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    Pickering Coach pays Heavy Price

    Coach Clement
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    Post by Coach Clement on Tue Jan 27, 2009 6:49 am

    Mike Gordensky has been suspended by a three-person LOSSA committee from acting as a bench coach for the remainder of Pickering's season. He may continue as their coach in practice and in tournaments.

    The reason for his suspension is that he gave two kids a chance to play with the team in a U.S. tournament over the Christmas break. Personally I can sympathize with Mike in this situation. He did not do this for any personal gain but rather to help two kids who have had to sit out the entire season.

    Although we have had our differences from time-to-time I know Mike's heart is in the right place, he always does his best for the kids at Pickering. He is a very dedicated and committed person and I respect him for that.

    In my opinion this is an excessive penalty and the committee is using a prominent coach and high-profile program to make a statement. Unfortunately Mike may face further sanctions from OFSSAA. I feel the penalty already being applied is excessive and further punishment unnecessary.

    A spokesperson for the committee stated the following:

    "We don't go looking for things like this. We have a constitution, coaches know it, and our job is to enforce it," she said.

    But in this case does the punishment fit the crime? I think it is very heavy-handed.

    In effect is the committee using a sledgehammer to kill a fly?


    Last edited by Coach Clement on Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:48 pm; edited 1 time in total


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    bramptonbballfan
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    Post by bramptonbballfan on Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:55 am

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    Last edited by bramptonbballfan on Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:23 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    rec
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    Post by rec on Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:11 am

    Every association sets their own rules. Some follow ofsaa standards, others don't, even within the same city. That is a problem of their own making and I recently found out that Hamilton is a prime example. Hamilton Catholic and Public obviously can't let transfers play in ofsaa sanctioned events unless eligible but where they differ is that Catholic allows league play, including playoffs and Public doesn't. Not equal at all.

    What is LOSSA's standard policy? If it's clear from the start, it's hard to justify going against it without expecting some sort of consequence.
    I don't think the Pickering coach will get any grief from ofsaa unless the U.S. tournament was an ofsaa sanctioned event. If they did, he'd have a case for apeal by just citing the actions of other association members. They wouldn't sanction him unless there was something else in the mix.
    I personally don't have an issue with U.S. tournaments. They are not used for league standings and should not be a factor in ofsaa rankings. The issue is within the team itself. Those transfers have replaced current student athletes that have now been pushed further down the bench. That ultimately is the decision of the player to accept though as being part of that team.
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    bramptonbballfan
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    Post by bramptonbballfan on Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:39 am

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    Last edited by bramptonbballfan on Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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    rec
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    Post by rec on Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:49 am

    bramptonbballfan...I think you may be right about that but what of the many tournaments in Ontario that don't have the ofsaa sanction?
    Are they not still covered by the same insurance? Is there more to it than just insurance to make it ofsaa sanctioned? I would have to believe coaches would know this.
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    bramptonbballfan
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    Post by bramptonbballfan on Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:59 am

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    Last edited by bramptonbballfan on Wed Jan 28, 2009 10:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Xavier Rimrocker
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    Post by Xavier Rimrocker on Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:53 am

    According to, all students on Ontario teams must be OFSAA-eligible at OFSAA sanctioned meets.


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    bruins
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    Post by bruins on Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:30 pm

    makes more sense now, still a little severe
    Coach Clement
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    Post by Coach Clement on Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:05 pm

    But really is it reasonable to expect every coach to read and remember every section of OFSSAA policy?

    I think coaches would be reading for days:

    Section II Subsection 3) A i.iii etc. etc.

    If you're a politically-minded type of coach and want to know the repercussions and ramifications of every little move you make, then fine!

    If that's your cup of tea fine! But a lot of coaches don't have the time or the inclination. They just want to help their kids learn how to play helpside defence or different ways of defending an off-ball screen.

    He wanted to give a couple of kids a chance to play basketball. A chance that a committee of experts had deprived them of.

    I do not believe in anything goes but Troy had originally been approved and then the ruling was reversed due to an outside complaint.

    Mikhail had been in Florida for two seasons and his brother plays in the Pickering program why is he ineligible?

    I do not know the complete details of these rulings but I do find them hard to comprehend.


    Last edited by Coach Clement on Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:12 pm; edited 1 time in total


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    dhoward12
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    Post by dhoward12 on Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:11 pm

    so.. he played 2 studens that didnt' have permission from their parents/ofsaa to play play outside of the country?
    Coach Clement
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    Post by Coach Clement on Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:15 pm

    I'm sure if they were travelling to Myrtle Beach they had the knowledge and permission of their parents.

    The article also said that Mike did not receive an answer when he requested clarification from OFSSAA.


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    kiddddo
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    Post by kiddddo on Tue Jan 27, 2009 2:29 pm

    This is honestly a joke. OFSAA has more of a problem with this, rather than schools recruiting and what not i dont understand!

    There have been much more serious problems, and this is the first time I've heard a coach being suspended for the season. I feel sorry for Pickering's loss, it's very unfair.
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    youngcoach
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    Post by youngcoach on Tue Jan 27, 2009 4:41 pm

    Coach Clement, know one is saying that every coach must read the entire OFSAA documentation.

    But any coach MUST understand whether or not his athletes are eligible or ineligible in the eyes of OFSAA and their local association. Saying that OFSAA never got back to him is not enough.

    I know nothing about the situation but pleading ignorance to playing an ineligible player is not acceptable. I'm sure that this coach has his players best interest at heart but he needs to follow the rules and only play players who are deemed eligiable.

