Parents flag youth football coach's f...

Parents flag youth football coach's felony record

There are 176 comments on the WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan story from Aug 11, 2008, titled Parents flag youth football coach's felony record. In it, WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan reports that:

Some parents of kids on a youth football team wrote to 24 Hour News 8 with their concerns, wondering whether the coach is a good role model for their children.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WOOD-TV Grand Rapids and Michigan.

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Lack of privacy

United States

#1 Aug 11, 2008
"We looked into his background and found other felonies. Lay pleaded no contest to a felony robbery charge in 1997. He also has a felony burglary charge on his juvenile record."

Umm.. I thought juvenile records were supposed to be sealed? And even if they aren't what business does Wood TV have of looking them up?

There are plenty of people out there who did stupid things before they became adults and responsible citizens. The juvenile record shouldn't have been posted in my opinion.
Gary Brandenburg

United States

#2 Aug 11, 2008
DUI, oh well, he got caught, you didn't. Does that make him a bad man or does it make him more unlucky that you or I. Please, unless you squeek when you walk, quit throwing stones. Where were you when the league needed coachs, probably having a drink as your kids were being sitted by the coach.. Look in the mirror and then throw the stone, if you dare. Until then, quit bitching and grow up. Coach, be more careful when and where you consume (I don't drink noiw but I did) it will catch up with you. Keep up the coaching, if that is what is in your heart. GB
Cni Dabnis

Parker, CO

#3 Aug 11, 2008
Let he who is without sin cast the first stone... I guess all these high paid athletes who get caught drunk driving or in posession of a narcotic or who have gambling problems are all okay as role models. If something this man has done in the past is'nt affecting the NOW, why sweat him about it? He's paying off his debt. Are these parents letting this man drive their kids home or around? I would imagine he does'nt have a license and being on probation means he's being watched to a degree. There's more to the story than what's been written. Can we get on with the "real" news now...
Move On Let Him Coach

Grand Rapids, MI

#4 Aug 11, 2008
I say leave the man alone if he has paid his dues and is trying to help kids not make the same mistakes he did. if it is of violent and sexual manner then he should not be coaching period as no coach or administrator should.
They need to look into the Grand Rapids league as they will find that the president is a sex offender and he coaches and runs the league. This has been going on for years and no one is saying anything. Now that is something to worry about!
Jason

Deerfield, IL

#5 Aug 11, 2008
Absolutely assinine. Why not send your kids to the Catholic schools.......we all know those are safe right?! Kudos to the coach for seemingly turning his life around, and a wag of the finger to the stOOpid parents.....

Since: Jun 07

Location hidden

#6 Aug 11, 2008
This is not someone who should be in a position of authority over children.
The parents have a legitimate concern and Wood TV has done the right thing by exposing this.
The parents' concern is justified.

Robbery? Burglary? 3 drunk drivings? How did this person ever even get this job?
Wyoming Resident

AOL

#8 Aug 11, 2008
Leave the guy alone. No details are given about the 'felony robbery' which could have been misconstrued. Also, no details are given about the burglary. What did he do? Going into some one's house without permission and making a peanut butter sandwich is burglary. Drunk driving? So what. Look at all of the others who have been in the news for the same thing and still have their jobs. If he is a good coach, keep him. Ask the small town busybodies to shut the hell up.
Hello Newaygo

Arvada, CO

#9 Aug 11, 2008
This is starting to sound like the Detroit mayoral situation. A person with a record that includes Robbery, Burglary, and 3 Drunk Drivings has consistently demonstrated a lack of self-restraint, poor judgment, and disrespect for the law. Parents should certainly be made aware of the coach's criminal record, so they may make an informed decision as to whether this person is desirable as a coach and role model for their children.

Is this really the best person that Newaygo can find to coach these kids? Surely there ought to be a better option for those Newaygo families whose ethics and morals do not embrace this behavior, past or present, as acceptable.
Wyoming Resident

AOL

#10 Aug 11, 2008
Hello Newaygo wrote:
This is starting to sound like the Detroit mayoral situation. A person with a record that includes Robbery, Burglary, and 3 Drunk Drivings has consistently demonstrated a lack of self-restraint, poor judgment, and disrespect for the law. Parents should certainly be made aware of the coach's criminal record, so they may make an informed decision as to whether this person is desirable as a coach and role model for their children.

Is this really the best person that Newaygo can find to coach these kids? Surely there ought to be a better option for those Newaygo families whose ethics and morals do not embrace this behavior, past or present, as acceptable.
You are nuts.
lethimbe

United States

#11 Aug 11, 2008
sounds like a witch hunt..
the guy has done his time and his paying for his crime still, he will pay for the rest of his life..
if he isn't committing a crime coaching, and is bettering his life, let him be
it's a joke on how uptight people have become
why haven't all the teachers and principals in muskegon been fired? there was a huge write up in the paper about all their backgrounds, but guess what, they have done their time, and are bettering their lives, along with the childrens
True Genius

Lawrence, MI

#12 Aug 11, 2008
Cni Dabnis wrote:
I guess all these high paid athletes who get caught drunk driving or in posession of a narcotic or who have gambling problems are all okay as role models.
No it isn't ok.

