism, robotics, etc.

           

        2. hpierce

          Perhaps, wdf, the operative concept is the “need” to brag?

          And, who has “bragging rights” to Davis schools, IF they as fine as you say?  Teachers?  Administrators? Staff?  The community? Parents?  Students?

          It’s one thing to be proud of one’s self.  It’s quite another to brag.

        3. wdf1

          Brag?  To be proud of? to aspire to?  I suppose what word you choose depends on how you feel about it.  I suppose people who are sick of me would want to say it’s bragging on my part.  But encouraging community participation activities (as mentioned above), to me, is akin to getting students to become better citizens.

          Who?  Well, it’s a public school, we actively discuss these issues in public as a community, so I say it’s something we all discuss as policy and aspiration.

  7. Michelle Millet

    Give credit to the district administration for immediately taking actions, suspending the seven players.

    They were suspended from school? I don’t understand why this is the go to punishment in so many situations. IMO they should be suspended from the team, but instead of not being allowed to go to school it would be more productive if they were asked to do some type of community service, or maybe had some anger management training.
     

    1. hpierce

      Agree that suspension wasn’t on point, but easy to do administratively. Agree with your community service idea.  Also believe that the non-seniors have to give up a minimum of one calendar year of ANY participation in ANY DHS sport, and the seniors should have to submit a copy of the video of the game to any colleges who may have been considering them, particularly for any sports-related financial aid.

    2. sisterhood

      Davis High doesn’t even offer anger management as an elective. So I doubt the parents will want to pay for it. But I agree with you, it is an important aspect of this situation. It should be taught as part of their PE program, along with stress management.

  8. Tia Will

    the seniors should have to submit a copy of the video of the game to any colleges who may have been considering them, particularly for any sports-related financial aid.”

    Too punitive for me. A single mistake ( it that is what it is) should not destroy an educational career. The community service …..I completely agree and would make that a prerequisite to graduation.

  9. Robin W.

    I agree the players’ behavior was outrageous. But suspending all of these players from school for this single incident is a horrifying overreaction by the district, at least in the case of some of these players. Even a one-day suspension from school has permanent life-altering consequences because it has to be disclosed on college applications and will affect college admission decisions.

    There are numerous potential disciplinary actions that should always be considered before suspension, both sports-related (eg, being benched for a period of time, a ban from sports for a period of time) and more general (detention, on-site community service, community service in the broader community).  Moderation, folks?

    The district chronically overreacts these days (or fails to act at all), whether the perceived wrong-doers are teachers, coaches or students.  This really needs to stop.

    1. South of Davis

      Robin wrote:

      > Even a one-day suspension from school has permanent life-altering

      > consequences because it has to be disclosed on college applications 

      It has been more than 30 years since filled out a college application and I know back then they didn’t ask:

      “Have you ever been suspended”, do they really ask this now

      It seems strange that a college can ask about a suspension when it is now illegal to ask a potential employee if they are a felon.

      http://blogs.sacbee.com/the_state_worker/2013/10/jerry-brown-signs-bill-to-ban-felony-question-on-public-job-apps.html

    2. TrueBlueDevil

      Single incident? In my dozen or so years playing sports, and in all the sports I have watched, how many times was a referee physically pushed? ZERO.

      How many times was a referee surrounded by knucklehead players? ZERO.

      The goal keeper should have serious consequences. His cohorts aren’t blameless. I wonder if this is even considered misdemeanor assault?

      Pretty sad.

       

       

      1. sisterhood

        Maybe one of the cops or lawyers out there could answer TBD’s question re: misdemeanor assault?

        Coaches should be treated the same as teachers, because they are teachers. What would the consequences be if a Davis High student got angry about a poor grade and shoved the teacher?

  10. DavisBurns

    DHS Athletic Director Jeff Lorenson, who said, “I think it’s important to report that this single incident does not define Davis High School soccer, our school (or) our district as a whole.”