    And for the record, I agree with you that the punishment is a bit much, maybe a supension for a few games, but the whole season???
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    coachc
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    Post by coachc on Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:38 pm

    I think perhaps we have lost some perspective. It sounds to me like a coach knowingly and intentionally broke the rules. He allowed two players to play knowing that they were ineligible and some seem to want to make him a hero? Perhaps he should have just taken players from other teams and played them too? The fact is he played people who are not on his team and he is suppose to be the example of sportsmanship and following rules etc. I think that the team is lucky to still be playing games. I know that some leagues would have a team forfeit their games if they intentionally broke the rules of elegibility. To say he had the kids best interest at heart is a stretch. He told a kid that was practicing and legally playing on his team that you are not good enough any more because I want to break the rules so that this better player who is not a part of our team can play instead of you. What about that kid's best interest?
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    btownfan
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    Post by btownfan on Tue Jan 27, 2009 9:52 pm

    If Pickering qualifies for Ofsaa then can he coach there as it's a tournament and is outside LOSSA?
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    Coach Philippe
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    Pickering Coach pays Heavy Price Empty Pickering coach 'in bit of shock' over suspension, T.O. Star

    Post by Coach Philippe on Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:23 pm

    Here is an article written by David Grossman from the Toronto Star "Pickering coach 'in bit of shock' over suspension": http://www.thestar.com/Sports/article/577831 [url=http://www.thestar.com/Sports/article/577831]http://www.thestar.com/Sports/article/577831[/url]


    Last edited by Coach Philippe on Fri Feb 06, 2009 12:14 am; edited 1 time in total
    Coach Clement
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    Post by Coach Clement on Wed Jan 28, 2009 1:38 pm

    DJ and Salesman are some serious back-up, no doubt!

    Still Gordo is a victim of overkill.


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    Coach Philippe
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    Post by Coach Philippe on Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:18 pm

    .


    Last edited by Coach Philippe on Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:27 am; edited 2 times in total
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    coachc
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    Post by coachc on Wed Jan 28, 2009 2:26 pm

    I would argue that the kids are the victims here. They just lost their coach as they begin the stretch run and look to try to three peat as ofsaa champs. The kids that played illegally will be known for their involvement in a lapse of better judgement by their coach. I am not saying that the coach is a bad person (I appreciate his dedication and efforts to run a very successful program), but he did knowingly break the rules and as Coach Philippe said must deal with the consequences. The rules exist for a reason and whether we agree with them or not we are bound by them. Should we disagree with the rules in place, one might argue that we should advocate for the rule to be changed rather than simply disobeying the rules. The coach made a mistake and is being punished for it by the league. Unfortunately, the victims are the members of his team and the two non-team members that were dragged into this.
    CoachImgrund
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    Post by CoachImgrund on Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:24 pm

    In my opinion, way too harsh a penalty for what was done. I echo the word 'overkill' by Coach Clement.

    I think you need to look at it like this: Were LOSSAA or OFSAA negatively affected by the actions of this coach, or did these actions allow the coach to gain an unfair advantage in LOSSAA or OFSAA play?

    It's very obvious to all what happened: the LOSSA committee took offense to the coach playing these students as it looked to them like he was overriding their decision and slapping them in the face. To save face and to re-affirm their 'authority', they gave a harsh punishment to make a 'statement'.

    Mind you the rules are in place so something has to be done but this is excessive.
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    tart11
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    Post by tart11 on Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:33 pm

    Part of the problem is that another coach in the region complained. If he hadn't complained this wouldn't be an issue.
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    laszlo
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    Post by laszlo on Wed Jan 28, 2009 5:03 pm

    to suspend him for the remainder of the regular season would
    have been punishment enough but come on..........let the guy coach in
    the playoffs.

    i hope this situation gets turned around and the right thing is done.
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    coachc
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    Post by coachc on Thu Jan 29, 2009 9:56 am

    I agree CoachImgrund that we do need a broader perspective when we look at this situation but I do not think that the perspective should be about ofsaa and Lossaa. I think we should look at it from the perspective as to why does the rule exist in the first place. While the integrity of the league is important, I think that the rule exists to help combat a very serious concern that has been raised in this thread and on this site numerous time and that is recruiting. I am not accusing Pickering of recruiting as I have no idea what brought these kids to Pickering from their original school and I know that there are many good reasons for students to transfer. However, I think that the rule was put in place to discourage students from transferring simply to play sports. If we allow players to transfer and then say that they are not allowed to play in Lossaa games (league and playoffs) but that the player could still play in tournaments etc. then how effective would the transfer policy be? Most teams play more games in tournaments than they do in league and playoffs. Many students would still go and transfer. However, if we say that a non-eligible transfer is not allowed to play with the team at all for a season, then that player will have to consider whether or not the transfer is worth missing an entire season of basketball. This helps to promote "legitimate" transfers and discourage recruiting or "illegitimate" transfers. Again, I want to emphasize that the coach and Pickering program are not being accused of recruiting, but they did violate the rules of eligibility (intentionally) and thus desreve the consequenses.
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    Coach Melnik
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    Post by Coach Melnik on Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:02 am

    coachc brings up a very good point. Just to compare, in the TDCAA if a transfer student is deemed ineligible, then that transfer student cannot compete at all, not in league play, not in tournaments. However, in the TDSSAA, there is a clause whereby a transfer student may be deemed ineligible for OFSAA competiton and thus ineligible for OFSAA-sanctioned events, however is still eligible for the league and for non OFSAA-sanctioned events. In my opinion, that encourages transfer students to TDSSAA schools and away from TDCAA schools.
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    Post by CoachImgrund on Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:18 am

    CoachC - Just for the record, I agree totally with everything you said, and wasn't advocating for LOSSA/OFSAA overlooking this violation. As you said, something HAD to be done to uphold the integrity of the OFSAA transfer policy. I just felt the punishment was excessive, and it wreaks of 'sour grapes'. There are other ways to get a point across aside from removing the coach from team.

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