Comments for: Longtime Southern Aroostook baseball coach Murray Putnam placed on leave

Posted May 23, 2012, at 3:37 p.m.

DYER BROOK | Southern Aroostook High School baseball coach Murray Putnam, whose 44-year tenure includes nearly 480 victories and five state championships, has been placed on paid administrative leave by school officials. “At this point that is accurate,” acknowledged Putnam, who said he has been on leave since May …

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  • Anonymous

    We should be in support of Mr. Putnam. He has given his all for the team!!

  • Guest

    In the two years he taught French to our class in ’72+’73, we made it 1/2 way through the first year book! He spent all class talking sports with his little clique instead of teaching.

    • waynorth1

      Not all teachers are cut out for teaching when their heart is into sports…..doesn’t make him a bad guy, but he certainly isn’t the first and won’t be the last.  Par le vous francais?  Hopefully, you got that much out of it!  All in jest…..:)  The only thing I ever learned marrying into French was cachon (pig).  Sad but true.  

      • Anonymous

        When you take taxpayer money to do a specific job, and you decide to do something else instead for that money(talk sports, in this case……..assuming this instance is accurate, of course), and the students who may have WANTED to learn got cheated, why isn’t he a “bad guy?”

        • waynorth1

          I was giving him the beneift of the doubt until the allegations come through. Not sure what the charges are beyond hazing. That could be anything. If he did the same things that I’ve read about in the past (Brewer softball coach with the pig poop mud run, for example), don’t want to judge too far until more info comes out. Sounds like a mess. Subject: [bdn] Re: Longtime Southern Aroostook baseball coach Murray Putnam placed on leave

          • Anonymous

            My comment was not in regard to whatever he may be accused of…my comment was about the “hey, we didn’t do anything in class but talk about sports…but he isn’t a bad guy.”

            IF that happened, kids got cheated out of an education….not exactly noble.

          • waynorth1

            Totally agreed about getting cheated out of an education. On taxpayer money. Sorry for the miscommunication. Subject: [bdn] Re: Longtime Southern Aroostook baseball coach Murray Putnam placed on leave

          • Anonymous

             I had Murray for US History in the ’90’s, and I certainly didn’t feel cheated out of an education.  He wasn’t a “life changing” teacher, but I did learn a thing or two and that’s more than I can say for a few other teachers I had at that school.  Best of luck to you, Mr. Putnam.

          • Amy Higgins Bishop

            If we got rid of all the teachers who don’t do a good job many schools would have only a few left but the article is on his team…………and once again it sounds like someone is being blamed that sounds innocent but not surprised the whole world is into punishing everyone but the people who should be………some day this feel good society is gonna bite us in the butt…..take a stand against  the students who did something wrong and leave it at that!!! 

        • Guest

          Oh, it was accurate. Mind you, this was at the old Oakfield high school, before SAD SACHS (I love that name) 40 years ago, but I still remember which 3 teachers were admired. We didn’t have gubmint money back then to entice anybody else to come up to the boonies. 5 towns made up the school and we graduated with about 23 students.  :0

      • Guest

        C’est “Parlez”, sil vous plait. :)

        • waynorth1

          I got nothing…I’ll do research after work! :)
          Subject: [bdn] Re: Longtime Southern Aroostook baseball coach Murray Putnam placed on leave

          • Anonymous

            I learned how to say “Je ne parle pas francais” and “merde”.

            At least RSU 50 Interim Superintendant John Doe isn’t missing.

          • waynorth1

            Well, you’re one up on me….and that’s okay! Kudos to you. I’ll still with what I know…..and that sometimes isn’t much.. Subject: [bdn] Re: Longtime Southern Aroostook baseball coach Murray Putnam placed on leave

          • Anonymous

            Hazing should have been retired along with segregated drinking fountains.

