On Tuesday, Venoy Overton was charged with providing alcohol to a minor, resulting in a suspension to last the duration of the Pac-10 Tournament. Lorenzo Romar has been the target of ire on Wednesday as reactions about the suspension come rolling in. On talk radio and in columns, Seattle residents are weighing in, disappointed Overton is still on the team after placing himself in a poor position, allegedly buying alcohol for minors and engaging in sexual acts.
SB Nation Seattle's Nate Parham examined the incident, and the punishment handed out, concluding it's about more than basketball. Instead of wiping his hands of Overton and sending him on his way -- at the end of Oveton's Washington career -- Romar is placing the onus on his senior guard, forcing him to live up to the values of the program. After all, Romar knows his players better than anyone else, and knows which buttons to push to get the message across and encourage growth, both on the court and as a person off the court.
You have to trust that Romar had some sense of what this consequence would mean to his player and at simultaneously sent a message to him by acting so deliberately and a message to the public by acting swiftly.
Nevertheless, learning does require deliberate action on the part of the learner as well. And in not merely imposing the harshest consequence possible, Romar is placing an enormous amount of faith in his player. Certainly, he's done his best to establish conditions for learning by showing that he cares for his player and putting him in position to respond to the consequences instead reacting for the intensified public scrutiny that might have come from penalizing him twice
Kicking Overton off the team and shunning him doesn't foster growth. Instead, Romar has set a bar for Overton and told him to meet the established standards.