    I think this incident really does define the district as a whole. 

    I met with Jeff Lorenson along with a couple of other neighbors, to request the stadium lights be turned off a half hour after the end of athletic field use, that we have a schedule of planned events, a contact for when the sound is too loud and a commitment to having quiet/dark between 10:00 PM and 6 AM.

    Davis has a Dark Sky ordinance that says we will limit light pollution but DJUSD is not subject to Davis ordinances.  The neighbors do not object to the stadium lights when games are in session but think it reasonable to turn them off when the stadium is empty and it is empty about 10 minutes after the game ends. In addition, the parking lot is over lit at all times.  Darkness not a problem on the campus.

    The sound is generally okay and police will respond if we complain but we would prefer to be able to let the announcers know when it is window rattling.  We aren’t sure what conditions result in the sound being too loud but it happens occasionally and it would make everyone happier if we could just let them know and have them turn it down a bit.  We have tried walking over and asking nicely but their response hasn’t been nice.

    We had a girl’s soccer game played at 1 AM in August.  We think we should be allowed to sleep at 1 AM.

    If we have a schedule of events, we won’t plan any outside events on days or evenings when we our backyards are lit up like a football field and normal conversation isn’t possible because we can hear every play and the band music.

    Lorenson was polite but in the end, he’s just going to keep doing it the way its always been done which is, he will turn the lights off when he can.

    ‘Yeah, we are going to leave the lights on as long as we choose and we are entitled to use as much energy as it takes. Sorry, we can’t turn off the highest lights and just leave the lower ones on cause I don’t know how that would work. I COULD take it to the next level to ask what kind of changes we could make but I can tell you they will just tell me its my call. (he’s been here a couple of months but he still knows how it will play out). We will continue to light the whole field as if a game were being played until I can deposit receipts in the safe, get my stuff together and swing by to make sure the field is empty.  Sometimes I have other stuff going on and it takes longer to leave than other times.  No, the custodial staff can’t be trusted to makes sure the field is empty when they lock up.  Actually, I have to double check to see the padlocks are secure. You can sign up to get all the newsletter if you want but we don’t have something that just has the sports events. As far as sound goes, the police come out and check the sound level and wow, we even have a little mark on the controls so we know where to set it.’

    We teach our kids to conserve by turning off lights when they leave the room and turning off electronics not in use. Doesn’t the school doesn’t feel the need to both instill conservation values or just reduce costs and conserve energy?

    There is a lack of concern for neighbors who are impacted by the lights and the noise and a lack of respect for the parents who participate in fund raisers and donate money for school activities–we don’t count.  What counts is running their program the way they choose.  The school apparently has all the money it needs to pay for athletic expenses, however, other students get no funding–for example the robotics club who sells light bulbs at Farmer’s Market in order to raise funds to go to the national finals.  Some student activities are more important than others even if no one goes on the be a professional football player but there is a good chance budding scientists will go onto have a college career.

    We had a similar situation when the high school increased parking for students.  There are fewer students who ride bikes to school and apparently it is more convenient for parents if their kids drive to school so they needed additional parking for students in the day and athletic events on evenings and weekends. The plan was to have the parking lot empty onto our residential street.  They were shocked the neighbors objected and disgruntled that we actually succeeded in making them modify the parking lot.  It took us over a year of contentious meetings. You better believe DJUSD operates as an unaccountable entity because it is unaccountable.

    You might get more feedback like this from the neighbors around the new Da Vinci High charter school location on 8th Street.  What I hear over there is, if you think the regular schools suffer from elitism, try living near a charter school.  They are even more special, just ask em.

    1. Frankly

      So are you the type to move next to an airport and then start to complain about all the noise of aircraft?

      If you are so irritated by the sounds and lights on an active high school, maybe you should move to another part of town.

      1. DavisBurns

        So are you the type to move next to an airport and then start to complain about all the noise of aircraft?
        If you are so irritated by the sounds and lights on an active high school, maybe you should move to another part of town.

