Arguello: Hilbert went overboard on suspension

Mark87

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http://www.postcrescent.com/story/sports/high-school/2016/01/11/arguello-hilbert-went-overboard-gehl-suspension/78648474/
Young people doing inappropriate things is as old as civilization itself.

That’s why Hilbert’s decision to suspend its star girls’ basketball player April Gehl is so surprising. Gehl was suspended on Wednesday for five games after tweeting an off-the-cuff response to the WIAA’s request for member schools to discourage “unsportsmanlike behavior” in students’ chants during games.

Gehl’s tweet, which remains on her account, did use profanity. But let’s be clear: this was a case of a young student-athlete who was unaware of how far-reaching a tweet could be on social media. It easily could have been said while she was with a large group of friends, which is the way many student-athletes view Twitter.


Does it warrant a stern talking to from the Hilbert officials? Sure. Should Hilbert have requested Gehl take down the tweet and apologize? That’s seems fair.
And judging by the statewide, national and international attention, there are many folks around the world who agree.But a five-game suspension? That’s clearly going overboard, especially when other infractions such as underage drinking or fighting would possibly produce the same length of suspension. There seems to be an imbalance on transgressions. Perhaps athletic codes from high schools need to be a bit more clearly defined. Whatever the answer, five games, or 25 percent of the basketball season, is far too much.

It was the WIAA that informed Hilbert of Gehl’s tweet. That may or may not have led to the quick action by the Hilbert officials. But the WIAA sticking its nose in this kind of business is another column for another time.

At the very least, this story should trigger discussions about how adults approach discipline and how we inform student-athletes about the dangers of social media. A level-headed and honest approach is needed. Student-athletes, in my extensive experience in dealing with them the past 20 years or so, respond much better to blunt but fair handling than overbearing smothering.
In Gehl’s case, her punishment is so over the top that it borders on absurd. Believe me, her peers in the state and beyond will pick up on this perceived mishandling, and that could make the respect demanded by school officials a bit more difficult to keep intact
No longer legal at HS basketball games .. "air ball" "Fundamentals " and other terrible phrases that are considered cruel... what the hell is the WIAA doing ? They have spent the past 256 years sending WI Prep sports down the sewer. Attendance is down at all events. Kids don't want to play anymore and people don't want to watch but heck yes let's make it less fun ? FP(bh(

As for April while her language was a little rough the WIAA stuck their nose in something that no one gives a rip about and now WI gets national coverage of overreacting etc.

What a cluster.
 

Crease Creature

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They came down on my district while I was in school. I was in the stands maybe 2-3 times in all 4 years, and all for basketball. But as the Son of a UW band member, peanut vendor for the National W Club, and frequent Crease Creature I had a pretty good idea of what it was like.

But the WIAA can go suck it. I'll see you guys after my suspension.
 

Walleye67

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WIAA should have just left her be. They got butt hurt and now it's costing them. Per Mark's tweet they are defending themselves nothing changed. Than today it comes out they did send out a change to all the state HS ad's. egg(
 

Scoremore12

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This is our student section at our girls basketball game last night, 1/12/15. More parents were in the section to my left on the side I was on, but this it pitiful for a student section. How they look is pretty much how they were for the game. Thursday 1/14 is another girls game, a bigger game,,,,so will see how much change there is.

 

57packer

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Unless I read something wrong, the WIAA had nothing to do with the Hilbert players suspension. That was the school's decision. Was the WIAA wrong in making the chants an issue, sure, but as with all things media these days, this thing is getting a bit overblown.

Not saying the WIAA doesn't deserve some backlash, but from what I've read, they had nothing to do with the suspension, and were not out-right banning any chants but rather were asking that schools work to discourage them in the name of sportsmanship. There apparently was nothing in the original e-mail/letter that outlines any penalties or other sanctions if schools or their fans did not comply. That is why this was dumb. What good does something like this do unless there is some clear cut consequence. It was stupid timing on their part. They have an annual meeting. If you want to make this an issue, discuss with the membership at that time rather than sending this out over the holidays without any clear-cut guidance, leaving people to guess at what this really means.
 

Mark87

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Unless I read something wrong, the WIAA had nothing to do with the Hilbert players suspension. That was the school's decision. Was the WIAA wrong in making the chants an issue, sure, but as with all things media these days, this thing is getting a bit overblown.

Not saying the WIAA doesn't deserve some backlash, but from what I've read, they had nothing to do with the suspension, and were not out-right banning any chants but rather were asking that schools work to discourage them in the name of sportsmanship. There apparently was nothing in the original e-mail/letter that outlines any penalties or other sanctions if schools or their fans did not comply. That is why this was dumb. What good does something like this do unless there is some clear cut consequence. It was stupid timing on their part. They have an annual meeting. If you want to make this an issue, discuss with the membership at that time rather than sending this out over the holidays without any clear-cut guidance, leaving people to guess at what this really means.
Incorrect they contacted the Hilbert Principal and AD and told them and I quote "you need to get this handled" further their claim they didn't insist schools cut down on cheers is podo(... One of my best friends and my HS QB is an AD at a WI HS. They sent out a letter December 8th 2015 to all AD saying get the crowds under control or else.

WIAA is lying to cover things up.
 

57packer

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I'll take your word for it Mark, I'm just going by what I've read in the newspapers.
 
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