‘Shock and dismay’ letter elicits two responses

Youth basketball president responds
I would like to respond on behalf of the Rogers Area Youth Basketball Association (RAYBA) to last week’s letter, headlined “Shock and dismay in Fairmont.”

This behavior does not represent our program. RAYBA does not tolerate this behavior nor does it condone it at any level and RAYBA was not represented in this tournament. The team in question is comprised by a group of Rogers players but is not sanctioned within the MYAS travel program and is not recognized for this winter travel season by MYAS. The behavior that was exhibited was from a few parents from a team that are considered “renegade” as defined by policy in terms of the MYAS organization for their winter travel league. It is disheartening to hear of this type of behavior at any level or in any sport, and RAYBA does not endorse or condone this.

It is very often that coaches, players and fans in our program will applaud a player that is coming out of a game due to fouls. They will congratulate them for a well-played game and the coaches shake their hand as well. Please do not allow this team to have a reflection on the organization that RAYBA runs in support of sportsmanship, fundamentals and team collaboration.  — Mike Noto, Rogers (Editor’s note: Noto is the president of the Rogers Area Youth Basketball Association.)

Cheers directed at ref, not the player
As parents of the eighth-grade team who played in Fairmont, we are responding to the opinion in the Feb. 25 paper. First, this incident should not reflect on any of the eighth-grade Rogers girls, coaches, or teams. We parents value good sportsmanship and impart that value to the children of our community.

Second, the Fairmont player is very strong and talented, one we have played against before and whom we respect and enjoy watching.

Third, we disagree with the statement “a dozen parents … clapped and cheered when this 14-year-old had to walk off the court.” There weren’t even a dozen fans there, nor were those there all clapping.

Most important, the clapping of the few was not directed at the player, it was directed to the fair and responsible calls of the referees.

As stated, this was a very physical and highly contested game. What wasn’t stated was there were numerous fouls, some resulting from dangerous play.

Specifically two fouls called on this player were offensive charges — each left a Rogers player needing help off the court — with one having the wind knocked out, the second resulting in an injured tailbone.

These things happen, it is a contact sport, but it’s the responsibility of the referees that play isn’t dangerous. The Fairmont player fouled out of the game with over nine minutes remaining, a sign that indeed it was a very physical game.

Again, the cheering was directed at the referees, not at the player who ended up on the bench. If that was misinterpreted, we’re sorry. However we aren’t sorry for the referees doing their job and making sure the game played was safe and followed the rules. Our team, coaches and parents pride themselves on good sportsmanship.

Again, if our cheering was misinterpreted, we apologize. Respectfully, The Jordans, Leibels, Liveringhouses, Martins, Ogdens, Schmidts, Thiebaults, Wiekers. — Beth Thiebault, Rogers