Revised Feb. 16, 2005

The Washington Post ran an article Jan. 24 (2003) depicting the state of affairs in colleges’ recruitment of student athletes.

Some antigay coaches for women’s teams are apparently running amok, telling prospective students that rival coaches are lesbians bent on "recruitment" of the non-sporting variety.

Parents in some cases are lapping up the propaganda, exerting heavy pressure on their 18-year-old children to avoid — or quit — schools with coaches who are alleged to be lesbian.

Unfortunately, the head of a division of Campus Crusade for Christ is quoted as if to encourage parents’ preoccupation with coaches’ private lives:

Parents have a responsibility to their daughters to learn everything they can about a coach, says Dennis Rainey, president of faith-based FamilyLife, a division of Campus Crusade for Christ dedicated to promoting traditional family values.

"Every parent who sends his son to play for Bobby Knight knows who he’s
sending his son to play for," said Rainey. "A coach has a significant
influence in a player’s life. I just interviewed John Wooden for two hours,
and I can promise you character does count. To me, as a parent of six
children, sexual preference and practice are a reflection of a coach’s
character. They do matter."

Rainey’s interference in the private sexuality of others prompts some skeptical reflection upon his own character. Young athletes and their coaches already confront serious injustices and ethical dilemmas, including cheating, academic neglect, poor sportsmanship, and steroid use. Witchhunts against coaches who behave professionally — that is, they keep their private lives reasonably private — are a prurient distraction from legitimate priorities in sports.

Coaches should be hired and retained for their sportsmanship and skill, not because they conform to different parents’ arbitrary sexual agendas: One parent may favor male coaches, another may favor heterosexual coaches in covenant marriage, yet another may favor heterosexuals who swear to having daily sex with the spouse, and still other parents may frown on coaches who have sex for any reason other than procreation. With due respect, my suggestion to all is focus on sports and mind their own private business.

From The Washington Post:
Going Behind the Back: College Recruiters Raise Issue of Sexual Orientation
By Greg Sandoval
Friday, January 24, 2003; Page D01

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