Division 2 member Saginaw Valley State placed head baseball coach Walt Head on paid administrative leave prior to a game on April 17th. Head had been in his 31st season in charge of the Cardinal baseball program before being placed on leave. The charges against Head are extremely damaging according to a letter that was signed by 30 players and hand delivered to the Athletic Director by the three captains.
Some highlights from the letter are below. You can check out the full letter in PDF format by clicking here.
In the letter, players outline a series of allegations including the coach created a negative clubhouse atmosphere with repeated insults, slept on the job, misused pitchers and failed to provide the required number of meals during road trips.
While all names and signatures were kept confidential, 30 players signed the document. Saginaw Valley State’s baseball team currently has 41 players on its active roster.
“We the Saginaw Valley State baseball team would like to bring to your attention the situation that has been forced upon us,” the letter reads. “There are many issues that lead us to the conclusion that the best move for the organization and the health of the players is to have a change in the head coach.”
“Dark sarcasm is commonly used to degrade players that may be struggling on any given day,” the letter claims. “The negative comments towards and about players can be bad enough to be considered verbal abuse. In the locker room, coach told one of the starting pitchers on the team that he is having a terrible season and asked him, “What the (expletive) happened to you.”
Players called the language Head uses with the team “demoralizing.”
“When baseball demands so much of your body, mind and time it is hard to prevent the influence of this mental abuse to not leak over,” the letter reads.
Players also allege that Head put them in physical jeopardy by “habitually” falling asleep during team events, not providing food for them during road trips and overusing the pitching staff.
In one instance, players claim that Head fell asleep during a game on the team’s annual road trip to Florida, and didn’t know one of his own players was kicked out of the game.
“Coach Head woke up two batters later and started questioning why the backup was in,” the letter states. “The pitching coach had to explain to him that the kid had gotten thrown out of the game five minutes beforehand.”
You can read the full article from MLive.com by clicking here.
You can check out the full letter to the Athletic Director by clicking here.