Most of us have seen the video of Baset Chaudry, team co-captain of Trinity's squash team that has just registered its 12th year of perfection, yelling in the face of his Yale opponent and nearly head-butting him. It was, indeed, ugly.
And yet, one can only imagine the pressure that one must feel carrying the weight of so many successful years, playing in front of a rambunctious home crowd and his own parents that came from overseas to watch, playing an opponent who had goaded him at least a bit during the match..... The stage was set.
Chaudhry lost his cool. Adrenaline kicked in as he won the match, won the team competition for Trinity, and won yet another year as the best collegiate squash team on the planet.
By all accounts he is an exceptional kid who is also a great squash player. Chaudhry sincerely apologized, and I'm sure he meant it. He just lost it -- let it be a learning experience. Unfortunately, he has since voluntarily opted out from defending his singles title, which is up for grabs in a few days, and I'm sure this decision was at least partially, and perhaps heavily, suggested to him by his handlers at Trinity.
That's too bad. While proper behavior, both on-court and off, should be an important focus for educators, forgiveness is a wonderful thing to teach too. His four years of exemplary scholarship and athleticism should have bought him a ticket to the action. While Chaudhry's on-court behavior was a mistake, his removal from the singles competition compounds the error.