        So you’re the kind of conservative that moves to a notoriously liberal town and then starts to complain about the decisions the liberals make?
        If you are so irritated by the way things are done here in Davis, maybe you should move to another more conservative town.  I suggest Orange County.

        I moved here 27 years ago.  Covell wasn’t the street it is now, Mace Ranch and Wildhorse didn’t exist and the high school playing field, the lights and the PA system were all very different than they are now.

        I believe I said rather clearly, we are not complaining about the lights when the field is in use.  We are asking they turn them OFF WHEN THERE IS NO ONE USING IT! I believe I said the noise was generally not a problem.  We are just asking for a way to give them feedback (so they can be good polite neighbors) when it is window rattling. We are dealing with the issues in a constructive manner. What are you doing besides bitching about the liberals in Davis?

        Don’t pick a fight with me, Frankly.  Your post was rude.

        1. sisterhood

          “So you’re the kind of conservative that moves to a notoriously liberal town and then starts to complain about the decisions the liberals make?If you are so irritated by the way things are done here in Davis, maybe you should move to another more conservative town.  I suggest Orange County.”

          Hilarious. Thanks for starting my morning with a chuckle.

        2. Frankly

          I moved here in 1974 and I absolutely knew the town was liberal.  I don’t have a problem with liberalism per se… I have a problem with stupidity and emotional rather than rational policy and decision making.  And liberalism seems to be more routinely pushing for stupid and irrational policy and decision-making.

          Sorry – I was not trying to pick a fight.  I just have a problem with people complaining about things that appear to me to be normal and expected.  I had a new neighbor that complained when our dog barked at  squirrels in our yard and when she could hear the bass of my surround sound system when we watched a movie.  She was a UCD PHD student and apparently she had some weird anxiety condition and extreme sensitivity to sound.  She eventually moved away because we live a couple blocks away from a fire station and the frequent sirens were more than she could handle.  At one point I asked her why she did not move to the country if she was so sensitive to sound.  She said rather aggressively “I should be able to live where ever I want to live!”

          But thanks for pointing out that things changed around you.  That is a bummer.  But I would also point out that you bought a house next to undeveloped land.  That always comes at a risk that something will eventually be built there.   And so you will have to either adapt or move when change takes place.  I always support reasonable compromise, but the word “reasonable” is the key.

        3. Barack Palin

          Frankly, your buying a house near an airport then complaining about the noise analogy was spot on. I worked at SFO for many years and the local residents (complainers) were shocked that jet engines actually made so much noise.  It was a constant battle between the airport and the neighbors.  You’re right, if you don’t like noise don’t buy a house close to an airport.  It’s not that hard to figure out.

    2. Jim Frame

       The school apparently has all the money it needs to pay for athletic expenses

      Not true, I’m afraid.  The parents of baseball players are expected to kick in $100 for uniforms and buy $200 worth of tickets to Raley Field games as part of the annual fundraiser for the program.  There are informal provisions for waiving the ticket purchase due to financial hardship, but in general baseball families collectively contribute $4k – $6k every year to keep the program running.  The home field isn’t what you’d call lavish (it’s actually one of the sorrier facilities in the league), players have to arrange their own transportation to away games, and only the varsity players get to keep their jerseys.

      I can’t speak for the other sports programs, but you really have to love baseball to play it at DHS.

      1. DavisBurns

        Maybe the parents could have a fund savings drive to get the school to use less energy then use the money saved for the baseball program.  Really, they should put a meter on the playing field and attribute the lighting costs to the sport that uses it.  Those are medal halide lamps: not cheap to buy and not cheap to operate. That would mostly be football which I am guessing gets the lion’s share of the athletic dollars.  Other parents feel extracurricular activities funds need some serious oversight with all eligible activities given some support.

        1. Jim Frame

          DHS baseball field lighting is 100% solar-powered.  The lone bulb operates via nuclear fusion, but it’s a real pain to change, as it’s about 93 million miles away.

