Schuck's Clipboard

Douglas' best option and only option is to own mistake

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Aug. 10, 2019 12:10 am

Andy Douglas owned it.

He will tell you he had no other options, but the reality is he did. The Quincy High School boys basketball coach could have gone to court, entered a not guilty plea on the charge of driving under the influence and turned the case over to his lawyer.

Maybe they could find a loophole. Maybe there was a problem with the field sobriety test. Maybe there was a way to get the charges dismissed.

Just maybe.

But Douglas doesn't live in the world of maybes. There's not enough accountability in that realm.

He holds his players to a certain standard of honesty, commitment and trust. What sort of message does it send if he doesn't hold himself accountable for his actions and live up to the core values of his program?

By entering a guilty plea for DUI -- he did this in Adams County Court last week -- and accepting all ramifications that come with it, Douglas owned his mistake.

He admitted to being flawed, but aren't we all in some regard? He asked for a second chance, but who among us hasn't? He vowed to be better as a coach, a teacher, a father and a leader.

There will be hurdles to clear along the way. He has made his restitution to the state, but faces a year of probation. He also must deal with how Blue Devil nation responds.

The immediate public reaction has been mixed, and while Douglas' supporters have been vocal and compassionate both on social media and in person, detractors have called for his job. That's not unusual for the head coach of a high-profile program, but typically such dissent is because of wins and losses, not court cases.

It's been made clear by the Quincy Public Schools Superintendent Roy Webb and other administrators Douglas' job is not in jeopardy. He remains the boys basketball coach and a physical education teacher at the high school, although he will serve a suspension during the season. The length of the suspension and its parameters have yet to be determined.

Douglas accepts whatever the terms are, and he will turn the program over to his assistant coaches at that time and show his players how to appropriately deal with the consequences of your actions.

It's just another lesson in life.

That's true for Douglas, too.

He believes his faith, love of family and character will be stronger for having endured this. He insists his decision making and thoughtfulness will improve as well. And he vows to be the leader the Blue Devils and the QHS community expect.

Only time will tell in that regard, but the first step in that direction was the right one.

He owned it.

He will tell you no he had no other options, but the reality is he did. He chose the honest one.