Top coach quits just before city title game



A highly successful Bronx volleyball coach whose girls’ team played for the city championship after press time Tuesday is quitting because of his displeasure with the Public School Athletic League (PSAL).

Jeremy BasSie, coach of both the Bronx High School of Science’s boys’ and girls’ volleyball teams submitted his resignation to Marion Dietrich, the school’s athletic director on Nov. 19. 

“I didn’t want to keep going the way things are currently set up,” said BasSie, whose girls’ team is 48-9 in the regular season during his seven years as their coach. The boys’ team is 57-3 during BasSie’s six-year tenure.

“I have seen no improvements to PSAL volleyball as long as I have been around,” he said.

BasSie has several criticisms about how the city’s athletic league for public schools is run. 

One of his complaints — often echoed by other schools’ coaches and athletic directors — is that highly skillful teams are bunched together in the same divisions as struggling teams. 

“There is no promotion or relegation of how teams fare,” said BasSie. “You see a lot of ugly games and lopsided scores.” 

The PSAL ignores the restructuring suggestions of the coaches at the advisory meetings held after each season, BasSie charged. 

“I would rather have a .500 record in a better division,” said the coach. 

As an example, he noted that this year’s championship game in the B Division features the David A. Stein Riverdale/Kingsbridge Academy, MS/HS 141 against Fort Hamilton from Brooklyn. 

RKA has approximately 400 students, while Fort Hamilton has more than 4,000.

A Department of Education spokesman disagreed with BasSie’s assertions, both about the PSAL casting a blind eye on the wishes of school officials and about not doing enough to ensure parity. 

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Congratulations to Coach BasSie for taking a stand against the PSAL. I applaud him, as a former coach and athletic director at RKA I totally understand his battle. Small schools like RKA are at a major disadvantage even if they have the good fortune of being able to compete with bigger schools.

RKA has 200 girls and 200 boys a very small pool to choose teams from year after year. The chance of having a competitive team in the "A" division year after year is slim. Yet 3 of RKA's teams are in the "A: division. Schools they compete against have populations of thousands, certainly there is a better chance to select quality players and have quality teams. PSAL should have various leagues based on population. A large school league and a small school league. This should not be based on how well a team did the previous year but only on size. The PSAL should make the pools for students to be on teams equal. The PSAL adds and drops teams from the A division to the B division only on the success or demise of that team the previous year. Sure the children want to compete at the highest level but they can do that in a league that is fair. Their are plenty of small schools throughout the city that have excellent athletes which would make the games very competitive. Schools in New Jersey compete based on size and certainly colleges have division 1,2, and 3. Would a small division 3 school compete with a division 1 school such as Notre Dame, I don't think so. Hats off to the Science coach, the PSAL should listen and change and therefore not accept Coach BasSie's resignation but instead honor him for his courage to take a stand.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Jeremy I told you the PSAL could care less about you, your program or volleyball in general. The PSAL is blind to the needs of the coaches, referees and athletes. The PSAL will now have some talking head telling the press all the right things BUT they care more about the status quo than making real positive changes. I've been coaching for 25 years and things are getting worse every day. My name is Steve Hagenlocher and I'd love someone from the PSAL to sit with me and the press and explain to me why certain things can be done in one sport and not another. For those who understand I threw out all my Captain Morgan rum because it disgusts me.

Saturday, December 1, 2012