Byfield says he's no dictator

...Brands ‘KC’ Graham’s attack as emotional

BY PAUL A REID Observer writer

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

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ORVILLE Byfield, head coach and technical director for Kingston College track team, has hit back at accusations made by one of his assistants Raymond 'KC' Graham that he caused their 4x100m team a title in last week's 120th Penn Relays Carnival in Philadelphia.

Byfield, who is in his first season at the helm of the most successful boys' team at the ISSA Boys' Championships, dismissed Graham's attack as "emotional" and that there "was no basis" for the attack and said it was the relays coach who wanted to go against the decisions of the coaching panel in Philadelphia.

Graham, who was overcome with emotions after he watched his team finish fifth in the high school boys' Championships of Americas 4x100m final behind a record 39.72 seconds run by Jamaica College, accused Byfield of being "a bully and a dictator", saying he had interfered with the team's plans by using anchor leg runner Stephan Clunis in the 4x400m relays qualification in the morning session.

Clunis' inclusion in the 4x400m, Graham charged, had fatigued the athlete and he was not able to deliver in the sprint relay final, thus destroying any chance they had of winning in the 50th anniversary of the first KC team to participate in the Carnival.

Byfield, however, countered that it was Graham, who had tried to go against the plans by the Kingston College coaching staff. "First of all, before we came here we had worked out everything... KC Graham came in at the last minute and wanted to change what we had all agreed on," said Byfield.

Byfield told the Jamaica Observer that one person could not change anything, it had to be by consensus. "If you are going to change the setup of the relay team, you need to consult; we have certain policies that we all come together and make decisions in the best interest of Kingston College."

With the absence of three top runners in Champs, Class One 100m champion Zharnel Hughes, Class Two 100 champion Jhevaughn Matherson and Akeem Bloomfield, Kingston College did not have the depth they would have liked and as such they had to try and use what they had to the best effect.

"I am saying that at this point in time we had one of the guys on the 4x100m (Clunis) who was supposed to run the 4x400m as well (and) it was agreed on (in Jamaica), KC (Graham) wanted to change that but because we did not have enough personnel, so we had to go with the original plan," Byfield explained.

The Technical Director rubbished the accusation that he acts like a dictator. "If I am a person who works in a collective way, if we make decisions collectively, how is it then that I am a dictator?"

The matter might not be over, however, as Byfield said the coaching staff would be meeting as soon as possible to resolve the matter once and for all. "When we get home (from Philadelphia) we will have certain discussions and we will know how best to move forward," he said.

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