Tuesday, Aug 21st

Last updateMon, 20 Aug 2018 1pm

You are here: Home Content Parenting Abrupt Coach Departures Raise Concerns About Scarsdale Athletic Department
first
  
last
 
 
start
stop
Julius Reich Sentenced to 20 Years for Stabbing Death of Robin Goldman

Julius Reich Sentenced to 20 Years for Stabbing Death of Robin Goldman

( From the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office ) Westcheste...

Advice on Standardized Testing from a Recent Scarsdale Grad

Advice on Standardized Testing from a Recent Scarsdale Grad

As the new school year approaches, many students are beginning to c...

LimeBikes Show Up On Scarsdale Streets

LimeBikes Show Up On Scarsdale Streets

Have you seen any green and yellow bikes on sidewalks or lawns arou...

Shake Shack to Open on Central Avenue Plus More Retail News

Shake Shack to Open on Central Avenue Plus More Retail News

Though many people are out of town, we took a trip around town to s...

A Mid East Feast For All The Senses At Fez Turkish Meze

A Mid East Feast For All The Senses At Fez Turkish Meze

Do the words grape leaves, pomegranate molasses, sumac, pine nuts, ...

first
  
last
 
 
start
stop

Abrupt Coach Departures Raise Concerns About Scarsdale Athletic Department

Murphy2The departure of Scarsdale's Boys Varsity Basketball coach Bill Murphy has caused a ripple effect throughout the School community. In addition to Murphy, Head Lacrosse and Assistant Field Hockey Coach Genette Zhongetti has been let go from her position, just a month before preseason of Lacrosse, and head Field Hockey Coach Sharon Rosenthal just resigned as of today. The recent coaching turmoil leaves Scarsdale needing to fill 3 head coach positions, and begs the question: what's going on in the athletic department?

In an email sent to players and parents on Wednesday, January 31st before the basketball team's game at New Rochelle, Scarsdale Athletic Director Ray Pappalardi said that Murphy would not be attending the game. The Raiders lost 51-49, dropping to a record of 10-7 for the season. Following a meeting with Pappalardi on February 2nd, Coach Murphy, who was just four regular season games from the end of his third year with the program, was abruptly let go from his position. Last season, Coach Murphy was named Section 1 Coach of the Year, and led the team to a stunning overtime loss against Mount Vernon in the Section finals.

Pappalardi met with the team on Friday, unable to disclose most information. The following Murphy3days gave way to a host of questions and overall confusion, even from within the team. Saturday practice was cancelled. The Athletic Department returned the next day with news that Assistant Coach Justin Washington would fill the position of interim head coach. There are conflicting reports on almost every detail of this story: Murphy was either fired or forced to resign, although it is unclear if he ever signed any formal paperwork. The incident allegedly began as a result of complaints from one or two parents about Murphy's conduct on the team's two annual trips to Miami. According to comments by Murphy, he is under the impression that a parent, whose senior child was suspended for inappropriate actions toward an assistant coach in a game earlier this season, wanted him out of the coaching position. The parent cited both trips, when Murphy had been drinking in front of the players and apparently drove them in a van (this information is unclear as well), as concerns about his professionalism and lack of regard for player safety.

On Saturday afternoon, Murphy reached out to the community via email. He emphasized the importance of transparency in the situation and arranged a forum at Willow Ridge Country Club on Monday, February 5th at 7:30 to bring closure and to clarify any unanswered questions. During the forum, the aforementioned parent arrived with a lawyer in order to prevent any defamation of character. Murphy was given the opportunity to tell his side of the story and address larger concerns he had about the nature of the conflict. He recognized parental power and influence over the administration as a central problem, admitted to drinking one social beer while on the trip, and emphasized that he was not drunk at any instance. According to a story in the Scarsdale Inquirer, Murphy said, "I had a beer on this trip, yeah ... It's what you do as a coach. Not everybody, but you're in Miami, you have a game, you play hard; yeah, you have a beer."

A number of players and parents spoke at the forum, expressing their support for Coach Murphy and their discontent with the manner in which the process was handled. A parent-organized committee has been formed to exonerate Murphy's name and address the growing issue of how the school handles parent involvement in athletics decisions.

The Scarsdale Board of Education also met on Monday night. Assistant Superintendent Andrew Patrick addressed the matter, saying, "We have a recommendation from the administration to terminate boys' varsity basketball coach Mr. Billy Murphy. The board met with the administration to discuss this matter. Clearly severing a coach-athlete relationship in the middle of a season is a very serious step to take. We do not make this recommendation lightly. We do not think this step should be used to draw any broader conclusions about our coaching staff or program as a whole. Rather this decision is about the conduct of one individual and the safety and well being of all of our student athletes."

Even without Murphy the team still had a game to play against White Plains on Tuesday night (2/6). Before the game, Athletic Director Ray Pappalardi and Principal Ken Bonamo met with players and parents, and "several concerns were raised," according to an email sent by Pappalardi to the parents of the JV and Freshman Boy's teams. The administration addressed a number of issues in the email, including the safety of student athletes on the court, the lack of communication from the district (which has allowed others to fill the void), the turnover of coaches creating an unattractive environment for good coaches and ineffective methods for communicating in emergency situations. The administration also consulted with the team whose members expressed the desire for a head coach who "knows them well and who would not deviate from the current system," as they are just a week away from playoffs. This is how the decision was made to choose assistant Coach Justin Washington as the head coach. Pappalardi ended the email by noting, "although I regret the disruption caused for our student athletes and their families, I know we have acted in the best interests of our students."

