Playing The Card

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July 1, 2009 by David Gillaspie

king of hearts zippoVisitors in the Learning Center heard  about a local coach getting his day in court:

Howard Avery compares his history to Roger Clemens?  He could do better, given the Rocket’s news about meeting a fifteen year old country singer he apparently liked listening to.

Fifteen is not Howard Avery’s lucky number.  Fifteen girls on his AAU team?  Fifteen percent of his training clients are female?  He admitted to having sex with a fifteen year old girl.  No charges were filed?  Didn’t her parents address a team parent meeting to clear the air?  So Howard Avery writes a check for an abortion and it’s all good?  How tidy.

Howard Avery says he “always felt comfortable working with female athletes.”  I believe his definition of “working” is different than what you’ll find in the dictionary.


At least we’ve got Milwaukie freshman girls coach Rick Whelan calling the shot as he sees it.  “He, (Avery), is a felon and an admitted sex offender.”  Is it incorrect, or offensive, to call Howard Avery a ‘serial sex offender’?  Since no charges were ever filed, does it mean it didn’t happen?

Howard Avery is his own best defender when he says, “The majority of my critics are white.  White people view me one way; black people view me another way.”  If Howard Avery had coached and raped black girls, would one or both parents, or the community, have dealt with him any differently than the Lake Oswego parents who didn’t file charges? 

I am glad to hear Howard Avery has coaches, and former coaches, who consider him a friend.  Maybe it’s out of bounds, but how friendly would the coaches and former coaches be if it was their daughter cashing Howard’s abortion check? 

Oregon City girls coach Kurt Guelsdorf talks about boundaries crossed that are tough to hear about.  He has three daughters.  From the sounds of him he has different boundaries, and if Howard Avery had crossed them there would have been different results.

Or not.

A friend’s ex-wife married a man very prominent in the community.  The new husband stepped out of bounds and must now live as a registered sex offender.  When the friend’s daughter stayed with her mom on weekends, the new husband had to move into a motel, or risk parole violation. 

Has Howard Avery had any legal restrictions based on his past as a serial sex offender?  If not, why not?  Because no charges were ever filed?  Is that neglect, or making sure more kids have exposure to the competitive edge Howard Avery provides? 

He says it best with, “Running away from critics and controversy and adversity would have been my failing as a teacher.”  Howard Avery’s lesson plan avoids failing as a teacher, but says nothing about failing as a human being. 

Who’s got next?


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