This letter is in response to an article published in last week’s Sports section. Or rather, this letter is in response to the childish, cheap and extremely distasteful “joke” in the headline of that article, “Breaking in Hymen Court.”(TKS, 09/18, pg. 16) Referring to the newly dedicated Tim Heimann Court in the renovated Memorial Gymnasium in the headline, the article itself had nothing to do with Heimann Court. Instead it focused on the upcoming season for the Prairie Fire volleyball team. Yet the insulting pun involving the name of one of the most dedicated members of the Knox community for over 30 years somehow made it past the author of the article, the section editor, and even the editor in chief.
Tim Heimann was a Prairie Fire coach for 34 years, 24 of which he spent as the coach of the men’s basketball team, and in 1997 he was named the Midwest Conference- South Division Basketball Coach of the Year. He is a Knox graduate, his wife is a Knox graduate, and three out of their four children went to Knox. Tim has worked in the Admission office and the Dean of Students office, and currently works with Knox’s Advancement Office as a major gifts officer. I wonder which one of these contributions to the Knox campus and community justified the disgrace of using his name in such a demeaning way in an article headline, on the title page of the Sports section nonetheless?
Even though I have only been a part of Knox for a little more than a year, during this time I have had numerous personal encounters with Tim Heimann. He made it a point to stop by and meet all the new staff members in my office in person, telling us stories about his experience at Knox. His love for this place, the students, the alumni, the faculty and staff is inspiring. Yet instead of celebrating this passion for Knox, TKS actually went to print with a headline that I can only assume somebody thought was “funny” at the time. Well it wasn’t. It was sad to see aspiring journalists go so low.
Whether the headline was somehow a mistake or a lapse in judgment, I would hope that someone will have the decency to stand up and apologize, and at least attempt to save some face for the TKS. Turn it into a learning moment, but learn something from it— your job as journalists is to praise the people who have made such enormous contributions to your community, not to use their name as a contemptible joke.
The TKS owes Tim Heimann, his family, the entire Athletic department, and the campus an apology.
Coordinator of International Admission
Office of Admission