Actions taken by Gerry Brittingham
1. Friday May 11th: Announced that that Mark Ecked had been suspended “pending a hearing due to unspecified conduct issues”.
2. (Allegedly – according to Mark Ecke’s brother) he “broke a confidentiality agreement” by making the announcement of the suspension. The brother further alleged that Brettingham showed a lack of discretion.
Impact of those Actions
The announcement brought the matter into the public domain (especially as it was reported next day in the local newspaper). The announcement also caused Mark Ecke to be interviewed about the incident, making more detail public. Although not mentioned in the subject newspaper article, there will no doubt have also been some impact on Mark Ecke’s son Tucker, like adverse comment from his peers about his father’s suspension.
A further impact of Brettingham’s announcement is that once such an incident is brought into the public domain, the chances of it ultimately being quietly resolved to everyone’s mutual satisfaction are considerably reduced
How I would have Acted
If I had been in Gerry Brettingham’s position, I think I would not have suspended Mark Ecke without first getting all the parties involved around the table, to discuss things informally and calmly, to try to reach a compromise. I would have pointed out that if agreement could not be reached on that basis, then Mark Ecke would have to be suspended pending a formal hearing, which could have other consequences in the longer term. At that discussion I would also have drawn everyone’s attention to Mark Ecke’s excellent coaching record to date.
Only if that approach failed would I have taken the route of suspending Mark Ecke pending a hearing.
How Moral Reasoning Impacted my Decision
Whilst it seems fairly clear that Mark Ecke had overstepped the mark in yelling at the referee, it would appear that he did it in the heat of the moment after his own son had been injured. In my view such an incident should have been resolved by an intermediary bringing the parties together and encouraging apologies to be made where needed. This man has a long and excellent coaching record, so whilst it might seem correct procedure to discipline him for what he did, I believe that common sense should prevail here. Yes, he did wrong, but no more than many of us would have done in the same situation if our child was hurt. Passions run high on the sports field. That should be taken into account where problems like this one arise.
Turmelle, Luther & Morelli, Joe. (May 12, 2012). Cheshire football coach Mark Ecke suspended. New Haven Register. Retrieved from Opposing Viewpoint Resource Center. University Library.