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LetterToTheEditor — FMS coach under fire

Dear Editor:

After I read Paul Fain’s letter to the editor about his reaction to the state of the Farragut Middle schools girl’s basketball team, I find myself in no other position, but to respond. Mr. Fain failed to inform readers that he is coach Reno’s hand-picked assistant coach and a close personal friend.

Mr. Fain also has stepped in and coached for Reno even though he is not an employee of the school system or a teacher, both requirements for coaching basketball in public schools.

Middle school basketball should be developmental. Yes, we are all competitive but at this level, developing players and young woman should be the main goal. Coaches should be people that teach the game, encourage the players for the love of the game and show them how to play as a team. At this level, team play should be one of the most important elements taught.

Reno does not have a team, she has five girls who play 99 percent of the time, and the rest of the girls mostly watch. At this level, all the girls should be integrated into the daily practices and games, the talent should be evaluated constantly and all the girls should be treated fairly and equally. This fundamental philosophical difference is the crux of the problem.

Good coaches do not use intimidation, deceit and threats to control team problems. Parents have expressed their concerns about her lack of leadership for many years only to have their concerns ignored.

Reno has even told players if their parents make waves they will not play. Her tactics have included, yelling, cursing, disrespect and benching. No young middle school girl should be brought to tears buy a coach.

Reno would be the first to tell you she never played basketball. That is obvious in her handling of the girls. This past fall a very well-known ex-UT and professional basketball player was asked to work with some of the girls on the team. He worked on their shooting and in a very short time, the girls showed improvement. His suggestions were fundamental and he told the girls to keep practicing what he taught them.

At one of her first practices, the girls were told by Reno that they needed to shoot the way she taught them and forget what they had learned. That speaks volumes about her lack of basketball knowledge. This so-called “Dean” of Knox County coaches has many championship banners and yes, she will be the first to tell you how many wins she has, but those victories were won by teams with some exceptional girls that not only went on to play for Farragut High, but some in college. Very good coaches in any sport will tell you: “players win games, not coaches.”

I hope for the sake of the girls coming up and the returning players, the Farragut Middle school administration see the real issues at hand and make a change. I know some of the girls who once loved the game now feel so frustrated and hurt they may never play again.


Mike Scourby


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