March 6, 2012
David Boyd is a great high school basketball coach and maybe an even better villain.
No other coach in the state, regardless of sport, draws the kind of negative comments — in conversation, on message boards and in gyms — as the ultra-successful Milton boys basketball coach.
Boyd was far from beloved by many in the Gwinnett basketball community when he built Berkmar into a basketball powerhouse that won back-to-back state championships in 2000 and 2001. If he coached your team, you loved him. If he coached your rival, it's a safe bet he was public enemy No. 1.
From our perspective, Boyd was great. He was cooperative and provided whatever we needed on his team, plus he was winning games and dealing out interesting quotes that kept our readers engaged. Win or lose, he had no problem talking with us.
One of the main problems people have with Boyd is that top talent seems to follow him wherever he goes. How it gets there is up for debate. But that label as a coach who recruits makes him easy to hate, sort of a symbol to some of what's wrong with high school basketball.
As much ire as fans have for Boyd, you can't help but wonder if the venom trickles down to the referees.
It sure seemed that way when Milton star Charles Mann, a 6-foot-4 point guard who has signed with Georgia, was issued his second technical foul in last weekend's victory over North Gwinnett. The first technical called on Mann came early in the game and probably shouldn't have been called, either. But the second one was ridiculously bad.
Mann supposedly got the second technical for taunting, but the video doesn't appear to show any real taunting. No jumping in anyone's face. No jawing. No shoving. Just a glance from Mann.
If high school referees are going to start handing out technicals for gazes, we're all in for a huge batch of technicals. It's sad that the referee's hasty decision will now cost Mann, a senior, the final two games of his high school career. He'll have to watch as his teammates play in this week's Final Four at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.
The technical call seemed so ridiculous that it at least makes you think — was it a shot at Boyd?
We'll never know for sure. Either way, there's no justice for Charles Mann. He won't get to play this week and the fans will be cheated out of seeing the future Georgia Bulldog in action.
**** Here's the video of Mann's dunk and technical. Let me know what you think.