          • waynorth1

            Good one. This reminds me of that poor kid in Florida that got beat to death. I thought band was a band of brothers, evidently not. Don’t get hazing. Cruelty from an “educator.” Subject: [bdn] Re: Longtime Southern Aroostook baseball coach Murray Putnam placed on leave

          • Anonymous

            It’s  called “Assault and Battery” or “Coups et Blessures” for most of the rest of us.

          • waynorth1

            Well, hopefully the truth comes out, he gets his job back and his integrity. That’s a lot of years to go to waste because of a bad decision. Subject: [bdn] Re: Longtime Southern Aroostook baseball coach Murray Putnam placed on leave

          • Guest

            In case you didn’t bother: “It is ‘Parlez’,if you please” (not par le). And no, I didn’t learn from him. :-)

          • waynorth1

            Parlez sounds like an LPGA golf tournament word, but I’ll put it in my French dictionary mindset, which will be gone tomorrow. Thanks! Subject: [bdn] Re: Longtime Southern Aroostook baseball coach Murray Putnam placed on leave

          • Guest

            Or a pow wow with Indians…..

          • waynorth1

            Good one :)
            Subject: [bdn] Re: Longtime Southern Aroostook baseball coach Murray Putnam placed on leave

          • Guest

            Sorry for the duplicate.

          • Guest

            Translation: “It is ‘parlez’, if you please (not ‘par le)”.   And no, I didn’t learn that from him. It was travel and copious amounts of reading.   :)  I can even understand the Brits on occasion!

  • Anonymous

    It appears that the administration is doing the right thing here.  If Mr. Putnam is in charge then he is responsible not only for his actions but also the whole team.  To bad for someone who has such a good record but that should not cloud and disapline that may be necessary to administer.

    • Deb

      What about some of the ladies that went along to chaperone ?

  • waynorth1

    ouch….at least they’re taking care of it.  

  • Anonymous

    I am in full support and backing Mr. Putnam 100%  He is fantastic at what he does, and although what his players did was completely in the wrong, you cannot blame him, just as a parent cannot control every single move that their child makes. 

    There has to be a time where these high school students actually take responsibility for their own actions, and quit passing the blame onto their parent/teacher/coach/friend/etc.

    Best of luck to you Mr. Putnam!

    • Mindy Grant

      Well stated!

  • Anonymous

    What a newsflash!  Murray Putnam has been placed on leave and there is “no comment” from anybody. 

  • Anonymous

    I have had the opportunity to travel 4 times for spring training with his team in a joint effort.  On  those four trips I learned more than I ever could  imagine about the fundimentals , history , and the game of baseball. I became closer to my team mates and also closer to my rivals both on and of the baseball diamond. As a freshman I heard storys about the very topic Coach Putnam is on administartive leave. They horrified me , but I went anyway becaus I loved the game of baseball and still do . In those four years there was some   horse play and some misguided pranks, but never anything that could have hurt anybody. God help you if another coach, let alone Coach Putnam were to have caught you . You would most deffinately have hell to pay. This being said, Coach Putnam , in my opinion , would have never let any harm come  to his players or students at the hand of another . With a team of adolecents , im sure from time to time he lost track of who was where when, but this man during the whole 4 trips I took , never seemed to sleep and always was on the prowl for a misguided player with bad intentions. Good luck Coach Putnam.

  • Anonymous

    b4 i clicked on the article I knew it had to do with the internet somehow.  Cut him a break.  Can u imagine what was going on b4 the internet.  Maine schools are rediculous

    • Amy Higgins Bishop

      The world in general is….no accountability any more……heck look at our justice system they follow suit……lets give ya a bigger fine and jail sentence for shooting a moose out of season then we do drug dealers or murders…….our priority’s are all screwed up

