Pembroke coach Alosa: Welch's punishment too severe
CONCORD — Pembroke Academy head coach Matt Alosa said Sunday he was disappointed the New Hampshire Basketball Coaches Organization stripped Pat Welch of his honors after the Spartans' guard sent out an obscene tweet following his team's NHIAA Division II boys' basketball state title.
"I don't believe the punishment fits the crime," said Alosa, who coached the Division II boys' all-star team at the annual NHBCO Granite State High School games at New Hampshire Technical Institute.
The tweet was posted by Welch on March 15 right after the Spartans' win Portsmouth High. The NHBCO on Friday stripped Welch of his Division II Player of the Year Award and rescinded his invitation to participate in Sunday's senior game and in the annual Twin State Games slated in July at NHTI.
Gary Noyes of Rochester, president of the NHBCO, had no comment Sunday about Alosa's reaction. In a statement released Friday by Noyes, he said, in part "The NHBCO is disappointed to announce the unfortunate decision to rescind the Division 2 Player of the Year awarded to Pat Welch from Pembroke Academy. Last week, Pat Welch was named by the Division 2 coaches as their Player of the Year. Since that time, it has come to the NHBCO executive board's attention that Pat Welch displayed flagrant un-sportsmanlike behavior. We have contacted Pembroke Academy and informed them of our decision.
"Pat Welch will not be allowed to represent his school at either the senior games being held at NHTI this Sunday nor at the Twin State game vs. Vermont this summer. It is with great sadness that this committee has to act on this situation, but we strive to uphold the tenet that this award is not based solely on a basketball player's ability but also on that player's character and demonstrated sportsmanship.
"It has been decided that Jourdain Bell from Bishop Brady will be selected as the Division 2 Player of the Year."
Alosa said "they basically took away Pat's body of work this season because of a tweet that ended up online for 15 minutes," said Alosa. "I don't like and don't condone what was written in that tweet. There's no program I respect more than Portsmouth High."
Alosa said Welch has already apologized in person to members of the Portsmouth administration.
"Our principal (Michael Reardon) and athletic director (Suzanne Klink) drove with Pat to Portsmouth and he personally apologized to their athletic director, principal and coach," said Alosa, who said Welch let his emotions get the best of him after the state championship win.
As for the NHBCO naming Bell as its player of the year, Alosa said "they can give it to him. But as far as I'm concerned, Pat Welch is still the player of the year."