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Basketball Coach Fired Over Religious Discrimination


GeoBQn

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Women's basketball coach Beckie Francis of Oakland University in Michigan has been fired. While the university is staying silent, current and former players are coming forward with stories of how Francis aggressively forced her brand of Christianity on the team. Some of her tactics included:

-Ordering that players had to remain virgins while on the team.

-Forbidding team members from socializing with members of the men's basketball team.

-Forcing team members to attend her church, including a Muslim player

-Showing Christian-themed videos, including her church testimony, on bus trips

-Having a "pray to play" rule.

[she also focused on the bodies and eating habits of team members so intently that many of them developed eating disorders.]

The team members said that they were too scared to speak up about Francis' behavior because her husband was president of the university. He has also been fired.

usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaw/2013/07/21/oakland-university-fired-coach-beckie-francis-special-report/2573613/

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I know someone who works there - in academics - and nearly all of this was well under the radar until her husband resigned abruptly, with no reason given, although it was also announced at the same time that she had been fired:

http://www.freep.com/article/20130612/N ... steps-down

It took a while for the reason behind his wife's firing to come out.

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Oh my, look at that poor Christian being persecuted by the heathens.

Bleh.

Interesting that she didn't take her husband's last name.

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I think they should turn the tables on these folks- she can coach again if she attends prayer services weekly at her local mosque and reads the Quran daily. Firing her just reinforces the persecution complex.

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Oh my, look at that poor Christian being persecuted by the heathens.

Bleh.

Interesting that she didn't take her husband's last name.

I work for my husband and don't use his last name either, so that might be one reason. IN fact, I moved from an unhyphenated dual last name (Suzee McDonald Levy) to just Suzee McDonald after I began working for with him.

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Our society needs to get over this notion that coaches are special people who do not have to follow rules and get to control the lives of the players on their teams.

It really doesn't matter if it is forcing religion on players (or the opposite which happened at my college where a coach was disciplined for decreeing that his players could not attend church and began scheduling Sunday a.m. practices to reinforce that rule) or making excessive rules about their personal lives or verbally abusing them (which too many people still think is just part of sports) or getting an easy out when caught breaking the law...it has to end.

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Our society needs to get over this notion that coaches are special people who do not have to follow rules and get to control the lives of the players on their teams.

It really doesn't matter if it is forcing religion on players (or the opposite which happened at my college where a coach was disciplined for decreeing that his players could not attend church and began scheduling Sunday a.m. practices to reinforce that rule) or making excessive rules about their personal lives or verbally abusing them (which too many people still think is just part of sports) or getting an easy out when caught breaking the law...it has to end.

Have to agree!!

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Have to agree!!

Me too!! Since when did middle school or high school sports take precedence over the rest of a child's life? My neighbour, whose father is terminally ill, was told he couldn't miss football camp this summer to go on vacation with his family or he'd be off the team. It's nuts!

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What a disgusting human being - or two of them, her and her husband. ^^^ So sad that coaches have that kind of power.

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Agree - college/university coaches seem to get major "get out of jail" cards (literally), and are often also immune from salary cuts or freezes imposed on faculty & non-athletic staff.

Wouldn't bother me in the least if college athletics got eliminated. Let the students play in intramural sports & leave the big football to the pros.

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Me too!! Since when did middle school or high school sports take precedence over the rest of a child's life? My neighbour, whose father is terminally ill, was told he couldn't miss football camp this summer to go on vacation with his family or he'd be off the team. It's nuts!

That's horrible!! That poor kid.

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Agree - college/university coaches seem to get major "get out of jail" cards (literally), and are often also immune from salary cuts or freezes imposed on faculty & non-athletic staff.

Wouldn't bother me in the least if college athletics got eliminated. Let the students play in intramural sports & leave the big football to the pros.

I'm in complete agreement about eliminating college sports, but there's too much money in it to ever happen. As long as coaches produce winning teams, they could kill kittens (or molest players, right Penn State?) and everyone would continue to look the other way. How many times did Bobby Knight get a pass for things that probably would have otherwise gotten him arrested? For too many alums with big bucks to donate, it's all about sports. The library could be falling down, but you can be damned sure the football stadium will be state-of-the-art.

Wanna bet ol' Beckie sues for reverse religious discrimination?

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It isn't just college. At one school I taught at, given the task of cutting staff at a high school with no tenure, the principal who was also the head football coach cut three non-coaches. Then he created a new position for an assistant football coach.

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Is this a private school where the mission would support such behavior? If these are adult children choosing to go into this, they can only blame themselves.

But from the article, I'm assuming the school doesn't condone the actions of the coach.

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It's a public university, so Francis was committing major violations of the separation of church and state. The students should not "blame themselves" for being in this situation--no one deserves to be treated like that, and they were caught in a position in which they might get kicked off the team and lose scholarship money if they complained about the coach's abuse. They also had no support from the administration because absolutely none of the other athletic staff questioned Francis' behavior. Many of them did end up quitting or transferring schools in unusually high numbers.

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Oakland is part of the Michigan State system so it's a public school, all the way.

The coach & her hubby deserve to be sued up the wazoo for this. Maybe their church can foot the legal bill.

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Our society needs to get over this notion that coaches are special people who do not have to follow rules and get to control the lives of the players on their teams.

Ding ding DING! Can we put this up on every telephone pole and bulletin board around?

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It isn't just college. At one school I taught at, given the task of cutting staff at a high school with no tenure, the principal who was also the head football coach cut three non-coaches. Then he created a new position for an assistant football coach.

It happens with tenured staff as well. Last year our school lost a teacher with 15+ years of experience while the three others teachers in his department, all with less than 10 years of classroom experience, were retained. Guess which one wasn't a coach of a varsity sport?

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Me too!! Since when did middle school or high school sports take precedence over the rest of a child's life? My neighbour, whose father is terminally ill, was told he couldn't miss football camp this summer to go on vacation with his family or he'd be off the team. It's nuts!

My colleague's son (10th grade) was told he couldn't miss practice (starting the third week of July) or he's off the team - nevermind that for 18 years (he has older brothers) the family has had a beach extended-family reunion the first week of August. The coach said, "too bad."

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It happens with tenured staff as well. Last year our school lost a teacher with 15+ years of experience while the three others teachers in his department, all with less than 10 years of classroom experience, were retained. Guess which one wasn't a coach of a varsity sport?

When my dad was applying for teaching jobs, he thought he had a good shot at one of the powerhouse high schools in the Chicago suburbs. He had done his student teaching there, and he was on good terms with the principal. The interview went well until the final question--"Do you have any experience coaching sports?" My dad responded, "No, but I'd be willing to learn." The principal urged my dad out of the room so fast it was like he was on wheels, and he ended up not getting the job.

My dad ended up coaching three sports later in his career as a middle school teacher, and I think he maintained a healthy sense of perspective about it.

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