Coach of 100-point win fired, says he's not sorry
DALLAS — The coach of a Dallas high school basketball team that beat another team 100-0 was fired Sunday, the same day he sent an e-mail to USA Today and other news media outlets saying he will not apologize "for a wide-margin victory when my girls played with honor and integrity."
Kyle Queal, the headmaster for Covenant School, said in The Dallas Morning News online edition that he could not answer if the firing was a direct result of coach Micah Grimes' e-mail disagreeing with administrators who called the blowout "shameful."
Queal did not immediately answer phone messages or e-mail from the Associated Press.
On its Web site last week, Covenant, a private Christian school, posted a statement regretting the outcome of its Jan. 13 shutout win over Dallas Academy.
"It is shameful and an embarrassment that this happened. This clearly does not reflect a Christlike and honorable approach to competition," said the statement, signed by Queal and board chair Todd Doshier.
Grimes, who has been criticized for letting the game get so far out of hand, made it clear in the e-mail Sunday to the newspaper that he does not agree with his school's assessment.
"In response to the statement posted on The Covenant School website, I do not agree with the apology or the notion that the Covenant School girls basketball team should feel embarrassed or ashamed," Grimes wrote in the e-mail to USA Today. "We played the game as it was meant to be played. My values and my beliefs would not allow me to run up the score on any opponent, and it will not allow me to apologize for a wide-margin victory when my girls played with honor and integrity."
A phone number for Grimes could not be located by the Associated Press. The Dallas Morning News said Grimes did not respond to their repeated e-mail requests for a telephone interview.
A parent who attended the game said Covenant continued to make three-pointers — even in the fourth quarter. She praised the Covenant players but said spectators and an assistant coach were cheering wildly as their team edged closer to 100 points.
Covenant was up 59-0 at halftime.
In his e-mail, Grimes described the situation his team faced:
"We started the game off with a full-court press. After 3 minutes into play, we had already reached a 25-0 lead. Like any rational thinking coach would do, I immediately stopped the full-court press, dropped into a 2-3 zone defense, and started subbing in my 3 bench players. This strategy continued for the rest of the game and allowed the Dallas Academy players to get the ball up the court for a chance to score. The second half started with a score of 59-0. Seeing that we would win by too wide of a margin, running down the clock was the only logical course of action left. Contrary to the articles, there were only a total of four 3 point baskets made; three is the first quarter, and only 1 in the 3rd quarter. I continued to sub in bench players, play zone defense, and run the clock for the rest of the game."
Dallas Academy has eight girls on its varsity team and about 20 girls in its high school. It is winless over the last four seasons. The academy boasts of its small class sizes and specializes in teaching students struggling with "learning differences," such as short attention spans or dyslexia.
There is no mercy rule in girls basketball that shortens the game or permits the clock to continue running when scores become one-sided. There is, however, "a golden rule" that should have applied in this contest, Edd Burleson, the director of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, said last week. Both schools are members of this association, which oversees private school athletics in Texas.