  11. sisterhood

    “You better believe DJUSD operates as an unaccountable entity because it is unaccountable.”

    I rented a home on Oak in the late 90’s-2001. I agree with your comments re: noise. Also, my front lawn was continually strewn with cans, food containers and candy bar wrappers. The principal directed us to the police. The police directed us to the principal. One morning I spotted a kid sitting on the sidewalk in front of my home smoking a joint! At least he did not litter.

    I had better luck with school administrators at DaVinci than Davis High. I actually felt like Davis High was more elitist than DaVinci. I attributed it to the competitive nature of their sports programs, their advanced placement classes, and larger class sizes. IMHO.

     

    1. DavisBurns

      A couple of decades ago, we had quite a problem with the lunch crowd from the high school.  Lots of littering and pretty rowdy.  The culture has changed (folks from the school agreed), this current crop of kids are quieter and more respectful.  We see the Sophomore Stroll from the school to the nearby shopping center at lunch time year after year.

      The McDonalds closed so that may account for the decreased litter.  We get an occasional cup or wrapper but it isn’t a problem.  A few years ago the school started parking in one of their electric vehicles on our corner and intervening with bad behavior–the cops sat at the corner a few times as well and the kids seemed to get the message.  They are still fresh, young, coltish, darling, brash, silly which I really enjoy but they are also better behaved–why sometimes they even allow a car to use the road (which isn’t a complaint–its a public road and great to see it full of pedestrians!)

      1. sisterhood

        Great news re:the litter problem. Thanks for sharing. Wow, surprised that McDonald’s closed!

        Good luck with the noise and lighting issues, hope you can work that out.

  12. wdf1

    DavisBurns:  You better believe DJUSD operates as an unaccountable entity because it is unaccountable.

    Did you raise the issue with school board candidates in the recent election?

    I would also suggest meeting with individual school board trustees and city council members about the issue, and also whenever the school board and city council hold their annual joint meeting, raise it in public comment at that time.

    1. DavisBurns

      yes, i did.  They listened because they were in campaign mode.  I contacted the principal, he passed us off to Lorensen.  Yeah, I can talk to them again.  Still, this is how it goes–just asking reasonably does nothing.  It has to be a campaign.

  13. DavisBurns

    I would also suggest meeting with individual school board trustees and city council members about the issue

    Meeting with the city council would be a waste of time.  The school district does not come under their jurisdiction.  It is not accountable to the city. 

  14. DavisBurns

    We have seen drugs stashed and what looks like drug exchanges, also cigarette smoking.  We are actually close enough to the campus, I tell them they had better move down the street half a block to light up and that discourages them.  Really, these kids aren’t a problem.  My beef is with the school administration, not the kids.

  15. TrueBlueDevil

    OK, here is the full tape of the game. The incident happens at about 1:29, towards the end of the full broadcast.

    http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/cifsjs/fb06c4f1e0

    I’m unclear as to what might be considered racist or insensitive. I do wonder why the names were published in the DE (as several were possibly under 18), but maybe it’s because they were competing already at a publicly covered playoff match? It appears that most of the players who charged and intimidated the official have Hispanic surnames, as well as the player who put his hands on the referee, a 100% no-no in any and all situations.

    No, I don’t think all the sports teams should suffer. Soccer may, and I would consider never allowing that goalie to play another sport at DSHS. What he did is not allowed under any circumstance, and we should not make excuses for him.

    David is onto the ongoing issue of our “entitlement culture”, which pervades almost everything that we do.

  16. Dave Hart

    …the statement from DHS Athletic Director Jeff Lorenson, who said, “I think it’s important to report that this single incident does not define Davis High School soccer, our school (or) our district as a whole.”

