Letters to the Editor, Opinions

Letter: Coach Behn is a positive force, not a negative one

Monday, March 9, 2020

To the Editor:

The Herald’s recent article about Women’s Basketball Head Coach Sarah Behn, titled “Brown University Band will not perform at women’s basketball games in protest of Head Coach,” was quite disheartening. As someone who worked in the Athletic Department at Brown from 2015 until late 2016 as the Coordinator of Basketball Operations for Head Coach Sarah Behn, I would like to offer my own insight from my personal experiences with Coach Behn.

Because of the nature of my position, I was with Coach Behn for countless hours throughout my time at Brown and can offer a perspective that many others cannot. I attended every basketball practice and game. I attended every team meeting and event. I was in a myriad of individual meetings with coaches and players, and I was in every staff meeting with Coach Behn and her support staff. I dedicated my life to the Brown Women’s Basketball program.

Let me be clear: Never in my time with the program did I hear Coach Behn or any other member of her staff “single out” a student athlete due to “their weight” or any other “physical” or “mental” characteristic. Never in my time with the program did Coach Behn “blame a loss” on a student athlete. Never did Coach Behn “turn on her team” or degrade our team in any way — and the list goes on from there. When student athletes were “called out individually,” it was strictly for positive reasons, such as exceptional work on the court, in the classroom or in the community.

The article published by The Herald portrays an individual that is not in any way the Coach, or more importantly, the person that I know. Coach Behn has coached and positively impacted thousands of players, staff and students throughout her decades of working in basketball. To put it simply, Coach Behn loves her players, Coach Behn loves her support staff and Coach Behn loves Brown University.

Shane Lynch

Former Operations Coordinator for Brown’s Women’s Basketball Team under Head Coach Sarah Behn

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  1. Course correction says:

    With respect Shane, the coach that you worked for is not the very same woman that is coaching today. Circumstances and her behavior from 15/16 are far different than they have been in subsequent seasons. You should be taking into consideration the totality of the person and the program. The obvious and very public disturbing incident, for which she was charged, 10 very qualified and recruited players that quit, the losing record which gets worse every year, allegations of drinking with players, allegations of abusive language and weight shaming are behaviors demonstrative of a person that takes no responsibility for her own behavior, but will always blame others. Coach Behn has denied these allegations, but why in the world wouldn’t she? If she publicly admitted to them, she would be terminated, effective immediately. And now the spin begins, as it did with Dr. Heffernan. I am certain that your defense of the Coach is sincere, but your defense and those who have only known her in a very limited capacity, and for a very limited time, is misguided. I would wholeheartedly suggest that those in the know, speak to and address the inconsistency between what you see, and what you really get….smoke and mirrors.

  2. Dear Course Correction,
    The totality of the former players, current players, people that worked on Coach Behn’s staff far outweigh the sour grapes gripes of a few disgruntled players that could not make it in D1 basketball. Weight shaming, never happened. Brown doesn’t even allow the strength and conditioning coaches to weigh or measure the body fat of female athletes. Abusive language never happened, not one player former or current heard it. Limited capacity and limited time? The Operations manager spends every day closely working with the Coach. His defense of the Coach is the truth.

    Please move on to your next person who you will try to destroy over false allegations.

    • Course correction says:

      False allegations, hardly!

      The whole nation read about the domestic violence incident, players, assistant coaches and parents brought complaints, not only to the Athletic Director, but the Assistant Director. Please take your head out of the sand and stop the nonsense…
      It reminds me of the “Fake News,” response.

      These women were recruited to play D1 basketball, for which they were fully qualified. According to their record, every single one of them must be unqualified, save one or two. Who takes the blame for that? My guess is that lot’s of the women just gave up. Let’s face its, she is a Coach, and not an educator.

      Does Brown condone coaches drinking with players? Does Brown condone drinking with players on the bus? Does Brown condone married boyfriends travelling with the team? These are allegations made by players, whether they were in or out of her favor, the allegations speak for themselves.

      Let’s face facts, the Coach will destroy herself and needs to hold herself accountable, not enlist a weak defense on her behalf.

      Brown Women’s Basketball, always exciting, let’s see what next year brings!

  3. JOHN MUSGROVE says:

    The allegations are true and go much deeper than reported. Many players and parents were witnesses to the daily verbal and mental abuse by Sarah Behn. She cursed at players daily blaming them and calling them pussies, fat, stupid, etc. She constantly told them they sucked and that it was their fault they couldn’t win games. She blamed the previous coach for recruiting players that suck. After having her own recruited players and still losing miserably, she continued to be abusive and worse. The sugar coating and down playing of the abuse is exactly how Brown and Behn were able to get away with it for so long. Problem is that the President of the university and Jack Hayes himself DID NOTHING for years !!!

    The story is TRUE, the accusations are TRUE….. I’ll say it on a stack of bibles in a courtroom with 15 other players cooperating the truth!

  4. Course correction says:

    Thank you for speaking out Mr. Musgrove. I would agree that Mr. Hayes has been part of the problem, rather than part of the solution. Shame on the University for allowing this to continue, unabated for as long as it did. He should also “resign,” so to speak.

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