FoxSports- Princeton men's lacrosse coach Chris Bates was fired Wednesday after elbowing a Brown University lacrosse player during a game last Saturday, according to NJ.com.
A brief video of the incident was posted to Twitter and the elbow, while certainly unsportsmanlike, looked harmless. The incident happened at the beginning of the second half. Brown midfielder John Yozzo-Scaperrotta was coming off the field for a substitution when Bates leaned over and lightly elbowed the player. Yozzo-Scaperrotta kept running to the substitution box but looked over at Bates. The midfielder did not appear to be injured and game officials did not see the incident so there was no stop in play or disciplinary action during the game. Princeton lost the game, 19-8.
But Princeton officials apparently were not pleased. The school conducted its own review of the play, and Bates subsequently lost his job.
Say it ain't so, SAY IT AIN'T SO! Please tell me this guy was providing the players with hookers, running a ring of fake classes, or enabling prolonged child molestation behind closed doors. Just tell me something - no - ANYTHING else contributed to this guy's unemployment. Please tell me a rather inconspicuous elbow to be an opposing player is not considered a fireable offense in 2016. I simply can't live in a world where a spur of the moment nudge to a bigger, stronger athlete can cost a man his long standing job, even if that job was at a University as prestigious (and apparently uptight) as Princeton. This could only happen in the Ivy Leagues. Thank God I was "smart" enough to go to a state school.
I'm not saying this coach was in the right. It was clearly a stupid, inexcusable thing to do. Authority figures obviously have to be disciplined for intentionally making contact with players and interfering with the play on the field, even if the play on the field has come to a relative halt. That being said, has Princeton never heard of a fine? Maybe a short suspension? His first fuck up was something as harmless as a shove - to a player that runs around a field getting whacked with aluminum sticks all goddamn game - and he's immediately out on the streets? What kind of message does this send in the lacrosse community? That you literally can't slip up - at all - ever? Jesus, I hope basketball and football don't get wind of this new philosophy or there's going to be a bi-weekly rotating door of coaches flowing through the Power 5 conferences. The biggest victim of this situation was one kid that turned around, most likely said "what the fuck?", and then went about his day. I bet even he wouldn't co-sign this termination that I can't describe as anything other than wrongful. This is a goddamn tragedy, and I certainly hope that Mike Tomlin is the first one to send a care package...