    I don’t know if this single incident defines Davis High School Soccer or any other sport.  I have heard first person reports from individuals who are on the teaching staff and directly involved with other districts make statements that Davis has a reputation for such behavior.  How does one measure it to determine if it rises to a systematic problem or are there just a few players in every sport that show their attitude?  Again, I don’t know the answer to that.  Because this isn’t the first time this type of incident has been reported I have to wonder.  Surrounding and pushing an official is pretty much over the top.

    I really don’t see the harm in suspending the entire team for the rest of this season and all of the next one to give everyone a chance to mull the consequences of action.  It’s just high school soccer.  Life is bigger than that and the really intense players can continue to play and hone their skills for the all important pursuit of college scholarships .  Why do I keep wondering if high school sports programs are more trouble than they are worth?

  17. Tia Will

    I really don’t see the harm in suspending the entire team for the rest of this season and all of the next one to give everyone a chance to mull the consequences of action.”

    Even the one’s who were not on the field at the time ? I am not downplaying the significance of this completely unacceptable action on the part of the involved players, but I do not believe in group punishment for the actions of the few. I do see significant harm in punishing the innocent along with the guilty.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      I agree with Tia. The kids who acted like knuckleheads get treated like knuckleheads, if students played no role in instigating or acting as buffoons, why should they suffer?

      There are probably some talented backups, some younger players, and others who will accept the challenge, and even if they don’t bring home as many “wins”, they will conduct themselves with proper conduct and sportsmanship. Life moves on.

      As an aside, I know that we lost a long-time soccer coach 2 years ago, has this had any effect on the team / players / coaching approach?

    2. Dave Hart

      I wouldn’t characterize a year off as “no real harm” because it would actually hurt the program to a certain degree.  But I would ask you and anyone who apparently thinks a “sorry, I won’t do it again” response is adequate to consider in what way would you send not only current players, but future players a message that there might just be a real limit to what you can do or say on the field of play.  Anything less than losing playing time is a slap on the wrist in a teenager’s mind.

    3. Miwok

      I agree, and inretrospect, I think back to who played during my school days. While we had a great team for a couple years, it was a fluke, because the Family Name was more important than skill in athletics. I assume it is the same at DHS.

      Don’t punish the others, only those who acted out.

  18. Southie

    I watched the game tape and the incident is pretty ugly.  Sorry, but the keeper should be suspended and I’d wonder about expulsion.  A student should not physically confront any school official for any reason.  In that situation, I consider the ref a school official.  If that’s a teacher, it’s a no-brainer expulsion.  I have no problem with school suspensions or suspension from all sports for any of the kids involved.  Teach them the right lessons now while the stakes are relatively small.

    I am a teacher and a coach.  I coach wrestling and soccer.  A wrestling match gets infinitely more intense than a soccer match.  You see a variety of unacceptable behaviors from both coaches and wrestlers.  We address it directly with our athletes, so the there’s no misunderstanding about what we expect.  My wrestlers don’t say a word to the official, ever.  Why?  Because it’s part of our team culture.  They have never seen one of our coaches speak rudely to an official or blame an official for a loss.  It starts at the top.  While one or two kids might make a bad decision in the heat of the moment, I doubt that many kids rush the ref if the coach is setting the right tone with his team.

    1. Anon

      Thanks for giving your perspective as a teacher and coach.  And I heartily agree that team culture is extremely important.  When kids know ahead of time that bad behavior won’t be tolerated, it is far less likely they will behave badly.  I think many of us are wondering about the soccer coach and the team culture s/he promoted.  Winning is not everything.

      1. Southie

        I agree.  Winning is not everything.  I don’t want to discount winning though; it is part of the equation though.  I like winning.  I like winning a lot as a matter of fact.  But I do not like winning at all costs.   It’s important to teach kids’ the right perspective.  Set their priorities for them: family, school, then sports.   Perhaps the soccer team has lost touch with that ideal in an effort to win more games.

  19. Davis Progressive

    i think the question is whether this is just a matter of kids acting badly or the indication of more.  i know when my kids went to school here, the strain of elitism and classism was high.  was this a manifestation of that or just emotions going out of control?

