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Shared allegation

March 5, 2014 Letters to the Editor

After reading the articles regarding Coach Matt Stebbins (“Parents, player allege bullying”, Feb. 25”; and “Threats allegedly made against Moniteau coach”, Feb. 26, both page 1), I felt there was more to be said.

My stepdaughter played on the basketball team for two seasons since moving here. This is her senior year and unfortunately she left the team shortly after the beginning of the season. I thought that as a senior she should have gotten some playing time; however, I watched her sit on the bench for both the junior varsity and varsity games while every other girl was put in at least one time in one or both games. After every game, she would leave upset because she didn’t get to play.

She was told by the JV coach that she couldn’t play on the JV team because she was a senior and Stebbins would not give her an explanation as to what she could do to get varsity playing time. My husband asked the coach why and was told that he would not play her unless they had a huge lead. She no longer wanted to even bother going to practice because there was no point if she was just going to go sit on the bench. She said the coach yelled at her and told her she was doing plays wrong in practice but wouldn’t work with her to help her improve. It sounded like she was being bullied.

She has been playing basketball since she was young, but was told that since she did not play all those years at Moniteau that freshmen would be getting playing time and she would sit the bench. She didn’t have to be a starter, but she should have been subbed in at least once per game.

I thought the coach’s job was to mentor these young ladies, not make them feel worthless. As a senior, this should have been her year to shine, but her dreams of that were shattered.

I feel this situation needs to be investigated further, now that I know I wasn’t alone in my feelings on this subject. I know there are more girls with similar feelings. I don’t know how the school board will be able to handle that since it seems to be a conflict of interest with school board President Melissa DeMatteis, as her daughters were on the basketball team.