DEAR ABBY: This is in response to "Tempted," the soccer coach who has problems with girls on his team being too "flirty" or "suggestive." Being a soccer player myself,
I have seen this situation before, as many coaches at my school today are young men.
A few years back, one of the coaches at my school became sexually involved with one of his players. When the news leaked to the community, he not only lost his job but was also charged with statutory rape. He was forced to file as a sex offender and even had to spend time in jail.
The soccer community is not very large, and this news traveled fast. This man's credibility as a coach and as a person was ruined.
If it's too hard for "Tempted" to be in this situation, then I agree with your suggestion, Abby. He needs to get a new job. –- SOCCER PLAYER IN EL DORADO HILLS, CALIF.
DEAR SOCCER PLAYER: I don't know how "small" the soccer community is, but I think I may have heard from the coach in your letter. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: Take it from me, Abby -- "Tempted" does not want to cross the line that separates a coach from a player. At one time I had my dream job as a coach. However, I am also young, and I made the foolish mistake of crossing that line. To make a long story short, I had to resign my position and struggle through a very hard time. I can't begin to tell you the pain, suffering and humiliation I experienced.
What I wouldn't give to turn back the clock and handle that situation differently. Take it from me: Getting involved with a player could ruin the rest of your career. -- ANONYMOUS IN THE NORTHWEST
DEAR ANONYMOUS: True. And that's not even taking into consideration the psychological impact on the teen-age student's life.
Crushes on teachers are very common, and although a high school girl might look like a woman -- she isn't. Therefore, flirt as she may, it is the responsibility of the adult to behave like one and make sure that a firm line is drawn. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: I must reply to the letter from the 26-year-old former soccer player, now a high school girls' coach. I have seen much difficulty as a result of men coaching girls' teams. I have seen many coaches fired, reputations ruined, marriages broken up and jobs lost because of similar situations. Schools are now beginning to hire female coaches, which is an excellent idea.
From the tone of the young coach's letter, he's not up to the job. Tell him he should run, not walk, away from being a coach for girls' teams. -- FORMER TEACHER, BIRMINGHAM, ALA.
DEAR FORMER TEACHER: That's exactly what I told "Tempted." I advised him that if the temptation was too much for him, I'd recommend a cold shower -- and reassignment to a boys' soccer team.