Chicago magnet high schools Payton College Prep and Brooks College Prep were scheduled to play a game on the city’s South Side Saturday night. Payton Prep forfeited the game after a couple of parents told the team’s coach they were concerned about playing a night game there, citing “safety concerns.”
Payton Prep coach William Wittleder told the Chicago Tribune:
“This is probably one of the most embarrassing moments I’ve had. It’s very heartbreaking. This is totally against what I believe in.”
As you could read in the comments section of the original news story, it prompted a lot of back-and-forth and the usual rational, calm dialogue newspaper comment sections tend to breed.
The plot thickened on Monday when a North Side Chicago Public Schools principal sent an email to students explaining the reasons the game was not played. Tim Devine chastised the media for shoddy reporting then wrote:
“There were other, less salacious, causes for the game’s cancellation. The reasons for the cancellation stem from leadership issues within the baseball program.”
If anything, it’s another example of the power parents wield when it comes to high school sports in America. Coaching high school sports has become in many places an increasingly thankless job due to parents. [Sun Times]