Monday, March 5, 2012

Should Pregnant Women Be Allowed To Coach?

In the middle of channel surfing over the weekend I landed on the NCAA women's SEC championship game. The game between LSU and perennial powerhouse Tennessee had lots of subplots. Coach Pat Summit is battling the early stages of Dementia, LSU's coach Nikki Caldwell won championships at Tennessee as a player and a coach, and the Lady Vols were going for their 16th SEC title since 1980.

All of those subplots were compelling as the Lady Vols cruised to a 70-58 victory, but something else during the game struck me as kind of strange. Coach Caldwell is 8 months pregnant. She looked like her water could break at any moment. It's conceivable that LSU could make it to the final four at the same time she's giving birth.

I watch a lot of sports, but I've never come across this scenario. I understand that the world of women's sports is different and there are certain concessions that have to be made, but what is the protocol for this? Should coaches be expected to plan their pregnancy around the tournament? Are they considered irresponsible if they don't? Does it affect recruiting? Should their contracts have pregnancy clauses in them?

I have a strong following of female readers so I hope I don't come off as insensitive or insulting. From a woman's perspective maybe the pregnancy has a different impact. Perhaps it shows a sincere commitment and dedication to the program. Perhaps the players feel closer to one another as they share in this life altering experience with her. Perhaps young women look up to coach Caldwell as a role model for sticking by her team as long as she can.

Whatever the case may be it's not something you see everyday, but as a sports enthusiast I'm more than happy to tackle the subject the same way I would any other topic. What are your thoughts on the pregnancy scenario?

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