March 29, 2020

Wisdom coach relieved of duties over technicals

ST. AGATHA — The Wisdom High School boys varsity basketball coach has been relieved of his duties because of his actions in a game from which he was ejected last Friday.

Joe Deschaine, who has coached on an off at Wisdom High School for most of the last two decades, was relieved of his duties with four games left on the schedule.

Jerry White, superintendent of schools in SAD 33, said he took the action Monday because of Deschaine’s “unsportsmanlike conduct and his being a bad role model for kids.”

White said the school’s junior varsity coach, Scott Richardson, will coach both teams for the remainder of the season. After a game Wednesday night, Wisdom has three games remaining on its regular season schedule.

“It was unfortunate, but it had to be done. We need to go on now,” said White.

Deschaine said Wednesday he was simply speaking up for his ballplayers who were getting the “bad side” of officiating in a close game.

“We have had problems with bad officials, actually three of them, and we have lost games because of it,” said Deschaine.

On Friday, Wisdom was playing against Central Aroostook of Mars Hill at St. Agatha. Wisdom was ahead by two points when referee Ronald Guy called a foul on Wisdom.

In the aftermath, Central Aroostook got four foul shots from the two technical fouls called against Deschaine. They made three of the shots and scored a basket when they were given possession of the ball after shooting the technical fouls.

Central Aroostook High School made five points on the incident and Wisdom High School lost by two points.

Deschaine said he hollered at Guy and got a direct technical. Then he went toward Guy talking about two bad calls. He got a second direct technical foul and was ejected from the game,

“He [Deschaine] took vehement exception to the referee’s call. The episode ran over the edge and I decided it would be best if he took a little time off,” said White.

The decision does not impact Deschaine’s teaching contract with SAD 33 nor his coaching stipend.

White said there was no truth to reports that Deschaine’s dismissal was asked for by an association of basketball officials.

“I responded to his behavior. He was a representative of the school, an ambassador, if you will, and I expect all the staff to act like ladies and gentlemen,” said White.

White said Deschaine had faced a similar situation in the past. “I thought we had worked our way through that, but apparently we had not.”

White said the decision was made in meetings with School Principal Lester Michaud, Athletic Director Paul Michaud and Deschaine.

Guy did not want to discuss the situation. He did say Deschaine was “disturbed about several calls, those that went against him. I hate to see that kind of situation in a game, but it was a long time in coming.”

Of the Wisdom players, Guy said, “None of the boys lost control. They were gentlemen. They kept their cool. They are a good bunch of boys.”

Deschaine maintained Wednesday he was “concerned about the officiating. I don’t feel our kids were treated justly.”

He admitted hollering at officials, but said there was no disrespect. “There was no cursing. I was concerned, the’re very legitimate concerns, about bad calls against us,” said Deschaine.

Deschaine continued, “I don’t argue with what the superintendent did. I don’t justify my behavior but I also don’t justify the behavior of the officials against the kids.”

Deschaine said he will apply for the coaching job next year, “If the kids want me to. I know they want me to.”

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