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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Friday, January 24, 2003
1:41 PM

Going Behind the Back is the odd headline for a sports section story on recruiters alleging other schools' coaches are lesbian in an attempt to frighten athletes away from them. Is there some wry sexual reference I'm missing here? I never go to the right parties.

I should pay more attention to the differences between the print and online editions, by the way. The jump hed that brings you to page 9 says Recruiters Appeal To Homophobia. There's no need for a jump online, but the closest we get is the online deck (a line below the hed), which says College Recruiters Raise Issue of Sexual Orientation. A bit different.

It's an interesting story. It very briefly touches on cases in which lesbian coaches have conducted affairs with players, and has this brief visit with one element of the Christian right:

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."

There's nothing in the story about another brewing problem, the discomfort and even ostracism experienced by some straight players on some teams dominated by lesbians.

However, there are many people quoted in this story suggesting that recruiters should not be engaged in ugly whispering campaigns based on the sexual orientation of coaches--alleged or otherwise--and I agree with that 100%.

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