Coaches banned from Northern Guilford

Posted by Andy Durham on April 23, 2009 at 11:37 pm under High School | 53 Comments to Read

full details at

GREENSBORO — Guilford County Schools officials confirmed Thursday evening that all non-faculty coaches whose sports are not in season are banned from Northern Guilford High School pending the completion of an investigation into undisclosed issues involving the athletics department. The coaches have been banned since Tuesday.

Sources have told the News & Record that the school system’s investigation centers on Northern’s football, boys basketball and baseball programs.

Principal Joe Yeager and Athletics Director Derrell Force resigned April 10 along with the school’s head custodian Louis Lawson. But Lawson last week rescinded that resignation, setting up a possible legal showdown with Guilford County Schools.

Lawson said last week that school officials “interrogated” him for several hours over three days before giving him a choice: resign or be fired. Lawson said he resigned under the stress of several lengthy interviews but later reconsidered.

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  • will said,

    I don’t get the parental frustration. what should school personnel do? Give the parents daily updates? They have found something and they are digging into it. People are running for cover and it will take a while to figure it. Any investigation takes secrecy you cant just tell everyone whats going on until it’s finished.

    remember 2, 25 year educators resigned bringing a huge black cloud over anything they will do in the future. There has to be something there. Why would anyone throw a career away and not fight to the biter end?

  • Tom said,

    I’ll tell what GCS should have done. They should have not forced the three gentlemen to resign until the investigation was complete. They should not have banned all non faculty coaches until the investigation was complete. You have left this open to become ridiculous speculation. If this blog is any indication, the speculation is crazy. It probably isn’t as bad as some people think and probably not as clean as others think. It would be nice to know the facts.
    My daughter goes to Northern and none of the students have been told anything. You want the students to believe that our educators are honest, but you can’t even get a straight answer out of GCS. Once the investigation is completed, the proper punishment should be doled out. The kids at Northern really cared for Mr. Yeager, Mr. Force and Mr Lawson. They are the ones that are being adversely affected.

  • Pat said,

    Have you ever considered that those 25 year veterans did something so severe that it warranted firing/resignation on the spot??? This school has smelled of violations since the day it opened. Nobody competes at a new school within 2 years. It was only a matter of time.

  • robert jones said,

    In my opinion, banning all off season coaches is like cutting off an arm because you have an infection in your hand! gcs should have let off season workouts proceed and not allow any additional transfers into nghs until the investigation is completed. that would have allowed the players ( whatever sport ) to continue to workout ( if they wanted to ) without penalizing them. if there are questions with non-faculty coaches, call them in and talk to them in the same way they talk to employees ( well maybe that’s not such a good idea ) instead of just painting everyone with the same brush.
    it appears that gcs employees did not do a very good job of determining whether transfers were warranted or not from the beginning, if there is such a major controversy at this stage. maybe that’s why they are dealing with the issue in such a “bull in a china shop” manner.
    is the new principal @ nghs, the same principalfrom southeast who led the investigation of the baseball transfers to grimsley?

  • beth said,

    Who is in charge here?
    Does anyone know who made the decision to open this investigation and ban coaches and why isn’t this person required to answer any questions?

    Mr. Frye is correct in the article that they should make this county-wide, nor just Northern. Maybe then people would know how widespread non-faculty coaching is.

    Also, couldn’t all of this been done during the summer when it would not be such a distraction for the students who are in the middle of preparing for the EOCs?

    Did they (whoever ‘they’ is) just want to build up as much ill-will as possible against Northern?
    The News-Record has written all these articles and no facts have been reported concerning what has happened. They might as well print the comments on this blog.

  • Tom said,

    Beth is right. Just tell us why. If Northern has done something wrong, just tell us what it is? Pat, you proved my point by speculating that they did something terrible. What did they do? We need facts.
    This definitely could have waited until the school year was over. It is a serious distraction to the students. GCS needs to step up and conclude their investigation quickly. That is the only way this nonsense will stop.

