Association admits to shortcomings
Punished for working
Seymour is a social studies teacher at Carbonear Collegiate, and has coached hockey at various levels for two decades.
He has an atom-aged son who is a goaltender.
Last season, Seymour was assistant coach for the atom B team.
He applied this season to coach atom A, but the position went to Roger Akerman. He then applied or the B team position, which was given to Martin Gregory.
In the past, he said, there was an unwritten rule that coaches could reassume the same position the following season. However, Seymour was passed over completely and he’s baffled as to why.
He wrote the association, seeking answers, and was not pleased with the response from league secretary Dawn Butler.
Among the criteria used by the executive is whether or not an applicant’s son or daughter has the ability to make the team, Butler explained in her response to Seymour.
Seymour’s son did not make the A team, but is on the B roster.
“ I know what they’re saying, but I’ve never seen it used as a criteria,” Seymour said.
Seymour’s availability was also a factor.
“ Upon review, it was felt that one coach had experience coaching the majority of children trying out for this team and was much more accessible, given work commitments,” Butler wrote in her letter to Seymour.
Seymour questioned that rationale.
“I’m being punished because I’m working,” he said. “ If I didn’t have time, I wouldn’t have applied.”
Other criteria outlined in the let- ter include the following: credentials and an ability to get along with players and parents.
Seymour described Butler’s letter as a “ lame attempt at justifying an obviously flawed process.”
Seymour also said some members of the executive are directly related to some of those who landed coaching positions.
Roger Akerman, for instance, has family ties to three members of the executive, said Seymour.
“Applications were there for Roger, and his wife ( Kim) was asked to leave,” said Drover. “ That’s an unwritten rule in the association.”
The other two family members on the executive, Scott Akerman and Dawn Butler, are Roger’s uncle and aunt.
It is unclear as to why Kim was asked to leave the room, but the other two were not, and allowed to vote.
Seymour said the association does not have a conflict of interest definition in it’s constitution, something Seymour cannot seem to be able to find a copy of.
“I’ve asked three people for it, and no one can seem to find it,” he said.
When asked about Seymour’s application, Drover stated: “ We had a discussion about it, there was a secret ballot and Mr. Seymour wasn’t successful.”
Some of the actions committed by executive members lie at the heart of Seymour’s argument.
“ The way I understood it, the members of the board do not see the coaching applications beforehand,” he said. “ They are read the qualifications and vote.”
When the applications for the atom B team were read to the executive, all-star director Scott Akerman stated the applicants were equally qualified. Seymour said he was told this by two other members of the executive — referee-in-chief Keith Cronin and treasurer Jeff Caravan.
Seymour said this is not the case, and his qualifications are far more extensive.
“ That is intentional misleading,” said Seymour.
When asked to comment, Scott Akerman declined, calling it an “internal issue.”
Seymour spelled out his concerns in a recent meeting with Brian Drover and vice-president Duncan Kennedy.
Seymour sai d D ro v e r a n d Kennedy both agreed that there are shortcomings in the selection process, but would not commit to any changes this season.
“ The coaches in question were already in their second hour with the team, and we didn’t think it was right to change them,” said Drover.
Drover sees the situation as “someone venting.”
“ We are a volunteer group of people, and that doesn’t give the right to paint a target on our back,” he said.
Drover recognizes that the situation is not a good one, but he emphasized that the ultimate goal of the association is to put children on the ice.
“As an executive, when you make these decisions, you are going to upset 50 other people,” said Drover. “ We’re going to lose one or two good coaches because … they felt they were done dirty.”
The situation was handled in typical Bay Arena minor fashion, said Seymour.
“ Ignore it until it goes away,” he said. “ There’s no accountability.”