Nancy Lyons

I have worked in intercollegiate athletics for thirty years, the last twenty mostly involving student-athlete support centered responsibilities. I have worked with hundreds of coaches in all sports, and thousands of student athletes. I cannot imagine being a teacher or coach in today’s environment. I wonder what future there is for students and athletes when people who dedicate their lives to help young people achieve their goals and become better citizens are expected to meet the individual, sometimes unreasonable, needs of every person whose path they cross, and are criticized when they do not. I thought, perhaps naively, that being part of a team meant learning to work collectively, using individual abilities, to achieve a common goal. Division I intercollegiate athletics is a highly competitive environment. There is no entitlement here; those who perform best and meet expectations will thrive. But now it seems that the individual concerns, no matter what the circumstances behind the scenes, are more important than the greater good. Kelly Greenberg is an excellent teacher and coach with high ethical and behavioral standards, who cares deeply about her students. She works hard to provide each individual with an environment to excel, but rightfully expects that those individuals contribute in a positive way to the whole; to the team, and to the University (they are receiving $60,000 a year to represent Boston University.) Many rise to that occasion, persevere through adversity, and grow as a result both as athletes and people making positive contributions to the community and becoming responsible citizens. Others choose to externalize why they are unable to achieve positive results, and shift responsibility for their failures and discontent. Many students have issues that affect their performance in many ways; we understand that and try to help them through those issues… but we cannot disclose those issues lest we compromise their confidentiality. I think it fundamentally unfair for someone who has dedicated her life’s work to helping others achieve their dreams to be subjected to one-sided criticism in the media that destroys a reputation while that individual is unable to publicly defend her/himself in the same manner. Her solid character prevents Kelly Greenberg from responding with individual indictments of students or athletes. Shame, once more, on the media’s irresponsible, one-sided defamation of a career worthy of great respect and praise.