Confusion leads clarity at Berkeley coaching meeting

BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCIV) -- The sporting life in Berkeley County schools could soon be overhauled. At issue are parent-coach volunteers, a widely used resource throughout the district.

There was a lot of confusion among school board members at Tuesday night's school board meeting as to what the policy would actually do.

In the end, they did give approval to moving forward with the policy that some say will do more harm than good for student athletes.

Parent Ashley Carman had seen and heard enough -- she left the meeting before the board members cast their votes.

"Every single one of them confused themselves. They looked like a circus," Carman said.

Carman was one of the many people who spoke against a proposal that would ban volunteer coaches from coaching their own children at the varsity and junior varsity levels.

Some board members say the policy would eliminate favoritism and get back to a more traditional way of staffing.

"We don't have intention of ever canceling any sport, but we doing have intention of sticking with the tradition-based high school sports coaching staff," said Kent Murray.

But as the night wore on so did the frustrations.

"I'm asking you in front of these adults and children to allow us to continue this meeting," said one person.

Confusion was evident among the members of the board. One member even said, "I'm a bit confused and a bit concerned."

By the end of the night there was only one board member asking what needed to be fixed if no one could point to a problem with the current system.

"So it's worked a hundred years where we have had parent volunteers and nothing's gone wrong," said Phillip Obie, a statement met by a round of applause.

As for Carman, even though she left early she says she plans to be at the next meeting and hopes for a different outcome.

Tuesday night's meeting was just the first reading. Any proposed changes still have to go before the school board's policy review committee before moving on to the full board.

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