Tuesday's game against White Plains celebrated the seniors in their annual Senior Game, Washingtonan interesting close to a dramatic weekend for the Boys Varsity team. The team started off slow, down 20-29 against a team that they had beaten earlier this season. However, they picked it up in the second half and ended up defeating White Plains 65-60, giving Washington his first win as head coach.

Hearing the roar of the packed student section midway through the second half, it would be difficult for an outsider to recognize that anything had gone wrong at all. Still, the unrest sparked by Murphy's removal is far from being quelled. This incident opened up a chasm of deeper issues within the athletic department, including the role of parents in the decision making process for Varsity teams. The Boys team continues its season Thursday February 8 at Mount Vernon and Saturday February 10 at home for the Maroon and White tournament.

SeniorGame2-6

BLOG COMMENTS POWERED BY DISQUS

Good Work

SETTING

SHS Senior Sends Books to South Africa

SHS Senior Sends Books to South Africa

Soon to be senior at Scarsdale High School Zach Hoexter has undertaken an ambitious project to bring books to children in South Africa. L...

Read More

Around Town

SETTING

Shake Shack to Open on Central Avenue Plus More Retail News

Shake Shack to Open on Central Avenue Plus More Retail News

Though many people are out of town, we took a trip around town to see what August had to hold.

First, we noticed that a large Shake Shack ...

Read More

Neighborhood News

SETTING

LimeBikes Show Up On Scarsdale Streets

LimeBikes Show Up On Scarsdale Streets

Have you seen any green and yellow bikes on sidewalks or lawns around town? It turns out that LimeBike is testing their dockless bikes in...

Read More

On Our Minds

SETTING

Scarsdale Village Needs a Long-Term Financial Plan

Scarsdale Village Needs a Long-Term Financial Plan

This article was sent to Scarsdale10583 by Mayra Kirkendall-Rodriguez
In the last few weeks, there has been a flurry of positive employmen...

Read More

On Our Radar

SETTING

Scarsdale Swimmers Take Medals at the Conference Championships

Scarsdale Swimmers Take Medals at the Conference Championships

Brendan Lee, Justin DiSanto, Michael Disanto (all Scarsdale) and Jason Amato (Eastchester) swam in the 17Y Conference Relay Scarsdale swim...

Read More

Parenting

SETTING

Off to College: Advice for Parents of College Freshman

Off to College: Advice for Parents of College Freshman

With move-in day just weeks away, many parents will soon be taking their college freshman to college and then leaving them there on their...

Read More

Village Voices

SETTING

New Restaurants Opening and Infrastructure Improvements in Process: News from the Village Board

New Restaurants Opening and Infrastructure Improvements in Process: News from the Village Board

Despite the dog days of summer, Scarsdale continues to move ahead, as reported at this week’s board of trustees meeting.

In his remarks, S...

Read More

Shout it Out

SETTING

Procedure Committee Calls for Comments on Proposed Changes to the Non-Partisan Resolution

Procedure Committee Calls for Comments on Proposed Changes to the Non-Partisan Resolution

This letter was sent to Scarsdale10583 by Madelaine Eppenstein and Eric Cheng from the Procedure Committee :

To the Editor:

The Procedure Co...

Read More

School News

SETTING

Advice on Standardized Testing from a Recent Scarsdale Grad

Advice on Standardized Testing from a Recent Scarsdale Grad

As the new school year approaches, many students are beginning to contemplate a dreaded part of high school: standardized testing. In thi...

Read More

Schools

SETTING

Butler Field To Close Due to Safety Concerns

Butler Field To Close Due to Safety Concerns

It seems that the debate about the replacement of Butler Field went on too long. Though the Scarsdale Board of Education approved a plan ...

Read More

The Goods

SETTING

Back to School Guide Fall 2018: Programs, Activities, Classes and More

Back to School Guide Fall 2018: Programs, Activities, Classes and More

Each summer seems to fly by more quickly – and this one is already drawing to a close. Now that summer camp is over, it’s time to conside...

Read More

Real Estate

SETTING

A Busy Week for Realtors

A Busy Week for Realtors

Another very busy week for realtors with many sales in both Scarsdale and Edgemont. See what sold below:

Sales:
50 Harvest Drive
Light-fille...

Read More

Today's News

SETTING

Electrical Fire Breaks Out in Murray Hill Road Kitchen

Electrical Fire Breaks Out in Murray Hill Road Kitchen

An electrical fire broke out in the kitchen of a Murray Hill Road house. Firefighters were called to the scene by an automatic fire alarm...

Read More

Arts and Entertainment

SETTING

A Mid East Feast For All The Senses At Fez Turkish Meze

A Mid East Feast For All The Senses At Fez Turkish Meze

Do the words grape leaves, pomegranate molasses, sumac, pine nuts, kibbeh, tabbouleh and baklava make your taste buds sing? If they do, p...

Read More

People

SETTING

Julius Reich Sentenced to 20 Years for Stabbing Death of Robin Goldman

Julius Reich Sentenced to 20 Years for Stabbing Death of Robin Goldman

( From the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office ) Westchester County District Attorney Anthony A. Scarpino, Jr. announced on 8-15-...

Read More

first
  
last
 
 
start
stop

Programs for Scarsdale Kids