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June 7, 2014

O'Fallon coach calls a poor play

If you want to be a coach, you need to have thick skin. Coaches regularly get second-guessed, have their sanity questioned and are called all sorts of vile names. And that's when their team is winning. The volume gets a lot louder when the team is losing.

So no one should be surprised that when student Alexi Cavins resigned last year from the O'Fallon Township softball team, she blamed her coach. Predictably, Alexi's parents Patricia and James Cavins sided with their daughter.

Turns out the coach, Katherine Walsh, has incredibly thin skin. She has filed a defamation lawsuit seeking more than $700,000 in damages from the parents.

This lawsuit needs to be tossed out of court at the first opportunity. As the Cavins' attorney said, if every coach sued every time someone criticized them, the courts would be clogged with lawsuits.

More importantly, people have a First Amendment right to their opinion, even when it's harsh. It was bad form perhaps that the parents forwarded their daughter's angry resignation letter to other people. Still, that's not a justification for this $700,000 legal claim.

Ironically, many more people will hear the criticisms of Walsh now that she has filed the lawsuit and made the Cavins' complaints part of the public record. Don't be surprised if the story goes viral on the Internet and attracts national media interest.

If Walsh thought that being a coach was tough before, just wait till she hears what people have to say about her decision to sue the parents of her former player.

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