A middle school honor student who was humiliated when his basketball coach gave him a "Crybaby Award" last month was feted at a school assembly yesterday with applause from his peers and an apology from the coach.

Ousted Pleasantville (N.J.) Middle School coach James Guillen presented Terrence Philo Jr. with a certificate, a trophy and the first Terrence Philo Jr. Award.

"I would like to extend a special apology to the Terrence Philo family," Guillen told the boy in front of about 250 of his cheering classmates. He blamed his error last month on "my lack of experience as a coach and as a teacher."

Saint Joseph's basketball coach Phil Martelli also was on hand to see the boy honored.

Philo, an eighth-grade honor student, was a guard on the team, which went 12-3 and won its division championship.

Guillen, a teacher in his first year as coach, gave Philo a Crybaby Award trophy at the team banquet, for always pleading to get into games.

The boy's determination to participate was the impetus behind the new award, which will go each year to a student who demonstrates dedication and team spirit. Philo said he was pleased.

"How they did it this way, it's better," he said.

-- From News Services