  • YOU DONT GET IT! said,


    This is about Northern and them only, so there is no point in opening it up county wide. Am I naive enough to think that other schools don’t recruit, well, no I’m not, but I like the analogy of the poster who talks about embezzlement. Northern became too greedy too fast. You want to know answers, well, here is one. You have non-faculty coaches (mainly one for sure in football and who frequently gets on this site) is a street agent and tells kids how much he can help them all the while bad mouthing the coaches that they currently have. You see, this street agent may do wonderful things for these kids, but it is the way that he went about doing it. Too many coaches in the county know this street agent and what he is like, and too many kids and parents have talked to this street agent and then passed that information along. So, it didn’t take long for that information to get to the county office. I can tell you that county coaches are getting tired of being lied about and bad mouthed by this street agent. Transfers aren’t that big of a deal as long as it is done right. There are some players who may need a change of scenary, but the transfer as to be done correctly.

    But, if you want to find the main “ill will” then look internally at your own school and parents.

    By the way, and I’m just speaking for myself here, but it is great that Northern is such a nice school with wonderful amenities. Right now, this school is a very nice opportunity for some kids. Just do it the right way though. IMO I don’t think anyone wishes the school would blow up, but I do feel that if they had done things the right way, then there would be a lot more respect from everyone else in the county.

  • joe said,

    Everyone, you will find out in time. Let the county complete their work and then it will come out. I don’t know why people think they deserve an answer when the process is not complete.

    I’m sure many students do like Yeager and Force. I give them the benefit of the doubt that they are good educators and have done some great things in their careers. Unfortuantely the County believes something is wrong at Northern and they have enough reason to believe so that they asked for the resignations of two experienced educators.

    As to stopping non-educators from coaching, that will be tough to do. There are not enough educators that are qualified or want to coach, especially with asst. coaches. When a school looks for a coach they TYPICALLY look at their own staff for a qualified person. If they do not find one they look at educators at other schools. If still not satisfied they TYPICALLY look outside the school system. They do not have to do this. They can hire a non-educator if they choose but most principals look within the system first.

    Robert, it does hurt the kids some that they cannot workout with their coaches at this time, but be specific. What impact does it really have? Football can have a very limited spring practice with only 2-3 weeks max and only so many kids at a time. The kids do miss out but they miss very little. No pads, no contact. And not every school has spring football drills. Plus, if the kids are dying to work out they can work out on their own. Nobody is stopping them from training.

    I can’t blame the county for banning the non-faculty coaches from the school when not in season. There is an investigation going on. They have no reason to be there and they can only hamper the investigation. Some of you need to do some research on why Coach K left HPC and the details to that process.

    And please do not act like parents didn’t know kids were not transferring to Northern. At every sports training facility in the Triad kids are talking about transferring to schools. And the name that comes up much more than anyone else is Northern. Ask the kids, they know who lives where, who is transferru=ing for what reason.

  • sports fan said,

    Hey guy’s check out

    Reports on that board is that Gabe King has been ruled inegilbe to play in the State of North Carolina resulting in him not being able to play his Senior Season for using a false address to attend Page High School. They say Gabe enrolled at Northern Last week.

  • kirk said,

    I don’t know whether they need to open this up across the county or not but they do need a clear and firm policy. One that is enforceable and easy to understand and can be applied across all county schools. I realize something has been in place but it appears enforcement has been left up to each school. This leaves things open to interpretation. Some pricipals are more diligent than others.

  • sports fan said, is reporting that former Page standout Gabe King has been ruled inegible to play his senior season in the State of North Carolina.
    Gabe King reportedly enrolled at Northern last week over spring break.

  • kbenton said,

    I just read the article in the News and Record and was laughing at some of teh responses.

    The cheerleading coach actually said that Northern was being “picked on”. Mrs. Christian, maybe Northen is being investigated because Northern is the only school that appears to be doing things they shouldn’t . How do you know they have not investigated claims at other schools?

    Tim Frye wants to know why the ban doesn’t apply to all schools. MAYBE BECAUSE ALL THE OTHERS ARE NOT BEING INVESTIGATED FOR CHEATING. Maybe those coaches have not broken any rules. You have to have non-faculty to complete coaching staffs. Why should kids at other schools be penalized for what may have happened at Northern?

    He says he is worried about the kids losing their mentors and leadership. Is this the kind of leadership and mentoring people are looking for to lead their children? He worries the kids are being denied the help other kids get. What would that be? You’re not in football or basketball season. Train on your own. Plus his son can see Coach K at AAU practice.

    When I read these comments in the paper I start to see why there were so many transfers.

