The article "South Dakota State Coach Scott Nagy Forces Wife To Choose Him Over Two Sons," written by Ben Maller last month, misrepresents and misinterprets the character of coach Nagy.
The situation was that South Dakota State was playing in the NCAA tournament on the same day Nagy's sons were competing in the state tournament.
The problem in the article may have been a lack of context, which this story aims to provide.
The first conflict occurs with this line: "Nick, a senior, might be taking part in his final high school game."
In South Dakota, all teams in the state tournament play three games, regardless of the outcomes: One Thursday, one Friday and one Saturday. Therefore, Nick Nagy's final game could not have been on Thursday, which was the same night South Dakota State played in the NCAA tournament. Nick's final game was always going to be Saturday, which Coach Nagy and his wife both attended.
The second conflict occurs with this line: "But her husband made the call."
While this is not misreported, the nature of this statement is misrepresented. Coach Nagy's wife was not forced to attend the Jackrabbits' NCAA tournament game vs. Baylor, as the headline suggests. Mr. and Mrs. Nagy are approaching 20 years of marriage. Their marriage and family are best characterized by love and mutual respect, and she trusts the leadership of her husband. The decision was made within the framework of such a marriage.
The third conflict occurs with this line: "In 2009, Nagy coached a game against North Dakota barefoot in an effort to raise money for victims of the big earthquake in Haiti."
A couple of incorrect facts exist in this statement. Coach Nagy did coach barefoot after the earthquake, but he also coached barefoot before the earthquake in Haiti to raise awareness for Samaritan's Feet -- a basketball-related charity for which he was honored as 2012 Barefoot Coach of the Year. Those efforts also led to him being recently awarded the NABC Guardians of the Game Pillar Award for Service. Thus, Coach Nagy coaching barefoot that night in 2009 was not necessarily related to Haiti or to the earthquake that tragically occurred.
Furthermore, the game Maller refers to was actually against North Dakota State University, not the University of North Dakota. Naming North Dakota in this article rather than North Dakota State resembles naming Arizona instead of Arizona State, Colorado instead of Colorado State, Florida instead of Florida State, Iowa instead of Iowa State and South Dakota instead of South Dakota State.
The final conflict occurs with this line: "Although the coach will likely be denounced for his surprising decision ... "
Coach Nagy and his wife received approval from various parties for how they handled the schedule conflicts. The most important approval to the Nagys came from family, friends and the children -- who all worked together that week to support each other and to enjoy the exciting opportunities.
Coach Nagy and his wife did watch their sons play their high school game via an Internet video feed (as Ben Maller correctly reported) in their hotel room with three of the boys' grandparents and three younger siblings. The family huddled around the computer, cheering on the boys. The family texted the boys and talked to them before and after the game. Despite what turned out to be a difficult opening-round loss, the boys were excited for their dad and his opportunity to coach in the NCAA tournament that evening and for the Jackrabbit team.
Here is what occurred after the Jackrabbits' loss on Thursday night to Baylor:
Coach Nagy and his wife (along with the fans, players and administration) flew to Sioux Falls, S.D., departing at 7:45 a.m. from the hotel. Upon landing at the airport, the group boarded a bus to Brookings, on which the Nagy parents watched their boys' second game in the state tournament via wi-fi and their phones. Once in Brookings, coach Nagy and his wife hopped into the car, without stopping at home, and made the six-hour drive across the state to Rapid City, S.D., to see their boys play in the state tournament that next day.
Mr. and Mrs. Nagy arrived at their boys' final game of the season, Nick's final game in his career, wearing red and black to support the Brookings Bobcats. The proud parents watched as the Bobcats won the final game of the season and of Nick's career.
Many people might ask, "But what if South Dakota State had beaten Baylor? Then what would have happened?" The family simply states they are thankful they attended both important games.
Some things just work out the way they are intended.
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