MIKE NIETO: Not all games are played on the field or court

2013-06-21T19:30:00Z 2013-06-21T20:29:17Z MIKE NIETO: Not all games are played on the field or courtMike Nieto Prep Beat nwitimes.com
June 21, 2013 7:30 pm  • 

So, where does "unified" fit in the name of the Crete-Monee School District 201-Unified?

It seems the district, or at least its school board, is divided on a lot of things. One in particular is who will be Crete-Monee High School's athletic director.

The board reassigned Gene Cahan in March in a controversial 3-2 vote, with two abstentions.

Just when it appeared that Greg Schneider would be named the athletic director, something went awry. Monday night's board agenda called for a vote on Schneider being selected athletic director.

Instead of a rubber stamp of approval, the move was stamped out. Board president Nakia Hall said in a story in Thursday's Times that the process to find an athletic director will start over.

Why? Why would the top candidate following a search be put up for a board vote if there were reasons not to complete the process? Shouldn't the board have taken care of these things before going public with its agenda? At least that is how such approvals are typically handled. Apparently, that's not the case in D. 201.

Schneider would have been a good man for the job. He helped coach football and was a head coach in the early 2000s. He knows the coaches and, like Cahan, he knows to let his coaches coach.

Now as July approaches and Cahan moves back to the classroom, who makes the decisions on athletics? Cahan probably took care of everything as far as schedules and getting officials for fall events, but you have to look beyond fall. What about the winter and spring schedules? Who is going to schedule buses and officials? This has to be done promptly. The last three months appear to have been wasted.

The board's first bad move was getting rid of Cahan, then having the chance to bring him back and not doing so. It's latest was, after completing a search and identifying the right person for the job, deciding to start over again.

I feel bad not only for the coaches and administration but for the parents and student-athletes. They have a right to know who is in charge. Who is going to check the eligibility lists and make sure everything is running smoothly? It is too late to start over. I don't know who would want the job now, but that person will be starting at a disadvantage. First of all, he or she will not be very popular, through no fault of his or her own. If the community feels the new athletic director was pushed on them, be prepared for a backlash. With that said, the Crete-Monee sports community will do its best to make the person feel welcome, but it is a two-way street.

This is too good of an athletic program, as proven by its defending Class 6A state football champion, to be "starting over."




This column is solely the writer's opinion. Reach him at mike.nieto@nwi.com.

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