  • Anonymous

    Please, this entire thing is the result of the personal vendettas of a few select people with no business even having any sort of power over the decision to put Mr. Putnam on leave.  I’ve heard the story and all I can say is it’s unfair to expect any regular human to be capable of the omniscience necessary to monitor students in our modern society.  With the prevalence of cellphones and the amount of connectivity they give us, there’s no way he could have prevented this “hazing” from happening unless he was standing in the room monitoring the students the entire night.  Yes, you could argue “well why wasn’t there someone chaperoning them” but let’s face it, SACS is a tiny school with a tinier budget and few people willing to actually aid student trips, at least few enough that having one per room isn’t feasible.Is Mr. Putnam perfect? No. Does he deserve this? Again, the answer is no.  I hope, at the very least, the students responsible are ashamed. If you ask me they should face punishment because behavior of the sort they exhibited means they don’t have a right to be on the team in the first place if they can’t conduct themselves in a mature manner when representing SACS on a school trip.

    • I would like to Know where Mr DOE is coming from when he said the safety and well being of the students is why Mr Putnam is on Leave…Is he trying to earn his $400 or so dollars a day pay he gets…Get real Mr DOE…………………..

    • Anonymous

       As with most anything in today’s society, there aren’t enough “volunteers” to go around.  Parents send their children to school unprepared to learn and / or behave.  Respect is not taught … just the opposite is what is being passed on …. Expect it to be given and if not; take when the opportunity arises.

      Those same people that could have / should have been chaperones are called “parents”.  It’s time for those individuals to live up to the responsibilities of this title.

      As for Coach Putnam, maybe his “leave of absence” will send a message to those that were in poor judgement and see someone that they care about was hurt by their actions.  Accountability and consequences are the perfect remedy for helping to limit negative actions. 

  • would a bus driver be placed on leave if one one of their students riding the bus home from school did the same thing? jw?

  • Anonymous

    Comment Removed by writer

  • Anonymous

    Yes, students need to be held accountable. But it is also assumed that adult supervision is present.  Is a briefing given before students get on the bus, and a clear understanding of behavioral expectations?  OK, some have said that no one wanted to “get caught” by Mr. Putnam.  Is that leadership? Is he respected or feared?  It is sad watching people at the height, or past the height, of their career, not recognizing when it is time to pass the baton. 

    • Anonymous

      You said it yourself, the students were told and therefore should be punished.  From what I’ve heard for many years, most players did fear Mr. Putnam, but all respected him also.  Your comment boarders age discrimination.  I’m curious if you’re a business owner and if so, how do you get rid of your seasoned employees?

      • Anonymous

         Hence the root of so many social problems — immediately assume discrimination and claim a “protected class.”  We can no longer call a spade a spade (that is not a racist comment – just an old time expression, so relax…).  I have seen too many people over the years who surpass their point of optimal effectiveness, and fail to recognize it.  Not always a matter of age, although as we get older our effectiveness generally erodes.  Is that discrimination or simply reality?  I just think it is disheartening to see a stellar career end on a low point.  And, as for seasoned employees, I generally gravitate toward older employees, as they (as a rule) have the better work ethic. I don’t care how old a man or woman is — if they can do the job, great, if not, time to move on.  I wish we could come to the defense of teachers in the classroom as quickly as we do a baseball coach.  We are seeing the results of substandard academics with Maine students.  How many of the past players went on to the pros?  What if that same energy over 44 years had been invested in inspiring a young person to pursue math or the sciences – two weak areas according to recent test results, but both of which can lead to great jobs.  Maybe our priorities get a little skewed, and clouded with emotion at time?  Well, something(s) to think about.  Thanks for your feedback.  Please don’t take this personal or react accordingly.

    • Anonymous

      are you serious? accountability starts at home! why would a coach of young men need to have a talk about common manners and courtesy before they get on the bus? i’m sorry but if your kid doesn’t know whats right from wrong to start with, that coach won’t have a chance with out being stern and feared. imo, hold the parents responsible and their offspring. 

      • Anonymous

        You can’t be serious,.  If you are, then obviously you have never been responsible for supervising a bus load of “young men” anywhere.  You seem to suggest a coach can just get on the bus, take a seat, and leave these fine young men to themselves, because after all, we will just hold the parents accountable after the fact….. Huh???????  Seriously ???????