It simply points out that we put too much emphasis on the importance of "high paid athletes". Even to the point where turning our head to indiscretions has infiltrated our youth sports. NO WHERE is it acceptable.

I will not even include your "let he who is without sin cast the first stone" bit, because if the rest of your post is any indication, religious quotations are a matter of convenience for you.

Ok, I will include it. But only to point out the obvious.
Vango

Zeeland, MI

#13 Aug 11, 2008
Move On Let Him Coach wrote:
I say leave the man alone if he has paid his dues and is trying to help kids not make the same mistakes he did. if it is of violent and sexual manner then he should not be coaching period as no coach or administrator should.
They need to look into the Grand Rapids league as they will find that the president is a sex offender and he coaches and runs the league. This has been going on for years and no one is saying anything. Now that is something to worry about!
But if this president is a sex offender he could get on this registry just by urinating in public as a minor, so don't you be so quick to judge either.
I agree the guy should be able to coach. Some people need a purpose to change their life around and may this is his. However if Wood TV did not check his record and a month from now broke the law everyone would be ticked about that too. That's West Michigan for ya.
beneath the bridge

United States

#14 Aug 11, 2008
Maybe he is an outstanding role model - we always think that 'it" happens to everyone else but me - personally it might be good for a teenager to meet someone it DID happen to. Would love to tell you I never drove drunk, just got lucky. Some pretty hard marker these parents are, doesn't appear any forgiveness is in them and it appears they have the right to be both judge and jury. BTW - wood - did you happen to check out all coaches in the area, or just the ones you received a "tip' on? isn't there a true injustice somewhere that could have focus put on it to change - I don't know, dangerous intersections where people die perhaps?
Ginger

Riverside, CA

#15 Aug 11, 2008
Why not let him stay. The state of Michigan need to do better backround checks. First childcare, and this falls right under that problem.
NewaygoCitizen

Ionia, MI

#16 Aug 11, 2008
There is a lot more to this than meets the eye. Personally knowing Nick Lay, I do not believe this man has changed what so ever. He is constantly DRIVING with no license, and I have gotten the opinion that he thinks he is above the law! WE have to DEMAND better role models for our children regardless of the "high paid athletes". We are NOT asking them to coach OUR children. They are getting paid for what they do and have not asked to be role models. When you apply to coach children, you should have a background that is respectable and acceptable! I know personally that there were other coaches who would have loved this opportunity, but it was handed to Nick Lay. His record WAS given to the board in the past, and they chose to overlook it. He lied on his coaching application in the past. They have no reason to trust him, yet continue to turn a blind eye. We need to think about our kids and what is best for them.

It is time to STOP this small town mentality. QUIT sweeping things under the rug.
Lead by Example-Kentwood

Ann Arbor, MI

#17 Aug 11, 2008
Coach my children, I think NOT!! Can't we set a better example for our chilren? The 3 drunk drivings are enough for me. 3 strikes means no license. Let me guess, he drove to practice, right!! Ofcourse he did. Looks like all home games for Newaygo!!!
Kittykat

Warren, MI

#18 Aug 11, 2008
Is it just me or is anyone else questioning WoodTV's recent tactics to try and invest news stories? First the lottery guy, now this. It's like they are trying to invent some big scandal so they have a commercial "we were first to break the story"! What story is there here? They are in the business of printing everyone's pasts instead of reporting on real news.

And if the parents don't like the coach, maybe they should put down their pens or walk away from their computers and get out there and take on the coaching duties themselves because it's really easy to sit and bitch but a lot harder to commit the time and energy to do something.(I'm sure their pasts aren't spotless either.)
a mother

Grandville, MI

#19 Aug 11, 2008
This is why you teach kids not to have role models. Kids need people to look up to but nobodys perfect. This guys record is nobody business and I think that the fact that they league looks into the sex offender list is probably good enough like he said. Parents be concrened if this guy is telling storys about his past or teaching kids how to break into houses but let the man coach football and dont let your kids look up to him if your so worried about his past.
Concerned

North Little Rock, AR

#20 Aug 11, 2008
If I were a parent of a child on this team - the coach's record WOULD concern me. The fact that this league does NOT run background checks is absurd! For goodness sake a parent has to have a background check done to go on a school field trip or volunteer in their child's classroom - of course they should have a background check done in order to be a coach! ANYONE who interacts with children on a regular basis should have a background check done! The league needs to create specific rules and regulations as to what offenses are "allowable" and what are not. They could start by checking with Newaygo High School. It would make sense to have at least a policy for coaches that adheres to the school policy. At the very least his record should be disclosed to the parents so that they can decide for themselves whether they want their child on Lay's team.
NewaygoCitizen

Ionia, MI

#21 Aug 11, 2008
Newaygo Public Schools does NOT allow anyone with a felony to coach for the school!

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