The Times West Virginian

Local News

November 19, 2009

Kniceley issues an apology

I want to issue a sincere apology to Fairmont State University, assistant football coach Gary Lanham, the FSU administration and the Board of Governors for an incident that occurred after the Oct. 31 game against Concord.

My actions as a parent concerned about his son’s playing time led to irresponsible conduct on my part.

It was a frustrating day, and it had been a frustrating season. As a father it bothered me that my son had only gotten in for three plays. I was frustrated for him.

Coach Lanham elected to start all the seniors. Josh and I fully understood the reason for the coach’s decision. In fact, the player that started in Josh’s position at right guard has been a starter for most of his career at several different positions on the offensive line. He’s a fine young man and has had a solid career.

Following the game, the team gathered near the center of the field for head coach Mike Lopez’s post-game remarks. As usual, parents, family and friends gathered around the perimeter of the huddle to wait for their dismissal.

While I was looking for Josh, I saw Coach Lanham standing away from the crowd of people near the visitor’s sideline.

Since Josh had been a starter for two years and had played far less than either of us expected, I wondered whether anything, other than preference for senior players on Senior Day, had caused the significant reduction in Josh’s playing time. Although I had never had reason to discuss playing time with a coach before this, it did not seem inappropriate.

Moreover, I had known Coach Lanham for several years and felt comfortable with asking him for an explanation. Things didn’t go quite as expected. When I engaged Coach Lanham, I did so as a father and my emotions got out of control, resulting in a shouting match that I take complete blame for.

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