Open Letter To The CWPA Board

Richard Hunkler, Ph.D.
Slippery Rock University

Do you really believe that a life time ban from the CWPA is warranted for Loren's actions -- I don't? Just think of the coaches that told players to take out a player on another team who were not banned for life. Just think of all the players who were cheap shot artist that were not banned for life. Just think of the referees who year after year cheated for certain teams because they liked the coach or a player on the team who were not banned for life. Just think of coaches who told male players not to go to a certain school because the coach was a girl who were not banned for life. Just think of the bully players who continually intimidated players who were smaller than themselves but never tried to intimidated the players larger than themselves who were not banned for life. Just think of the referees who called the rules to please the Head Referee and not to please the stated water polo rules who was not banned for life ... The list goes on and on.

If this was such a heinous crime then surely there have to be victims -- what about the players on the games Loren refereed? Why were these victimized teams and players not compensated for a crime of such true but misdirected passion made against the CWPA coaches? It wasn't a crime against nature, but a crime against three games played in the CWPA. If it was so terrible that the referee had to be banned for life, then why weren't these games removed from the score books or at least played over? How can you throw out the baby without also throwing out the dirty bath water the baby created? Don't tell me you can't do this because it was not a league tournament because you have done similar things in the past. Coaches have been censored by the league for what they said in non-league tournaments -- I know because I was one of them.

I know all but one member on the CWPA Board of Trustees and I want each one of you to think back to your playing or coaching years to see if you can't remember something you did that was just as bad as what Loren did. I know I can. Just think how you would feel if after the first time you did this you would be banned for life from water polo on the East coast -- to be banned for something you so dearly loved, something you were trying to help, and something to which you have positively contributed. I know that there are several on the board that would have been literally destroyed if this would have happened to them. I am not saying that there should be no punishment. Yes, Loren should be punished, but banned for life? This is similar to using a hammer instead of a finger to place a thumb tacked message on a bulletin board for everyone to see.

Don't be similar to other sport federations in that you believe every decision you make has to be carved in stone. I don't know about you, but I believe the stone carving should be for the Ten Commandments. Let all those in water polo who have not sinned at least once against the game we love so much be the first to throw a water polo ball filled with lead at Loren. Throwing a water polo ball filled with air at Loren, a lessor punishment such as a year suspension, would be acceptable to most all reasonable members of the water polo community.

Email Coach Hunkler at [email protected]