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Coach resigns in video gaffe

Team saw bit of adult DVD accidentally

Coach Wayne Lem said he had been intending to show his players a video of an NCAA volleyball team. Coach Wayne Lem said he had been intending to show his players a video of an NCAA volleyball team.
By Lenny Megliola and Erica Noonan
Globe Correspondent And Globe Staff / April 1, 2011

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Wellesley High School volleyball coach Wayne Lem, credited with helping restart the school’s boys volleyball program, resigned after the student-athletes accidentally viewed an adult video for a few seconds, according to school officials and the coach.

In an interview yesterday, Lem said the episode occurred last week during a meeting in the school cafeteria with the boys team and three young women who are managers for the team. He said he planned to show a video of an NCAA volleyball game to the team, but he said the DVD player he brought to the team meeting inadvertently included a different video.

As the team meeting started, Lem said, he could not find the NCAA video in his gym bag, so he decided to discuss practice schedules instead. As he was passing out the schedules, with his back to the DVD player, Lem said, he heard the boys on the team laughing. One of them had been working the remote control. Lem said he turned off the video within 30 seconds.

“It was unfortunate, an accident,’’ said Lem, who later found the video of the volleyball game he intended to show in the front seat of his car.

He said a visitor may have left the adult video inside the DVD player at his home. He said that many friends and family come to his house, and the video might have belonged to one of the visitors. After the episode, Lem said: “I didn’t sleep a wink the whole night. I thought, How am I going to handle this?’’

Two nights later, Lem met with parents of the players in the school library to apologize and announce his resignation. Even though some of the parents were supportive and, according to Lem, thought he should not resign, he was not swayed. “The boys are under my supervision,’’ he said. “I have to make myself accountable. I always tell my team they have to be responsible. It was probably best that I resign.’’

School Superintendent Bella Wong said she could not comment on the specifics of the episode because it is a personnel issue. She released a statement, with Lem’s permission, that said: “He regrets and apologizes for the unfortunate accidental incident of showing students the reported inappropriate video content. He has met with parents and students to answer their questions, and he has voluntarily resigned his position as the high school’s volleyball coach.’’

“He was valued as an employee,’’ Wong said. Another coach has taken his post as leader of the boys and girls high school volleyball teams, she said. Lem, 56, of Newton, has coached for three decades, including at Boston College, Regis College, and Brookline High School.

Erica Noonan can be reached at enoonan@globe.com.