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Coaches make mistakes, too

I firmly believe that a high school prom is a big waste of money and time. I'll bet Parkview High School head football coach Cecil Flowe now agrees with me.

Flowe has been officially and publicly reprimanded by the Gwinnett County School Superintendent for his behavior at the Parkview prom on May 6. Flowe was accused of "uncharacteristic behavior that led to speculation that he was under the influence of alcohol" while serving as a faculty chaperone.

I wasn't at the Parkview prom, I don't know Flowe or a single soul associated with Parkview High School, but it looks like Flowe has been skewered on a case built on speculation. Talk about living life in a fishbowl.

If I read his letter of reprimand correctly, he was warned and threatened with his job over "uncharacteristic behavior" and "speculation."

His uncharacteristic behavior was dancing and laughing with high school students, and the speculation was that many at the prom had never seen Flowe loosen up, so they assumed he was drinking.

His letter of reprimand suggests that Flowe must have admitted to taking some type of prescription medication. I only know what I have read. Many at the prom say the accusation is ridiculous while some are saying he was drunk on his behind with his wife pulling him away from the dance line on more than one occasion.

The first reaction of some is that if Flowe were not the architect of one of Georgia's best high school football programs, he would already be history at Parkview. Others are saying that the parents pointing the finger don't care about football or perhaps their sons could never cut it on the gridiron.

To me, the moral of this story is that the local high school coach ain't God. In other words, as much as we might like to think he is, he's not perfect. It sounds like Flowe may have made a mistake of some sort. To what degree is open to interpretation.

Flowe, away from school and the football field, may be guilty of simply just letting his hair down and having some fun with the students. To a greater extent, he could very well have been under the influence of more than just the punch.

As for the standard that he is being held to, there are as many judges in Gwinnett County as there are people, and that's a bunch. Maybe he did get away with murder because he is a successful football coach. Maybe folks are casting the first stone for the exact same reason.

Either way, if you are a successful football coach, a major public figure in any Georgia community, you have to remember where you are at every moment. If you are among those with a rock sitting ready in their hand, apparently you don't.

Web posted on Thursday, May 25, 2006

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