A report from the website Outsports claims a pair of high school boys basketball coaches in New York state have been suspended for organizing an LGBTQ Pride Game hosted at nearby Sarah Lawrence College.
According to Outsports, the game was organized by openly gay Saunders High School coach Anthony Nicodemo and Somers High School coach Chris DiCintio. The event, called Pride on the Court, was held on January 20 and featured the two teams competing in a charity fundraiser supported by Nike.
It’s that sponsorship that may be at the heart of the suspensions that have now been handed down to Nicodermo and DiCintio by the Section One Athletic Council. Despite Section One executive director Jen Simmons reportedly giving her blessing to the event before it occurred.
“My athletic director is tremendous with rules and regulations,” Nicodemo told Outsports. “So having [Simmons] tell him he doesn’t have to put in any paperwork, and then a month later says he had to put in paperwork, that puts us into a difficult spot here.”
Those actions have been placed under an additional spotlight by an ongoing dispute between Nicodemo and Simmons.
While the event raised less than $1,000 in total, it was still a landmark one for high schools. Former NBA player Jason Collins attended and it gained enough attention and support to all but ensure it will take place for a second consecutive year … provided Nicodemo can get another school to line up alongside his team.
One athletic director in Section 1 said that the dispute should never have come to this:
Henry Sassone, athletic director at North Salem Center School District and member of the Section One Athletic Council, was at the meeting and voted against suspending the coaches because, he said, they were not at fault.
“There are plenty of rules coaches know, like the number of practices you need before your first game of the season,” Sassoon told Outsports. “But this rule that apparently was not followed is a rule that the coach is not responsible for.”