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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Ex-coach says Tesch deserved better

I am writing to express some concerns about the BSU and Jeff Tesch situation. I recruited Jeff out of high school and coached him in college at Moorhead State. He also served as an assistant coach for me for one season.

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I am writing to express some concerns about the BSU and Jeff Tesch situation. I recruited Jeff out of high school and coached him in college at Moorhead State. He also served as an assistant coach for me for one season.

I understand he used the “n” word when telling his players not to play offensive music during practice. This is not acceptable language by any standard. I understand that it has been a team rule for many years that offensive music is not allowed and he was trying to eliminate offensive music by explaining why it must be turned off. I have learned during many years of teaching, administration and coaching that it is important to take a bad situation and try to use it to teach proper behavior and use it as a tool to educate others. I'm sure this is what Jeff was trying to do, because he does not normally use offensive language.

In a situation like this it is important to correctly administer punishment that fits the situation and sets an example for the entire faculty. If mistakes are made in this phase the administration may cause faculty to be afraid to enforce regulations. The community must feel that proper corrective procedures are followed or support for the university could be reduced. Has Jeff and other coaches been given sensitivity training? Has the team been given sensitivity training? If not, the university is at fault as much as Jeff. In today's multi-cultural college environment it is important to anticipate and prepare for the feelings of others.

Timing is also important. The entire situation should be dealt with quickly to lessen the impact on Jeff and his family, to reduce negative public opinions and to reduce negative recruiting efforts. A timely and open procedure will be beneficial to the entire university and community.

The good work Jeff has done for BSU for 20 years should be considered and recognized. Certainly the players must be considered but not allowed to overstep their role.

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I believe in this situation the athletic director and president failed to find a fair and acceptable conclusion to this situation. They were sent an email on Aug. 31, that suggested an appropriate way to handle the situation that could have achieved the objectives stated. It is not too late to rethink their procedures and take corrective and fair action that will benefit the entire university, community and future athletic teams.

Ross Fortier

Merritt Island, Fla.

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