If the Shoe Fits, Drink from It?

This past weekend I watched some of the NCAA College Softball World Series.

These young women are amazing athletes, yet a viewer will still see a fair share of strikeouts.

Softball and strikeouts, of course, reminded me of this news story from last month:
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A South Tahoe High softball coach required any player who struck out in a May 1 game to drink soda out of a shoe, school officials have confirmed.

Eight varsity players who struck out against the Wooster Colts in that game at Todd Fields were required by coach Anneliese Neitling to drink soda pop out of a team member's softball cleat at a team slumber party that night...

James Tarwater, the superintendent of Lake Tahoe Unified School District, interpreted the action as a young coach's mistake.

"It was meant as a joke and obviously it went too far," said Tarwater, whose office received one parental complaint about the incident.

Tarwater said the incident will be addressed during Neitling's postseason coaching evaluation.

"People learn from mistakes," Tarwater said. "She does a good job pulling the team together, morale-wise and support-wise."

However, the parent who complained about the event said it was a safety issue.

"I was not happy about this. She should have thought about this and acted with better judgment," the parent said. "This is a safety issue. Each year there is a horrible story of someone killed because of hazing. I just didn't want this go any further and see someone get hurt."

Many states, including California and Nevada, have laws against hazing, which is an initiation or act that subjects someone to possible bodily danger, physical harm, personal degradation or disgrace in order to be accepted in their group or organization.

The parent was concerned that if the girls thought that being forced to drink out of a shoe was OK, that something worse might follow.

The parent's daughter who struck out and drank out of the shoe spoke to the Tribune about the experience.

"I thought she was joking about it at first," the team member said. "I was a little shocked. I thought it wasn't a very smart thing to punish us with."

...The reporting parent said that coach Neitling has apologized to the team and parents, satisfying his concerns...

I had two observations on the forced footwear chug-a-lug:

  • If you have a job that involves being an authority figure over teens or children ( e.g. teacher, coach, police officer), the last place you should want to be is at a "slumber party" with the young people.

    Trying to instill discipline, or be viewed as a peer, at 1 am by playing drinking games (even if it is only with soda) will result in the adult losing his/her job 95% of the time.

  • If I made anyone drink liquids out of my wretchedly funky shoes, it would likely be considered assault with a deadly weapon.   

The image was used from here.


Lipstick said...

Oh my goodness....what an infuriating story!!! I can't even begin to tell you how loudly and fervently I would complain. My Mama Bear instincts would come out.

Excellent point you make about how a coach has no business being at a slumber party with teens. Totally agree. In all honesty, the shoe debaucle is perhaps a blessing in disguise....the coach may not have gotten fired for the slumber party attendance although worse questionable behavior may have followed.

ocmist said...

EEEEEwwwww ... YUuuuuuccckkkk! I think I would have had a problem, as a parent, with this one, too! Way to many chances of getting sick from "foot in mouth" or some such other nastiness (Punny, but NOT really!)

Co-ed slumber parties are just asking for trouble anyway!!!!

Jayne said...

How appallingly gross. Verruccas, fungal infections ...I don't even want to think of it. Someone's brain was on sabbatical.

Bob G. said...

Point well made...!

Gym shoes...funky doesn't even BEGIN to cover that one...LMAO!

Good post.

Matthew Rush said...

Gross. Also very inappropriate.

James (SeattleDad) said...

Bizarre. That must have been some nasty stuff. Yes, this coach needs a wake up call. Probably got it too.

Entre Nous said...

Makes one wonder what was 'going through' the head.

Something to be said for the necessary psy exams required for certain jobs...

My Husband's Watching TV... said...

EW!!! So gross! When I was in college, I coached JV girls soccer and they had a slumber party. First they went to dinner at a local restaurant so I joined them for dinner then quickly escaped before their party started. It's fun to be a part of a team but I would NOT want to be drinking out of someone's nasty shoes...sometimes I don't even want to put my feet inside my own nasty shoes much less my lips!

Renee said...

This woman should be fired for being unbearably stupid. Seriously? You're an adult. These are high school children. There is nothing about that I would consider a "mistake."

Someone with such poor judgment and lack of basic intellect should NOT be teaching children anything, including sports!

Herding Cats said...

Very, very unprofessional. It sounds like she was trying to be "cool" with her team. It just reinforces my belief that if you want to coach or teach, you need to pass a common sense and social skills test first.

Audrey Allure said...

That's just gross, even more so if it's someone else's USED shoe. If she wanted to punish them, she should've just made them run laps or something.

Kristen @ Motherese said...

I used to coach high school softball. I wish I had known about this unique motivational method back then. ;)

MONICA-LnP said...

wow,that is gross!My daughters coach is awesome and in no way would ever have a slumber party with the girls.that is crazy!her philosphy is "I am not here to be your friend!"

tacky said...

I've met some people at a bar and seen them drink from shoes. Mainly gross drunk guys, that skull beer from each others shoes...they call it "shoey's". one risks disease the other walks home squelching.