OP/ED: A Response To An ‘Effort’Less Insult

When I was first informed of the letter to the editor in regards to the article “A House Divided: Losing Season Causes Frustration Off The Hardwood,” I was initially shocked. There was no doubt in my mind that the article would surprise readers, but I never believed that someone would object to the article so much that they would feel the need to criticize the work the seniors put in to the 2011-2012 season.

Nor did the idea cross my mind that another member of the Athletics Department would be the one to submit the letter.

Now let me clarify before anyone gets the wrong idea. I’m not sitting behind my computer typing this OP/ED to “beat a dead horse.” This is not a continuation of the article. I repeat, I will not be speaking about any of the instances that were mentioned in that article. Nor am I saying that submitting letters to the editor should not take place. Please, by all means, if any of our readers have concerns that they would like to voice, send as many letters as you’d like.

This OP/ED actually has to do with two points that were made in “The Mirror Has Two Faces” letter sent to our staff by Head Baseball Coach Bob Greiner.

During the 2010-11 season, my junior season and second season with Head Coach Kellianne Dunlay, the women’s basketball team found itself shorthanded when it came to the coaching staff. We originally had both a head coach and an assistant coach, but found ourselves without the assistant coach since she couldn’t commit to both her full-time job and work at Mercy. In order to assure that Coach Dunlay wasn’t instructing us on her own, several members of the Athletic Department, including Bob Greiner, stepped in, aiding when he could.

Having coached baseball, Greiner’s approach to coaching was a little different from Coach Dunlay’s approach, and we as a team embraced it, understanding that coaching men and women is very different, especially in the way a coach speaks to his or her players. We took his criticism and advice and ran with it. Personally, I enjoyed Coach Greiner’s way of coaching. He does not sugarcoat, and we quickly got to the point. Not many coaches do that, and I admired him for it.

The following season, Coach Dunlay was able to find both an assistant coach and a graduate assistant, thus relieving the coaches who joined our staff the previous year of their duties. Coach Greiner was no longer a contributing factor to the women’s basketball program, a notion that saddened many players, not just myself. He did, however, offer words of wisdom to several players and me before games.

When I was reading his letter, I was prepared to hear about what naysayers have already said,  that the article was one-sided and that The Impact had bashed the coach. I wasn’t prepared to read statements targeted at my fellow seniors and me.

Yes, names were attributed to the quotes and statements by seniors, who seemed to put more effort into the story than they did on the court.”

I was appalled.

Not only had a fellow reporter’s credibility been questioned in this letter, but my ability to play a sport on a team that I spent four years was placed under the microscope as well. Those words immediately caused time to stop. I blocked out everything else that was going on while my eyes focused on the words “than they did on the court.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. However, I wholeheartedly believe this opinion is false.

Last time I checked, the only person who put effort into the story was Sports Editor Chayim Tauber, the only person who wrote the article.

My name was mentioned once and it wasn’t beneath the title of the article; it was in reference to the fact that I had played a position on the team in which I was completely undersized.

Now, when it comes down to effort on the court, I have some numbers to reveal to everyone. Let’s start with the most obvious. Looking at this past season’s roster, I was marked at 5’9”, which is a lie. I am no taller than 5’6” and played the position that many females in our conference play at 5’11” and taller. With those numbers alone, anyone would be crazy to believe that I was able to play against girls significantly taller than I without putting any effort into it.

According to the ECC statistics, I was ranked first in points per game with 17.7 and tied for third in rebounds per game with 8.4, including being ranked second in offensive rebounds with 4.2 a game. I was also ranked sixth in field goal percentage with 47.9 percent and tied for seventh in blocks with 0.8 per game.

Therefore, I’m absolutely sure that someone my stature would have to play with more than enough effort to create those kinds of statistics.

As one of my fellow seniors, Simone Williams, our team’s point guard, also showed an immense amount of effort every time she stepped on the court. At 5’5”, Simone can also be found in several places on the ECC website in regards to her statistics. For points, she was ranked 17th with 9.3 per game. When it came to rebounds, she was ranked 15th with 5.3 per game and was 7th in steals per game with 2.2. But the statistic that stuck out the most was the fact that she led the league in assists per game with 5.8, a whole 1.4 assists per game higher than the next player on the list.

So to question the effort placed on the court by the seniors (unfortunately Crasheena Ward, the third senior, wasn’t given ample playing time this season so her contributions may have gone unnoticed) is preposterous. She was dedicated every day at practice and is a great teammate.

Greiner ended his letter stating “It saddens me more that three young women, whom I grew to care about, would take that kind of shot at their coach.”

It saddens me that he would take that kind of a shot at us.

In response to the letter, Simone also voiced her displeasure.

“People shouldn’t assume what they don’t know, especially if they don’t know the full story. I did what I came here to do, and left a mark in this conference for this team. I would never sell out any of my teammates,” she began. “Also, if anyone had problems with me, they could have openly approached me.”

She added, “I am very disappointed with some of the actions of those in Mercy athletics.”

Question our talent. Question our skills. But do not question our effort.