  20. sisterhood

    If the kids involved get away with little consequence, what message are we sending? Perhaps they’ll think it’s okay to shove their partner or child someday? Not that far a leap.

  21. Dave Hart

    The entire program has to be held accountable for such egregious actions.  A slap on the wrist and a hand-wringing “Sorry” from the team, athletic Department and school District isn’t an effective or credible response.  If the entire team took on the responsibility for the behavior of that many players, future teams would then have to consider that playing time for all could be lost on account of a few.  That changes the team’s attitude down to the core.  It infuses conversations that the players have with each other and with themselves.  Anything less than a team suspension is effectively saying “Uh-oh, we have to put a lid on it for the time being, until this blows over”.  That is how kids and, sadly, many adults view bad behavior.

    1. Mark West

      “The entire program has to be held accountable for such egregious actions.”

       

      I see no value in enforcing consequences on any player who just happened to be on the team, but who did not act inappropriately on the field.  I further see no value in punishing a younger player who looks forward to playing on this team in the future. All consequences for these actions should to be addressed solely to those players who acted inappropriately, and to those adults who have been entrusted with the responsibility of the team, their coaches.

      1. South of Davis

        Dave hart wrote:

        > The entire program has to be held accountable

        > for such egregious actions.

        Then Mark West wrote:

        > I see no value in enforcing consequences on any

        > player who just happened to be on the team

        There is a scary trend emerging where the left uses the actions of a single member (or few members) of a group they don’t like to punish ALL the members of the group.

        I can’t count the times those on the left have called for (many times actually doing it) closing a fraternity after a single member does something bad.  Many in Davis (myself included) don’t like the trend toward hyper-competitive kids sports so they will try and use this to punish everyone in the program.

        Just think how people on the left would go crazy if the people on the right said that the entire UC Feminism Department needed to be “held accountable” because a single professor attacked a girl she did not agree with.

        http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2014/08/mireille_milleryoungs_antimorality_and_the_madness_of_elliot_rodger.html

         

  22. TrueBlueDevil

    DJUSD should know that thousands of teenagers are watching their actions and decisions. Students at Davis High School, at the feeder schools, on soccer clubs throughout the Sacramento Valley. Coaches, administrators, and referees in Southern California will learn about this.

    There are various levels of concern. The goalie stands out, what some would call assault. Can any teacher at Davis High now feel safe with this hothead ready to blow off steam.

    Then the six or seven who confronted and tried to intimidate the referee, which became a kind of mob mentality. I am surprised there weren’t a few true leaders who would stop their fellow teammate from advancing on the ref.

    A more nuanced question, which David addresses, is thequestion of whether there is a systemic problem of attitude or acceptance of such goonnish behavior. I’d want to know if there were lesser incidents that the coach or AD downplayed,  I hope not. Thank goodness we have the video tape so we can all witness their unsportsmanlike and crude behavior.

  23. Gunrocik

    Bottom line — this incident was way, way, way over the line.  As a parent who has spent way more time than I ever hoped watching (suffering through) youth soccer games, I’ve never seen anything even close to this bad.

    Should we blame the entire Davis community, the Davis School District and every student athlete for this incident?  Probably not.  However, we should use this incident as a teachable moment for all of us — and maybe it is time for greater introspection as a community.  While the GATE program is a good example of where we’ve seen the “elitist” divide exposed in this community — there are plenty of other examples where this community’s sense of self-superiority has shown its dark side as well.  The behind the scenes machinations of the many helicopter sports parents in this town are well documented we’ve chased off plenty of top flight coaches and convinced many more reasonable parents to find a new District for their children.

    Kudos to David for exposing the elephant in the room — now it is time for the School Board to take the lead on a community dialogue on our community values.  Are we just another affluent suburb looking to keep our SAT scores high and our sports teams successful, no matter the price?  Or are we a community willing to admit our faults — and see if there isn’t a more humane way to raise our children?

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for