AMHERST – The president of Cumberland County’s minor hockey association says he respects the decision to suspend two local coaches following a fight on the bench in February.
Reggie Dwyer and Scott Beed were give multiple-year suspensions for their role in what has been described as a violent fight with each other in February in front of their team of seven and eight year-olds during an away game in Antigonish.
Hockey Nova Scotia consequently handed Dwyer a two-year suspension and Beed a three-year suspension.
“In spite of what I think of [the coaches] qualifications, Hockey Nova Scotia has a mandate and it’s about the kids,” Cumberland County Minor Hockey president Richard Allen said. “Anyone can surmise, given the age involved, as parents we have to put faith in the coaches, and weather they’re good coaches or not, I respect the decision of Hockey Nova Scotia.”
Following the incident the local hockey association suspended the two coaches indefinitely pending an investigation. During that time, Allen said, neither were allowed on the ice or near the bench during any minor hockey practice or game. Meanwhile, the association interviewed parents and anyone else who potentially witnessed the incident. Those findings were then forwarded to Hockey Nova Scotia, who conducted its own investigation before handing down their decision.
Allen said he hopes the suspensions won’t impact next season.
In the aftermath of the suspensions, Allen says its incumbent parents and the public continue to be part of the decision making process to improve minor hockey. Prior to their May 26 annual general meeting, the association is hosting a brain storming session the public is invited to at the Lions Club Den, 9 Electric Street, where the discussion will focus on ways to improve minor hockey.