I am writing this note in support of Kelly Greenberg. While I have not kept in close contact with her over the past 35 years, I have watched her development as both a person and a coach from a distance. She is an outstanding human being and a morally sound individual. She works hard each year to develop her team into a closely knit group to bring out the best in each student-athlete and to bring about the best overall team.
I coached Kelly in high school before becoming a collegiate coach for eighteen years. Presently I am a high school coach in Maryland and have now coached for overt thirty years.
Student-athletes have changed just as the game has changed over the years. While I am not privy to the day in and day out of what has transpired within Coach Greenberg’s team training sessions, I do know that statements can be taken out of context and misunderstandings can occur over the spoken word and how it is interpreted.
My current position is as a professional counselor and mental health therapist. When a student-athlete enters into a contract agreement/scholarship offer, with pre-existing mental health issues, I can see how the situation could become volatile if a coach pushes the wrong buttons when trying to motivate the individual person. In my opinion, when a person is not stable, they should not be competing in Division I athletics period.
I believe that the recruitment process is the backbone in having a successful collegiate program. The odds are that over the years there will be some players that come into your program that are not the best fits. I am guessing that Coach Greenberg feels as bad as the players do under these circumstances and I know she would be the last person on this earth to want to harm another, especially a young woman that she invested her entire being into getting to know and understand. Coach Greenberg is a coach of life, not just basketball. When times are tough within her program, she has strong character and treats her players like family. Everyone needs to be accountable and give of self for the betterment of the team. For some, that may be a hard lesson to learn as they have not be asked or pushed beyond their previous limits.
While this is an unfortunate situation for all involved parties, I believe it is fertile ground for tremendous learning and growth. Coach Greenberg has remained true to her commitment to the development of her team as people and as student-athletes. I hope those injured seek professional help and find the empathy and nurturing support they need to become whole again.
Ellen Fitzkee, LCPC