Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Storm clouds on Burdett Avenue: One coach fired, but will there be more?

It should come as a shock to, well, no one, that Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) dropped the curtain on men's hockey coach Seth Appert on Monday, after the Engineers were swept out of the first round of the ECAC playoffs. RPI finished with an 8-28-1 mark for the 2016-17 season. Appert had just finished his 11th season at the helm, but was only able to put together 5 winning seasons out of those 11. It will be closer to summer before RPI will be able to name the next head coach for the program.
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Meanwhile, just down the street at Troy High, The Record reports in today's edition that women's varsity basketball coach Paul Bearup, also having just finished his 11th season, and four years removed from a state title, is facing allegations of inflicting emotional distress on some of his players. Something tells me this method of coaching would explain the erratic performance of the Lady Horses since that state title win in 2013. However, not all the facts are in as yet. Despite this, the article was filled with anonymous quotes from parents, as well as current and former players, although at least one or two former players actually did speak on the record.

Ever since the demise of the Big 10, Troy's women's team has had a pattern in the last three seasons. A quick start, a mid-season slide, and then a struggle just to get in position for a favorable sectional berth, the latter of which wasn't the case this year. It just happens to be a coincidence that this comes out less than a week after Troy was eliminated from the sectionals by Suburban Council blue division champion Shaker in a 34 point blowout.

If the allegations are proven to be true, Bearup would be the third Troy coach to be let go in the last year. Varsity softball coach George Rafferty was not only "removed" 10 months ago, but is no longer at the school. Baseball coach Will Whitty was quietly shown the door, or so it'd appear, after two seasons. The last thing they need at Troy now is a scandal, but the storm clouds of one are just starting to appear. You have to hope that this story doesn't go away so quickly.

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