The Secret’s Out
Friday I asked a commenter to show me anywhere that I have said Coach Miller should be reinstated or should have had her contract renewed. She won’t find a single instance and hasn’t bothered to respond.
I want tUMD’s teams to win every game. I want what’s best for the team. In women’s hockey, I want to return to beating the Gophers and Wisconsin like rented mules.
If, after the season, tUMD had chosen to part ways with Coach Miller and had gone out and found a new coach with experience, recruiting connections, and a fresh take on the program, I would have supported it.
That’s not what happened. I cannot support the way UMD has handled this situation. The ends do not justify the means. And we don’t know what the ends are. We don’t know who the next coach will be. We don’t know if any players will leave. I don’t want a single one of them to go. I don’t even want the seniors to leave, and they have to.
I can’t support “saving money” as a criterion for replacing a coach, or for hiring a new one.
I can’t support double standards in how men are perceived vs. how women are perceived. I don’t need to hear anyone clutching their pearls over how Coach Miller comports herself on the bench, while ignoring or even applauding men who behave similarly.
I can’t support “non-revenue sport” as a justification for inequity in pay between two Division One coaches of the same sport. Title IX doesn’t support that, either.
I can’t support the sexist, homophobic things people have said about Coach Miller and about the women’s hockey program over the years. She may be abrasive, she may be blunt, but that’s no reason to attack her looks, her sexuality, or her gender; that applies to the players, too. I can’t support the blatant lies about the quality of women’s hockey as a whole that are spouted by neanderthals everywhere and accepted as fact.
I can’t support criticisms of cronyism lobbied at the former Chancellor over her choice to pay Miller based on her success and her experience, when no one blinks an eye at the rampant cronyism in men’s sports.
I can’t support those who tell Coach Miller to shut up and go quietly. If there are Title IX violations at UMD, the very last thing she should do is shut up and go quietly.
I can’t support people who never gave a single line of print to women’s hockey charging in to find all manner of reasons to justify UMD’s decision, then receding into the background and ignoring the game again. I also can’t support people who never gave a single line of print to women’s hockey giving a single article questioning the school’s decision and then disappearing. Women’s hockey will never grow without continued media interest, covering the good and the bad, not just the ugly.
I can’t support people who think not only should Coach Miller have been gone years ago, but so should the program. (Folding the program without replacing it with another Division 1 sport would be a Title IX violation, idiots.)
I can’t support people who argue Coach Miller is paid too little compared to her peers without stopping to consider her peers are paid too little in comparison to her.
Somehow I get painted as an unequivocal Coach Miller supporter simply because I don’t like how this was handled and I don’t like the message being sent about women’s hockey. I don’t like the message being sent to student-athletes, interrupting their final exams week to face a media storm and uncertainty about their future. I don’t like the message being sent to past, present, and future women’s hockey players, coaches, and fans: you cost too much money, your sport is not worth it, this is a second-class sport. I don’t like when people act as though there’s a zero-sum game being played between men’s and women’s hockey, that men’s hockey suffers because of women’s hockey. I don’t like the double standard applied to Coach Miller vs. her male counterparts. I don’t like to read comment after comment on news stories about Coach Miller’s looks or appearance. She looks professional; nothing else matters. I don’t like that people cannot separate if this should have happened from how it happened; I don’t like that there are people who don’t care, who think this is what Coach Miller deserves and it doesn’t matter how it happened. I don’t like that there are people who can’t see that while it might be time to move on, there might also be Title IX violations or discriminatory actions happening concurrently. I don’t like that even reporting legitimate Title IX violations is career suicide for a coach.
I am okay with a coaching change, but there’s so much about how this coaching change is transpiring that troubles me, and that’s what I have chosen to discuss. It might be hard for some people to grasp this concept, but that’s of no concern to me.