  • smoov said,

    inside carolina is reporting Gabe King has been ruled inegible to play in the state of North Carolina next year. Gabe King reportedly enrolled at Northern Guilford over the spring break.

  • james said,

    who is gabe king? what school did he come from?

  • Andy said,

    Gabe King is 6’6 260 pound defensive end who was at Page but has transferred to Northern. There will have to a complete evaluation on this one since he has transferred into a district that he was already living in. King lives in the Northen district.

    As for the coaches being banned they have not been canned. I think part of Mr. Frye’s point is that they need the coaches there if the college coaches come to Northern on visits. For example the college coaches can visit off-season Open Gym workouts for basketball and check out potential recruits.

    If the coaches are there for NG they can run these Open Gym off-season workouts, otherwise they don’t happen and therefore you lose out on the DI and DII recruiters coming in to see your HS players in legal off-season workouts.

    To add one point here and it is a quick one, the kids need supervision at these Open Gym workouts.

  • bill said,

    These scholarships are about 80% of the problem. the great american freebie. it can’t be the driving force for HS sports. It plays to peoples worst weaknesses.

    Lawson fired by 9-1 vote of the schoolboard. speaks volumes.

  • baseballfan said,

    Kbenton, tell me about it brother! GCS or any other school district for that matter would not make the ban a county wide ban. Are you serious? That is laughable that these parents and coaches think they are being picked on! I will be honest though, these parents and coaches are doing a great job at deflecting the negative pr that is coming to them and deservedly coming to them. One last thing, having been around two of these Northern coaches that are being investigated, I am quite confident in saying that a lot of people think they are getting what they deserve. It has been going for years in the youth sports organizations around Greensboro. Does anyone remember that the AAU team that the Northern basketball coach was associated with somehow had Ray Felton, Rashad McCants, Carmelo Anthony amongst others on their Greensboro based (albeit named North Carolina Gaters) AAU basketball team. Didn’t Carmelo live in Baltimore? Rashad in Asheville? Felton in Latta, South Carolina? Just checking! Just saying that recruiting does leak into High School Sports thats all! Not saying that them being on this team was wrong, but it does establish a precedent! Especially for parents, who cannot differentiate between summer programs and high school seasons.

  • Basketball Fan said,

    Hey Bill, When did the schoolboard vote?

  • smoov said,

    Andy according to up under the premuim football board Gabe King be ruled inegible has nothing to do with him transferrin to Northern Guilford. They are reporting he used a false address to attend Page and that is what they are getting him for. Again this is not coming from me just stuff i have read on that message board. Someone also mention it on NC Preps.

  • D.I. said,

    You do not understand Bill. Scholarships are not free. One needs to realize, and appreciate the effort put forth by the student athlete to attain the level of performance necessary to obtain an athletic scholarship. Definitely not a “freebie”.

  • smoov said,

    Well according inside carolina Gabe King being ruled inegible has nothing to do with him transferring to Northern but reportedly for using false information to attend Page.

  • jason said,

    vote was last night. 9-1 landslide after a 1 hour meating. for butt covering politicians to vote that strongly so quickly tells me they have some nails in the coffin

  • baseballfan said,

    All this mess was bound to happen sooner or later with all the narcissistic people involved in high school sports. It just so happened that one school had multiple people of this nature at the same school, and now they are being investigated for recruiting. Here is a novel idea, maybe only allow faculty or staff to be coaches! These are the people who really care about kids and have no ulterior motive. To all of you who say but what if there are no quality coaches available, it is the principals responsibility and the AD’s to find them. I did have an interview where this did happen one time and I will say I now know why the interview was the way it was and I commend the school for having the AD in with the principal during the process.

  • Pat said,

    If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck – well you know…

  • Joe Barile said,

    By the way, the joe that is posting in these articles is not Joe Barile. Just FYI.

  • Andy said,

    I had always heard that the late Vic Sapp had brought in Anthony, Felton, and McCants to play for the North Carolina Gaters/Greensboro Gaters.

    Vic had contacts all over the place(very well connected with the University of North Carolina) and started out coaching football with Mike Crabtree over at the Glenwood Recreation Center.

    I’m not sure of all the associations with the teams, but I do remember Vic and his work with the Gaters. There may have been other coaches involved at the time, but when I think of the Gaters and that timeframe, I think of Vic.

