Letter to the Editor: Wright choice

Integrity, sportsmanship and respect – one must have respect for self in order to obtain the respect of others. There was a lack of respect by the players of former men’s basketball head coach Tom Penders that led to his demise with the GW program. Without respect, there was no motivation for the team to succeed, as evidenced by the team’s inability to excel in the athletic arena.

The program is in need of a coach who is energetic and has earned the respect of the team. He should be able to set firm boundaries within his program to facilitate the transition of these men from athletes to productive members of society. He should emphasize promoting a positive image of the athletes and the University. It will require sacrifices by the coach to demonstrate his desire to uphold the integrity of GW as well as lay a foundation of hope within the athletes and community.

Associate coach Rob Wright was limited in making modifications in the GW men’s basketball program. He was restricted to following the directives of Penders. In the position of assistant, your job is to support your immediate supervisor. But this does not necessarily mean that you agree with his decisions. It is apparent that Penders did not utilize Wright as an associate or even as an assistant. If Penders would have utilized him in the true definition of associate, then maybe the men’s team would have won more games.

GW should hire someone who is aware of the deficits within the men’s program. Wright should be given the opportunity to lead the men’s basketball program back in the right direction. He is in the optimum position to implement change because the team knows and respects him. The endorsement by SirValiant Brown shows Wright’s ability to influence the team. He is obviously capable of coaching a winning team given his previous record before his tenure with Penders.

Take a look at the team statistics during the times Penders was ejected from games. When Wright took over, the deficit of losing points was decreased tremendously as well as referees’ attitude toward the team. It makes you think what would have happened if he coached the entire game.

Best wishes to Penders and his family for his future endeavors. However, it’s time for an energetic start for GW’s men’s basketball program. Hopefully, Wright will play an integral part of that future as the next head basketball coach. I trust that the University will make the right decision and appoint Rob Wright as the new head basketball coach of the GW program.

-Sonya Smith

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