No simple solution in coaching controversy |

No simple solution in coaching controversy

Steve Yingling, Tribune Sports Editor

Just be glad that you aren’t required to make the decision about Eric Beavers’ coaching future at South Tahoe High this week.

There’s not a simple solution.

The second-year Vikings’ varsity coach wants to maintain his integrity by not allowing players to return to the team after many were unable to fulfill an agreed-upon off-season workout regimen.

At the same time, if Beavers doesn’t allow these players to return, the school will have trouble fielding a varsity team. However, the school has already informed Beavers that there will be a varsity team this fall.

Beavers has proposed surrendering his varsity post to coach a JV team made up of “dedicated” players, but the school has made it clear that he was hired to run the focal point of the program — the varsity.

Tribune readers have strongly voiced their opinions on the coaching controversy over the past week, but none has come up with a solution that is fair to the varsity players and Beavers.

One caller asked for Beavers’ immediate firing because he is not doing the job he was hired to do. Another said Beavers is an example of a coach who is more dedicated than his athletes, and raised a valid question of whether Beavers is asking his players to do more than he was asked to do as a high school football player.

Is it wrong that Beavers is asking high school athletes in this community to work to become the best that they can be? Is it wrong that he is teaching athletes more than the game of football?

“I never pretended and everybody knew what I was doing, and it was really supported,” Beavers said. “They were supportive of making these kids accountable and making them go to class.

“Then when the numbers started getting low, maybe it wasn’t so great anymore.”

After watching in disbelief as half of his preseason roster quit before the end of last season, Beavers has vowed not to reciprocate and resign.

As a result, STHS must either fire the former University of Nevada star quarterback or reassign him as a junior varsity coach.

But there is another solution — one Beavers is reluctant to try. The 30 sophomores, juniors and seniors who have followed through on his off-season training demands deserve to wear varsity blue and gold.

“I’m not going to put a bunch of sophomores on varsity because they’ll get physically hurt, and it’s not fair that the younger guys who are doing exactly what we’re asking pay the costs of the older kids not doing what they’re supposed to do,” Beavers said.

Many of them may not be ready to play varsity football, but certainly they deserve the chance. They won’t quit on Beavers like so many parents allowed their children to do the year before. They may not win a game, either. So what! Coaches have done similar things to kick-start their programs in the past, and Beavers has a dedicated staff led by Todd McIntyre who has worked miracles with young players before.

What they will do is become the dedicated example that Beavers needs to lead his program through this turbulent time and into a proud future. Their work ethic will show future STHS football players what it takes to play on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons.

As for the players who just want to show up on the first day of practice on Aug. 15, they should be accepted, but with the realization that their chance at significant playing time was lost by their off-season complacency.

Like it or not, football has become a 12-month sport, not a three-month joyride. Athletes who play more than one sport are regrettably being forced to specialize because of the demands of off-season training. But it is no different in Carson City, Reno or Minden.

Beavers shouldn’t have the right to decide who can come out for the team, but he certainly does have the final word in who ultimately plays.

Beavers also owes it to guys like senior Kory Collins, who has given the program his all and received very little in return.

Collins has played on winless teams at the varsity, JV and freshman levels during his three years of high school football. He wants one more chance to taste victory.

“I just want to know what it feels like to win. I’ll do anything to know what it feels like to win,” Collins said.

Beavers is the right coach to teach Collins and his teammates how to win. We don’t need another outstanding coach to slip away, especially one who is young and sees beyond the football field.

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