    People will say things about Vic, but he loved to win and he got his start as a local student at Page High School.

    I never had a problem at all with Vic. I know he liked to compete and I respected that.

  • Basketball Fan said,

    N&R is now reporting that Page used an ineligible player during their 2008 football season. As well as the firing of Northern’s custodian

  • youpeoplewillsayanything said,

    smoov, Inside Carolina is not “reporting” anything about Gabe King and his status. One yaa-hoo on a message board on their site threw that out there in one post last night and there has been nothing else said about it.

  • smoov said,

    Go to inside carilona up under the premium message board for football and you will find the blog about Gabe King titled Gabe King Update!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Read it for yourself. Who do you imagine the article in the News & Record is about???????? Also go to inside carolina up under the regular football board and you will also see the blog about Gabe King stating the same thing.

  • smoov said, King Ruled IneligibleApr 24, 2009 … According to sources close to the situation, Gabe King has been ruled ineligible to participate in any sport for the next year. … – 4 hours ago – Similar pages


  • Mick said,

    I am not sure having only faculty be coaches is a workable solution on many levels. Mentioned earlier or in another thread is the fact of time and numbers alone will make it difficult to impossible. Some sports overlap too. What about swimmers, golfers, tennis players, lacrosse, field hockey, etc. This just isnt about Football, basketball and baseball.

    However, I dont have a fix for the current problems. You know, other than follow, police and enforce the rules that are already in place.

    BTW, sometimes lost in all this mess is that kids transfer for other reasons besides sports (social, academic, etc). This is going to have a lasting effect on many many kids and families. Not just sports “stars”. Dont screw this up GCS. Do waht you have to do but beware the rule of unintended consequences.

    GCS – Dont take this too far and throw multiple babies out with the bathwater.

  • joe said,

    Baseballfan, not all high school sports are bad. In fact, it’s mostly good. Kids learn a tremendous amount in school sports. Sometimes it can turn a kids life around.


    TO BASEBALLFAN – here is why you dont have faculty coach high school sports. They dont know how, that is why there is all this transferring and recruiting and moving. So many school have poor coaching that student athletes move to the best situation they can get, and even then the options are not very good. I could list 50 kids in Guilford County that will not play college sports, that if they played for a few select coaches, they would be playing college sports and that is what sucks!!!

  • joe said,

    Don’t rely on your school coach to make you better. With all the options available to kids today beyond HS sports the kids have opportunities if they want it. Don’t blame someone else you did not improve. Too many opportunities for you to work on your own.

    Football – combines and camps
    Baseball – AAU. Showcase, and Legion
    Basketball – Camps and AAU
    Golf – tourney circuits
    Tennis – tourney circuits
    Soccer – Classic, ODP and Challenge

    This list can go on.

    I didn’t realize it was in the HS coaches job discription to get a kid a scholarship. They can sure help but that is not their primary job. Their job is to teach in the classroom, mentor, and teach sports related skills on the field as well as life skills. If you get a coach that does that you’ve got a complete coach. It’s not about wins and losses or getting a scholarship. the lessons taught on the field can far outweigh anything related to a sport.

    Some coaches are better than others. Some know the game better than others. Some have a lot more free time than others. But none of them do it for the money. They don’t get paid squat. They do the best they can because they love it. Some just love it more than others. You have to keep in mind that some of these guys have families also. They only have so much time.

  • just an opinion said,

    Just my opinion..put your helments on…There is a huuuuugggge lawsuit coming, not just one , but class action, the school board will be tied up in knotts for years to come…folks they have absolutely nothing on Northern Guilford..the lawyers will demand answers soon in depositions…..they are using the press to try sway public opinion..but public opinion doesn’t like these clowns in the first place..and this ban the coaches crap is going to get them in more hot water…maybe this will be the last straw and we put a school board in that has not absolutely lost their minds…remember the Nifong crap using the press to make people think the boys were guilty…..this is very similar in my opinion………geeeez the arrogance of these people..

