my take on the Harvey Cohen situation

July 11, 2007 on 2:11 pm | In analysis | Comments Off on my take on the Harvey Cohen situation

crazy that the hockey news keeps on coming. I’ve got schedules out for most of the NJIHL, as you may have noticed, and the NBIAL. A reminder that these are very, very preliminary and subject to change. I’ll keep checking various sites and various sources for updates. As always, please send schedule and coaching updates to jty [at] … Slight realignment in the CVC, with Lawrence moving up to the Valley and Ewing dropping the Patriot. I believe that this is based on record in the last two years, which is why Ewing is dropping and not Hightstown. I could be mistaken about that. … If you’re bored, check out Delbarton‘s schedule. In addition to its by-now annual trip to Rhode Island, the Green Wave is heading to Minnesota for four days in January to face three mid-level Minnesota private schools. Ought to be interesting. Also, for the second straight year, Delbarton will face Lawrenceville in February, this time returning the prep power’s trip to Aspen from last year. Check out this stat: Lawrenceville has not beaten Delbarton since 2000.

There will be / have been a number of coaching changes around the state, including at some high profile schools. The most well known of these, of course, could come at Chatham High School, if this story on Harvey Cohen‘s situation holds up. I’m going to weigh in on this briefly. I haven’t talked to Harvey or to the Chatham school board about this, so take it with a grain of salt:

Harvey and I disagree about a lot of things in high school sports. Always have, always will. But we e-mail during the season and share opinions on rankings, seedings, scheduling, Morris County teams, private-public games and the like. We see eye-to-eye on some stuff but often have to agree to disagree. He was upset with me in 2006 when I criticized Chatham’s state tournament seeding and noted publicly that Cohen was on the seeding committee.
But although Harvey and I often disagree, I don’t think he got a fair deal on this one. Whatever you want to say about Harvey Cohen, he’s a dedicated coach who loves his players. Absolutely loves them, stands by them, tries to teach them, and looks out for them at all times. I have to like and respect a coach like that, and I like and respect Harvey.
We could argue all day about whether coaches should be athletic directors, both in general and in this specific instance, but that’s not really the point. Neither is the supposed point of contention concerning a $95/game fee for alternate site administrators necessitated by Cohen’s coaching duties.
To me, the most obvious thing is that the situation could have been handled more professionally by the School District of the Chathams Board of Education (hope I got that official name right). Harvey Cohen has been coaching Chatham hockey since 1973, and I, for one, will miss hearing his high-pitched cries of “Deep!” and “Body!” from the “Little Cougar” bench if the decision stands. As I understand it, there are a number of people in Chatham who feel the same way.

EDIT July 16: I’ve heard from several sources that after further consideration, Cohen will continue to be grandfathered on this rule and be eligible to remain coach and athletic director for several years.

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