Volume 95, Issue 95

Thursday, March 4, 2002
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Past and present Mustangs speak up about Larry Haylor

New York not just the 'Big Apple'

Western's women golfers ready to tee it up

The sticky sports bubble

Past and present Mustangs speak up about Larry Haylor

By Ryan Dixon
Gazette Staff

A slew of differing opinions on the behaviour of Western football bench boss Larry Haylor are starting to surface in the wake of a formal complaint player Philippe Beaudry filed with equity services over a heated weight room exchange with the coach.

On one hand, there is talk of a coach who intimidates, humiliates and forces injured players to perform. By contrast, some players who have competed for Haylor say nothing of the sort takes place.

Fourth-year defensive lineman Mike Pasel said there are some misconceptions about Haylor. "A lot of people misunderstand [Haylor]. He would never do anything to hurt anybody."

Former Mustang offensive lineman Lenn Gurr tells a different story. After two seasons with the team, Gurr was let go on the last day of training camp this year despite the fact he claimed his offensive line coach told him he had a "phenomenal" camp. Gurr said he thinks the reason he was released stems from a meeting with Haylor after the 2000-01 campaign.

"We had meetings individually last year with [Haylor] and I told him I didn't think he was fair to people and he didn't treat them with any respect. He told me if that was my attitude then maybe I shouldn't be on the team. It was left unresolved," Gurr said.

Gurr added that when he was let go the following September, he was given no explanation from Haylor other than, "it was not in my best interest to be on the team."

Gurr said he did receive a letter of apology from Haylor along with a game jersey – but no explanation.

"[Haylor] coaches based purely on intimidation," Gurr alleged. "If you're injured, he will try and embarrass you by making fun of you in front of other players."

Gurr said Haylor "basically called me a wimp" while he was suffering from severe shin splints.

Former Western tight end Hudson Clark referred to Haylor as the "Bobby Knight of Canadian football," adding he's about "tough love" and "he didn't get to the top by being a nice guy."

Former Mustang defensive back Tobin Thomas said after he laid a big hit on a wide reciever last year in practice Haylor reacted very strongly.

"I drilled a reciever fair and square but apparently that's not sportsmanlike," he said. At that point Tobin said Haylor started yelling at him. Tobin said when he approached Haylor he, "turned around and grabbed my face mask and gave it a pretty good shake."

"In hindsight it just paints a picture," Tobin said, adding while he's been whacked in the helmut by coaches before, this incident was "like the difference between half-joking and calling someone a moron and calling them a waste of skin."

Pasel had a different take on Haylor's approach.

"If you're not doing the correct thing, you're told. The players complaining can't handle criticism. They have to understand it's not personal, it's done to make you better and to make the team better. That's what an elite coach does," Pasel said.

Pasel also said he has seen no evidence of Haylor forcing players to play through injuries. "I've been injured the past two seasons and never felt any pressure from [Haylor]. He has to make sure nobody's faking an injury because that has happened, but the doctor is there to regulate that kind of thing."

Larry Haylor declined comment to The Gazette.

Jeremy Brace/Gazette
SOME GUYS GOT MY BACK AND SOME DON'T. Different players have different perspectives on Western football coach Larry Haylor's coaching techniques.

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Copyright The Gazette 2002