  • here is my opinion said,

    For just an opinion,

    I would have to disagree with you on “but public opinion doesn’t like these clowns in the first place”. I think more people are supporting the “clowns (as you say)” than you may think. The public knows what has taken place at Northern, and the board has to have proof of wrong doing, or else they wouldn’t have required the jobs of three people. The arrogance of these “clowns” is going to probably surprise you in the end when all the information is finally public. I’m sure the school board isn’t scared of any lawyers at this point, since they are steadily holding fast and not giving in to the public demand. This to me demonstrates that they are secure enough with the information that they have at this point in time.

  • figure it out said,

    Baseball fan,

    You are an idiot. Check some credentials of some of the local coaches many played at a high level. There are some coaches that may not know a lot but they are giving these kids their time for very little pay. So be a solution and shut you big dumb mouth so your not the problem.

  • figure it out said,

    sorry that was to “to baseball fan”

  • John Richmond said,

    It seems to me there is some new information that is about to expose one of the schools claiming to be on the sidelines in all of this illegal players conversation.It will appear that Page High School turned itself in(March 12th) for an illegal player(bet you can quess who that is) the same day the camp at prolific park was annouced on rivals. I don’t know about you but that seems very odd to me.First let me ask myself this question, was we not told by many of you Page fans that have been on this blog that this kid was kicked off the team because he was a bad apple?You can repond after you pry your foot out of your mouth.Everyone of you claimed he was a problem but it seems to have been discovered that that is a big smoke screen.Stay tuned for the big explosion on Alma Pinnix Road.

  • genius said,

    Hey Johnny Richie,

    Page turned itself in long before that. It just took the state and the school that long to get all the paperwork done that it takes and believe me there is a lot. Go back and check your facts. The kid is a bad apple he was suspended for fighting on the sideline when he was not even in the game and then a game or two after he came back he was missing practice or coming in late and arguing with other players in the locker room.

  • concernedtaxpayer said,


  • baseballfan said,

    No problem, figure it out! I happen to also know a ton of great educators who have dual roles as coaches. No harm no foul! My only concern in all this is that the kids see the shenanigans that are going on! For some of them this will be what they remember about high school sports and that cuts straight to my heart as a coach and educator.

  • Page Fan said,

    Johnny AO,

    I’ll pry the foot out of my mouth once Ellen DeGeneres gets a boyfriend.

    You see, you think you know about the situation, but you are so far from the truth. Here are some facts for you. He got kicked of the team the following week after the East Forsyth game for coming in the locker room and yelling at his teammates and calling them out. You say, “What is the big deal with this?” Well, the big deal was that he called them out for not playing hard enough and blaming everyone else for the loss. Come Monday practice, guess who doesn’t show up after calling everyone out? That is right, you guessed it. Well, you probably sit there at your little computer thinking that it wasn’t a big deal to miss one practice, right? Over the course of the season he was late numerous times to practice (at least twice a week, and I’m probably being generous). So what if he was late? He is a damn all-star, so you give him that due you probably say to yourself. But then you have to add in all the times that he actually missed practice, not to mention that he got suspended for fighting on the sidelines at RJ Reynolds. You see Johnny, you need to talk to some of the Page coaches if you want the correct information. Hell, you already know what road the school is on, so take your ass over there and find out. You are too chicken scratch to do it though. You would rather spread your word over the internet by bad mouthing coaches though. Here is even another fact that was put out there by someone else, which is true as well, and that is that his parents forged a document claiming that he lived in the Page district. Well, guess what? This is the reason that he is not playing for 365 days. By the way, Page turned themselves in a LONG time ago and way before this stupid mess with NG came out, so the timing is totally coicendental. There are more facts. I thought that I would share a few, since you THINK you know based on rumors.

  • Topfin29 said,

    The whole Story>>>>> The King kid came from SC. He was a problem from the get go. He got suspended after the Reynolds game for fighting. I believe he wasn’t even in the game and ran on the field. After that suspension he played a few games and then got the boot. I believe Page had a better record without him than with him. It’s all fallot from NG and it sounds like Page was out in front of it (maybe some other schools should follow their lead) 3 more points:
    1. John Richmond you can’t be serious. How can you honestly claim to know anything about HS football and not know what a problem this kid was?

    2. The kids parents apparently lied about where he lived. How can a school protect itself from that? Sounds like the only solution so we can move forward is open enrollment then none of this is an issue.

    3. As much as it pains me to say so gongrats to Page for being upfront. If everyone had operated like this we’d all be on here bitching about Delhomes contract instead.