  •  Lets not make this out to be anything more then what it is. Certain members of the school board and the administrator have had it out for Mr. Putnam since the start of the school year. First taking away morning practices due to an anonymous  letter complaining about them. Next threatening to take away the annual trip and finally putting him on leave. It has been clear to me that certain people were just waiting for the opportunity to jump at an incident such as the “hazing” that occurred. Granted the students in question should have known better, yet this trip was under the microscope from the start. The apparent investigation launched by the school turned into nothing but a witch hunt. With people searching for something that wasn’t there. It is unfortunate that a person such as Mr. Putnam has been subjected to something like this, even if you dislike the man, he has served the school for many years. What exactly is the standard here? Do we now investigate every incident that occurs and put whoever was in charge on leave? How can one man take responsibility for every action a student takes? 

    • Jake_OO7

      Anonymous letter?  Same thing happened to Lepage about the mural. 

    • Amy Higgins Bishop

      The standards in this world are to blame everyone else but the children involved……..or the parents who raised them.  I realize that all kids make mistakes but seems as though no one truly get punished …..instead we make a rule or go after someone because we don’t hold anyone accountable for their own actions.

      • No one gets punished? All kids involved in these actions were suspended by the school for five days, this included suspension from the baseball team. They did something wrong and served their punishment. What more can you ask?

        • It would have been nice if they provided that information in the article.

    • Anonymous

       While I agree with most being said above, I do not personally know of the specifics of the event nor pretend to know Mr. Putnam.  However, what I hear in the stories above is a man that cares for these kids and has made a difference.  Having said this, though, with regards to the comment above “It has been clear to me that certain people were just waiting for the opportunity to jump at the next incident”; the unfortunate part is that certain individuals provided this opportunity for those “out” for Mr. Putnam. 

      Another thing I can learn from reading this article along with the nice comments (especially Bravehearts1) is that Mr. Putnam will rise above this with his strength, conviction & faith to assist those individuals such as the ones that caused this incident to become better citizens. 

      Good luck Coach ….. Although, I don’t believe “luck” is what you will need or use :)

      Thank You for being who you are …

    • Guest

      ….

      • I agree with you 100% Generally it is the school boards policy not to act on an anonymous letter. Why they chose to do so this time is beyond me.

        • Guest

          ….

        • Anonymous

          The school board made no decision in this matter. The administration at the school made the decision.

  • Anonymous

    Is that really the superintendents name

  • Justin Haggerty

    A Mr. John Doe? is that his real name? haha. Guy sounds like he’s just trying to make a name for himself with this case. Always a rookie.

  • I believe that Mr.Putnam had no knowledge about what was going on.. You cant hold him responsible for another persons actions… If anyone should be to blame it should be the students that were involved in this act of hazing not the coach.. 
     I am in support of Mr.Putnam, he has been at Southern Aroostook as long as the school has been built.. He has led our school to multipul State victories. 
    Southern Aroostook Community school is built upon the community, and if the community has anything to say about Mr.Putnam being there then he defiantly will be.. 

  • Anonymous

    I and several that I know will be in full support of Mr. Putnam.  He truly is a great coach/man.  I am sure that the truth will come out, and it’s unfortunate that he is wrapped up in all this.  Baseball/coaching has been his lifelong passion.  And I hope the little snots who did any hazing, if there is any truth to it, realize what they are doing to an old man who’s life has been devoted to them and people like them.  

    • Anonymous

      If the charge/s against Mr. Putnam aren’t dismissed….then I would watch quite closely who might be waiting in the wings to fill his position. It all comes out in the wash.
       

