Lady Jacket parents attended last Thursday’s school board meeting to express their concerns about Lady Jacket head coach Jonathan Shedd. Those in attendance were upset with some inappropriate comments Shedd had allegedly made to their daughters. In addition to alleged inappropriate comments, parents were upset over a game suspension leveled against one of the players. They felt the suspension was due to the parent’s verbal altercation with Shedd.
The concerns stemmed from a group of meetings between parents and Shedd on January 2. The meetings were held at GCHS with the high school administrative staff and a central office supervisor in attendance. All parties agreed to have the meetings audio taped. However, at the board meeting it was discovered for some unknown reason the tape recorder didn’t keep the recordings.
This seemed to add to the frustrations of those in attendance, including several board members. Most of the frustrations were directed toward the lack of action by Grundy County Schools Director Jessie Kinsey concerning these issues. At least two of the players’ parents indicated Shedd had admitted to making the comments in question. The school board proceeded to vote for Kinsey to resolve these issues within seven days.
These issues need to be resolved for the good of the program. Regardless of the outcome, the relationship between Shedd and his team has been damaged significantly. Most issues are usually between players and their coach, but when trust is lost, it affects the program in a very negative way.
Coaches should always be very careful when establishing their philosophy and the expectations they require within their program. Without clear communication lines from the beginning, the consistency with which a coach administers their expectations should be the same from the star players to the first year players that just want to be part of the team. A coach’s job is stressful enough without issues.
Hopefully, when these issues are resolved it will benefit all of the parties involved in the program. The student athletes most especially need to benefit from the resolution of this matter, so they can pursue their dreams of being a part of the Lady Jacket basketball program and help return it to the proud and prestigious program it was for more than 40 years.
When asked to comment on the situation, Kinsey stated that the matter was before the school board’s lawyer and she had no comment.