  • CM said,

    Just so baseballfan will know. In AAU basketball you have the cross boundary rule. So Felton, McCants and Anthony were all fine to play for a NCAAU team. FYI: Anthony was in Virginia his senior year.

  • baseballfan said,

    CM, I am so glad AAU has the cross boundary rule! I am sure Felton, Anthony, and McCants could not find anywhere else to play that summer. Yeah, I do recall Anthony being at Oak Hill now that you mention it. Oak Hill is such a terrible program that he couldn’t find anywhere else closer to home to play. Haha! Oh and by the way, weren’t two of the Northern coaches involved with that AAU program that has done such great things for the kids in this area. In my previous post, I wasn’t saying that AAU was a bad thing, but the shenanigans that DO go on in these programs surely would never leak over to local high school athletics, now would they? I am only stating my opinion, and you know every one has one! AAU is great if ran the right way giving underprivileged kids the opportunity to be seen by coaches that would maybe never see them if they weren’t involved with AAU. I am not casting stones in any way, I am just sick and tired of sports being about other things then the development of kids.

  • Sarah Bellum said,

    I was told about 20 minutes ago that the ban had been lifted, since they were not willing to apply the same punishment to all schools in the system.

  • Ilvteaching said,

    You said, “remember 2, 25 year educators resigned bringing a huge black cloud over anything they will do in the future. There has to be something there. Why would anyone throw a career away and not fight to the biter end?”
    No, there is nothing there except a form mistakenly signed two years ago, and chaperoning a trip to New York. I’ll try to explain why they didn’t fight . .. . Yes, they knew early in the week they were in trouble, but there was NO proof and they knew they hadn’t done anything wrong. They figured if they cooperated, they would be cleared. Both talked to attorneys during the week.
    They were called at 9pm on Thursday night and told to resign by 10 am. the next day (a HOLIDAY) or they would be made miserable. They were threatened with their teaching certificates (what that has to do with atletics, I don’t know) and their retirement. Since it was a holiday, they couldn’t get their attorneys in time. I know for a fact that people downtown knew all day Thursday (at least that long) that this would go down Friday morning, but the men themselves were told in time to get legal. If these men are SO guilty, why were they threatened? Why were they not allowed to consult with legal counsel? The answer is because Jill Wilson wanted them to resign out of fear – she doesn’t have to prove anything, the paper is happy and the “only victims” are the two men whose lives are ruined. That is her way of dealing with the angry people at the paper. have you ever been around the writers for the paper who hate northern in person. They hate so much hated for Northern, they can’t be objective at this point.
    I think Mo Green has been taking lessons from Jerry Weast. This is no way to treat employees. I hope they will sue for wrongful dismissal –they have legal grounds. I am still waiting to see PROOF of what they did. Actually, so are they.

  • ilvteaching said,

    typing too fast -they were NOT told in enough time to get legal advice

  • ilvteaching said,

    Last comment to myopiinion . .
    You said, “the board has to have proof of wrong doing, or else they wouldn’t have required the jobs of three people. The arrogance of these “clowns” is going to probably surprise you in the end when all the information is finally public. ‘

    not exactly. First, they thought they would get proof when they went through the mens’ files and e-mail. THEY DIDN”T. now they can cover it up by saying they can’t discuss it – it is a “personnel matter”. Wait and see . . .no proof will ever come out that justifies the firing of Force and Yeager – they were victms of a witch hunt.

    And whether you like Force or Yeager, watch out Guilford County teachers . . next time it could be you. Weast is back with a different name

  • Basketball Fan said,

    I havent heard of the ban being lifted. I think we would all have heard that by now. I certainly hoped that it was true though. This mess needs to be cleaned up soon.

  • Sportsguy said,

    Lets get off the bandwagon of non-faculty coaches. No head coach should be non -faculty, but assistant coaches should be left up to the head coach and atheltic director. Head coaches should be responsible for their assistants. Head coaches and Atheltic directors should be resposible for their players, period. So if we band non-faculty coaches, we should ban all volunteers in the system.

  • realfacts said,

    Northern is a scapegoat for all Guilford County schools.
    “the pot calling the kettle black.”
    The entire sytem is corrupt.
    Let’s stop pointing fingers and fix it.

    Who suffers the most is the kids.
    Sad. Sad. Sad.