  • Personal vendettas is EXACTLY right. I couldn’t agree more. This entire situation has done nothing but aggrevate a community EXCEPT for a few select people who have done nothing but to try to take this innocent, and wonderful man out. His whole life has been about making the baseball program at SACS, the best it could be. He has put his own money into that program and more time than we could ever imagine. There is NO ONE that has more heart for the game than him. My husband, brother-in-laws, brother, father, uncle (you get my point) have all played for Mr. Putnam and have all said the same thing, he treated everyone single one of them, like a son. There are many I want to say about these accusations, but they really aren’t appropraite and I should act like the adult I am :) And also, the comment about Mr. Putnam teaching and all he talked about was sports? I must respectfully disagree with you. I took World History with him my Junior or Sophomore year (I can’t remember which one ?) but anyways, I was FLOORED with his intelligence. I remember the week, our class had to give presentations and it could be on anything we wanted. It didn’t matter what the subject was, he knew EVERYTHING about it. A date, a person, a time, a problem, it didn’t matter he knew. And he NEVER had a book in front of him. And if you know anything about history, there tend to be quite a few dates involved (yes, I am being sarcastic) I had an entirely new respect from him after that class. I do not remember him discussing sports once (And yes, we had baseball players in our class) So, as for him not being a good educator, I have to disagree. And I also have to say, everyone, not just in High School, the entire school, respected this man. He IS all about the rules, safety, and respect at Southern Aroostook Community School. Straight up :) My house is 100% is support of Mr. Putnam. In MY opinion, these accusations are completely bogus!

    • Anonymous

      I tend to agree with most of what you say . There are some people who don’t like Mr. Putnam and everyone in the area knows that. That being said, those people are not the ones who created the problem. They may have been quick to react to it- but they did not CREATE it. The problem has been created by a small handfull of athletes who let something get out of hand…..THEY are the whole problem here. If they had behaved , like the rest of them had. There wouldn’t be a problem.   

      People want to make this about Mr Putnam, but the other Coach on the team was placed on leave too in the beginning  ( Not sure if Coach U is still out or back – no mention in the article) As the “Adults” responsible for the team’s welfare when they are on a trip, they are being held accountable for their players behavior, even if they had no direct knowledge of it. It works that way in every school system.

      The difference here is that many people are making it personal. While even a blind person can see the dislike  between the Coach and the family you reference; there is still a respect there.  You can dislike a coach and still respect them. When they have had previous issues/ problems – they have been out in the open and face to face….They can dislike Coach Putnam, but still respect him, like most of the Community does.

      Because you signed your name, I can tell you that your Dad, and your younger brother have that same respect too, probably even more.    

      The sad part is that a FEW SELECT athletes Don’t Have the same respect  for The Coach, the School or much of anything else. They cause the problem but sadly The Coach will be the one who gets drug through the mud.   

      When a player gets a lot of cards in soccer, then gets suspended a few games and gets the basketball coach fired, then becomes one of the ringleaders again in this incident ( and suspended again) …maybe people shouldn’t be so quick to jump on the family that dislikes Coach Putnam- but should be looking at the family(s) of the players who cause the problems instead. They are the ones with NO RESPECT. They are the ones who give your school a black eye .

      Because you signed your name, and I remember watching you play multiple sports- I know that you  represented your school with class and respected your coaches. Your brother does the same thing. You learned from your father, and he no doubt learned many lessons from Coach Putnam.

      I beleive Coach Putnam has been hurt tremendously, his reputation has been sullied, and I also believe he WILL be back. He DESERVES to be back. He has EARNED respect of a great many people throughout the entire State.   

      Hopefully things have not deteriorated to the point where they can not be repaired . Coach Putnam has an unmatched passion for the game of baseball and for HIS school.    It would be a darn shame for it to end this way. Unless something comes out that changes things, then I fully expect that he should return to the dugout at SAHS.        The Sooner – the Better – for everyone involved!                             

