2018-04-05 / Views

Wait for more facts before judging coach

We honor the requests of sources to discuss topics off the record, which is why our coverage of tennis coach Tim Sutherland appeared as it did last week.

Mr. Sutherland was charged with leaving the scene of an accident after his vehicle struck a pedestrian. He was driving to the Glen Lake Community Schools campus to become a chaperone on a spectator bus headed to the Breslin Center to watch the Lakers compete in the State Final.

The Enterprise story was written with all the information we could share with readers. To do otherwise would be to slant coverage, to provide a story that didn’t align with the facts it contained.

We did reach out to Mr. Sutherland, who candidly offered his side of the story. His attorney, however, advised against speaking directly to readers of the Enterprise, and so a sense of balance was lost in the story that was published.

We’re not quibbling with the attorney’s decision, although we lament its result.

On the editorial page, however, our voice is allowed more latitude.

We know Mr. Sutherland only professionally through our coverage of the county tennis program, but that is enough to say he has had a positive effect on youth under his tenure. He loves his kids, as well as the Glen Lake community.

And like most coaches, comparing his compensation to his level of devotion leaves one in bewilderment.

While Mr. Sutherland has been charged, he remains innocent. We ask the people of Leelanau to withhold judgment until all sides in the case are presented.

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