Shyatt Decides not to Coach in Maccabiah Games


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Clemson, SC--Clemson Head Coach Larry Shyatt announced Friday that he
would not serve as head coach of the United States men's basketball
team in the 2001 Maccabiah Games. The games will be held in Tel
Aviv, Israel July 15-27.


Shyatt is the third United States coach to decide not to
coach in the games. Michael Groves (softball) and Dave Pottruck
(wrestling) have also decided not to serve as coaches in the games.


Shyatt also said that his assistants and administrators had
decided not to attend the games.


The following is a letter Shyatt sent to the prospective
members of his team on Friday.


To the players and parents of the USA Maccabi Men's Basketball Team:



I am sure you all aware of the American Officials decision yesterday to
send participants to the Maccabiah Games. In light of this decision, I
would like to please share with you my position and explain to you my
feelings at this point in time. As much as I would love to lead our USA
Basketball Team in the pursuit of a life long dream to participate in
this experience, I feel responsible to take the following position.



Gary Lieberman and I feel, as I am sure you also feel, that we would
want to embrace the total experience as we worship the games. We feel
that we can no longer provide the total experience that these Maccabiah
games represent and still insure the safety of our team.



Our leadership has placed most of the responsibility on us to make an adult
decision. Knowing that I may lose my position and never again have this
once in a lifetime experience of coaching this elite team, I feel that
it is in the best interest of all to postpone our involvement.



Hopefully I will be able to proudly coach this team in 2002, when the
climate is more conducive and peaceful. Then we can all bring our
families to our homeland to celebrate our heritage and enjoy our
Maccabiah experience as we intended.



Please know that I have searched my heart and come to the conclusion I
feel is the most responsible. I am prepared to make the announcement
today to the Maccabi home office in Philadelphia, that I, regretfully,
can not lead the team to Israel at this time. I trust and pray that our
leaders will find it in their hearts to postpone this monumental event to
a time when we all can, with assured safety for our US team, experience
everything our heritage and homeland can offer. Please do not hesitate
to call me or Gary with questions or concerns, or if you should need any
assistance in the future.

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