      • Very well put, I agree. I think respect is  ONE of  the most upright important things right now. I did put my name b/c I am not ashamed  (I have a Mr. Putnam sign on my telephone poll) And I agree, there are many people who might not like Mr. Putnam but they do respect him. He deserves it. And thank you for the nice compliments, they are greatly appreciate it. I agree, they are learned traits, not only from parents but from coaches as well. Fortunately for me, I played for some of the best coaches. I am not going to say his name but, my High School basketball coach, in my opinion, was the best. We respected that man b/c he respected us. He treated us like ladies, even when we acted like children. He was so passionate, it made us passionate. Playing basketball for him are the best memories of HS I have.  Anyway, the point I am trying to make here is, I feel like Mr. Putnam carries himself in alot of the same ways. I know I have said all of this before but he is so passionate, respectful, and loyal to his team, it’s contagious. Those boys respect him b/c Mr. Putnam respects them. It’s heartbraking to think that Mr. Putnam’s repuatation is being so dismantled like it is. I really hope the right thing happens here, and he can sit in a dugout, at the Murray W. Putnam baseball field where he belongs!
        I am sorry if I offended anybody, that wasn’t my intention, just my honest opinion.

  • Anonymous

    what a shame. my son played ball against the teams of mr putnam. he graced the field with a crew of ball players that showed a high volume of respect and admirable sportsmanship regardless of winning or losing. the folks responsible for this bogus ruling should step down immediately. you have to ask yourself one question, where will we be when the likes of good people as mr putnam and a few others leave the system? what will be the replacement? i can tell you the answer. it will be someone that has an agenda other then working hard and earning your position in life. after all isn’t that what good school competition teaches?  since when does anyone not applying hard effort deserve the same rewards as those that accelerate with hard work and honor. its like the “no kid left behind”,, its b/s!  if you don’t want to be left behind then get your thumb outta your #&% and make something of yourself. it’ll be a sad day when real coaches throw the towel in because of parents of lazy and self absorbed kids that wait for a hand out because of who they are or the lack of what they stand for! i have no idea of what took place in the administration up there, but from what i’ve read,, you folks up there should be ashamed of your system.. mr putnam, your a good man and a very good coach, your clearly the citizen you’ve tried to teach kids to be. hold your head high sir, you deserve it! 

  • Guest

    When a kid comes to school late every day and skips twice a week who should be put on leave for that behavior?

  • Seems this has been an inquisition from the very beginning of the season. I went on the origional Boston trips where I didn’t need to speak any French. It was my first trip out of the state of Maine and what an eye opener. Went to my first Red Sox game back when a regular Joe could afford it. These were memories that I have never forgotten with teammates and friends that I still stay in touch with, even if it is only in spirit. The lessons I learned are still with me and I use them daily. Murray of course was our coach and earned and deserved the respect that every player should show his coach, teacher, or parent. This is where it all started to fall apart this year. From the very beginning someone had an axe to grind with Coach Putnam. 2 weeks before the Trip they hold morning practices that start at 5:00 AM. My kid went through it and it taught him how to get up in the morning and how to be on time. I was willing to take him to these early practices until he was able to go on his own. This year a certain parent got a hair across thier you know what and complained to the point were the practices were reschelued to later in the day. Either the kid was not willing or the parent was to lazy to make it happen. Then the Boston trip was put in question by certain school board members and there was a push to stop the trip. Needless to say the school board voted to allow the trip after supporters attended the meeting and pleaded thier case. When the trip was over certain incidents came to light. I’m not saying these incidents didn’t happen but is it necessary to question all the kids and parents with police and lawyers involved also. The hazeing is more or less the idea of something happening rather than an actual event. It seems most players knew enough to downplay the incidents in question but it only takes one to blow everything out of proportion. Life is tough, nothing comes easy and hard work is the only life I know. Hopefully my son has an easier time of it and these lessons he has learned will help him along the way. To bad a negative spin has tarnished the reputation of a Respected coach and school district with a baseball tradition that is unequaled in the Southern Aroostook area. Thank you for letting me get this off my chest.

  • Anonymous

    I have no idea who this guy is or where Southern Aroostook is but it is obvious to me that this poor man is being  told that his time is up.

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