FOX Sports- As a former NHL player, Jim Dowd was no stranger to penalties. Now, as a high school hockey coach he is facing time in court for allegedly kicking a 16-year-old player in the back in New Jersey.
Dowd has been removed from his position as head coach at Manasquan/Point Pleasant Beach cooperative program after a parent filed simple assault charges over the incident.
"Up until this point Jim has been a good upstanding citizen and a perfect coach for us," Kasyan added. "His reputation in the community has been great. I've been to games, I have seen him coach and he has been wonderful with the kids."
To be honest, the first emotion I experienced after reading this article was relief. Anytime I see "(Insert prominent public figure) charged with assault on (Insert much younger demographic)" my inclination is to assume it is of a sexual nature. While that may be sad, it's also quite a sign of the times. So it's good to know that former New Jersey Devil, Jim Dowd, isn't playing grab ass in the shower with his players.
Seems we are getting a bit loose with the term "assault", no? If there is one thing I know about assault it is that it doesn't often occur in a public, controlled environment with parents, members of the student body, and school officials lying witness. Another thing I know about assault is that if you see your child falling victim to it you do your damnedest to put an end to it immediately. You don't sit idly by and decide to press charges days after. Don't be the man, or woman, that cries assault. If Jim Dowd were to overstep his boundaries, it certainly wouldn't have taken this long for him to face consequences.
I reserve the right to change my stance if the investigation shows that Dowd gave a teenager a WWE style dropkick to the swell of the back. However, the term "assault" is really pretty flexible depending on the circumstances that surround each particular situation. For instance, if a teacher, or any other person of authority in the school, lay their hands (or feet) on a child in a physical manner, it is far more likely to be assault worthy. I think it's a sliding scale that can be viewed a little more leniently when we are talking about the coach of a physically demanding sport, such as hockey or football. Sometimes a high school player needs a literal or proverbial kick in the ass, which is more than likely exactly what occurred.
I grew up playing hockey. The best coach I ever learned from had us out pushing SUV tires around the rink with our sticks at 7AM on a Sunday. One time a grandparent walked out when our coach told a player to "elbow him in the fucking head" while referring to another teammate. We used to do a drill where one person stood in the middle of a circle of twenty or so kids and the main goal was to keep that person in the circle, by any means necessary. All were far more grueling physically then punting a kick in his overly padded ass. The thing with physical sports is that sometimes you have to be a disciplinary. You should be afraid of your coach. If your child can't handle a little tough love than he chose the wrong sport. If you are more worried about a coach using a little unconventional motivation instead of a bunch of teenagers wielding sticks and attempting to put your son through the boards then it's safe to say your focus is skewed.
This is the reason that organized athletics are a good growth mechanism for children, especially at a level as competitive as high school hockey. For the most part, coaches don't coddle players; A welcome change from the way most kids are raised these days. If were talking about hockey coaches "assaulting" their players you're going to have to do better than this story. At least have a bump or bruise to show for it. At least fake a limp for Christ sake. Jim Dowd has been around the sport of hockey, at nearly every level, for his entire life, I am pretty sure he knows what's acceptable and what's not. There is no doubt in mind that this story is a gross exaggeration and just another step into fully pussifying sports and society as we know it.
Plus, with the amount of hockey 'talent' in Manasquan and Point Pleasant, a few kicks in the ass seem pretty justified. If one or two kids have to get scoliosis for the greater good than so be it. Look at it positively, they'll probably be forced into early retirement.