Recently a high school football coach took a very bold step to deal with several issues within his team, all at once.
He decided to suspend the entire football team before a game in order to send a very strong message. Not just a select few players. The whole enchilada!
It seems some players on the team were skipping classes, disrespecting teachers and generally doing stuff many teens have been known to do on occasion at school.
None of it was surprising in some respects but the one issue which really clinched this decision was the fact some players were cyber-bullying a student at the school and that may have been the final straw.
Now maybe it should have been the first straw and you would be right in thinking so but the point here is he acted and did so without any remorse on his part about benching his boys.
Now remember, this is in football crazy U.S.A. This would be like taking an entire hockey team off the ice here in Canada.
He was alerted by a school guidance councillor about what some of his players were up to away from the football field.
I don’t know how long this coach has been with the team but that is not a key point in this debate.
It would be easy to be critical of the coach by asking how it was he didn’t know anything about this but if not a teacher at the school his contact is very limited with the players.
He made a point of saying it’s an honour to wear a school sports uniform and this was not acceptable at any level.
Some parents and players were heard to complain about having to pay the price for a few bad apples but then a team captain stepped up, admitted he saw what was going on and did nothing to stop it. He accepted the suspension as he should.
Knowing and not saying is just as bad as the full participation of any type of bullying and if more speak up then the bullies don’t have such an audience to play to is one line of thinking. The players have since elected new team captains to provide better leadership and will finish off hours of community service, attend all classes on time and start respecting their educators in order to get back on the field.
There might be a handful of people who think this was a harsh and unfair move by the coach.
In some cases this might be true because not all the players were involved and not all were aware of what was going on so maybe they get a pass but being a part of a team means talking with your team mates and finding out what is happening.
It also means you take the punishment as a team and learn from it hopefully.
Good on you coach!