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Hoops coach punished for 'Crybaby Award'

PLEASANTVILLE, N.J. -- A basketball coach who gave a
13-year-old player a "Crybaby Award" will be banned from
coaching, sent to sensitivity training and ordered to make a public
apology.

Schools superintendent Edwin Coyle revealed the punishments
Wednesday. Whether the coach loses his job remains to be seen.

James Guillen, 24, a third-year special education teacher at the
Pleasantville Middle School, had a trophy made up showing an infant
atop a pedestal, with a plaque bearing the inscription of player
Terrence Philo Jr. and the words "Crybaby Award.''

Terrence was spelled "Terrance."

After summoning the boy to attend the April 24 season-ending
banquet, Guillen gave him the trophy, humiliating him in front of
about 25 teammates and parents.

On Tuesday, the nine-member Pleasantville Board of Education
voted to fire Guillen, rejecting Coyle's recommendation for lighter
sanctions.

But state law mandates that hiring and firing recommendations
come from the superintendent, not board members.

As a result, the vote to dismiss Guillen wasn't valid, according
to Frank Belluscio, a spokesman for the New Jersey School Boards
Association.

"It's not binding. It's not proper procedure," Belluscio said.

Coyle, who said dismissal would be too severe a punishment, said
he would ban Guillen from ever coaching in Pleasantville schools
and order the sensitivity training and public apology.

In addition, Guillen will be ordered to hold the banquet again
and give Philo the trophy other players received. A veteran teacher
also will be assigned to mentor Guillen.

Coyle said he would ask the board a second time to authorize a
five-day suspension without pay and the forfeiture of a $3,000 pay
raise due to Guillen.

The boy's father, Terrence Philo, said he would leave the
penalty to school officials.

"I just want what's right. I want my son to have a trophy and
certificate like everyone else got. No less, no more," he said.

Guillen, who has yet to speak publicly about the incident,
remains on the job as a special education teacher at the school.