Friday afternoon website Deadspin published an article that included a recording of former UALR baseball coach Scott Norwood screaming at his players with a barrage of profanity following a win (Yes, a win) against Southeast Missouri State Feb. 18. The victory pushed the Trojans to 4-0, but it didn’t keep the former coach from blasting his players with a series of F-bombs.
Twice he confronted players who answered questions he asks, and he asked pitcher Travis McDonald if he wanted to leave the team.
“Hey, Travis,” Norwood says at one point in the recording, apparently talking to pitcher Travis McDonald. “I’m right f*cking here.”
“I’m looking right at you,” someone, apparently McDonald, responds.
“You know you aren’t—don’t you f*cking talk back to me today. Get—hey, you wanna look down, then get the f*ck out of here. I’ll find someone else to pitch tomorrow. You wanna f*cking go now? There’s the f*cking door, son. Get the f*ck out if you don’t like it.”
Deadspin claims there are other recordings that capture similar rants. A player who emailed the website also allegedly accused Norwood of starting an April 2 brawl with the University of Central Arkansas and said in the article the coach “flopped” when touched by a UCA coach and that no UALR players bothered to defend their coach while he was on the ground.
Recently, UALR cleared Norwood of physical and sexual harassment allegations, but even though he was reportedly welcomed for another season by UALR administrators, Norwood (148-178) resigned shortly after the investigation cleared him.
While this recording may not have included instances of harassment, I would hope if the UALR administration heard them, they would be alarmed. If this was not an isolated incident like the unnamed player claims, the players have a right to complain, and it would have been appropriate for Norwood to be reprimanded.
I am not naive enough to think screaming, yelling and cussing are not a part of college sports. I’ve been around college and high school locker rooms for nearly two decades and have seen plenty of tirades. However, Norwood takes intimidation to another level in this instance. Continuously using the F-bomb, calling out players individually. Asking players if they want to leave the team. This is not the correct method to motivate young men in 2014.
Norwood may be a great guy. This may be an isolated incident, but one thing I know for sure is there is no place for displays like this in a college locker room. This goes way beyond a tongue lashing. Is it harassment? Maybe. Should it have been allowed to happen more than once? Absolutely not.