Thursday, September 26, 2013

It's Not All About Football

Last year I heard of an incident where a football player from our local high school issued some pretty explicit death threats to another student via texting. When the incident was brought to school authorities, they told the parents to make the police aware of the situation, then basically slapped the hand of the football player and no further action was taken. I was appalled. I've heard of students getting expelled for much less, but hey, don't touch our beloved football players.

So I was cheering as I read this article about a coach at Union High School in Roosevelt, Utah who suspended all 80 players on his football team until they cleaned up their act. There was bullying, poor school performance, disrespect to teachers, etc. that needed to stop. So the players had to prove themselves through community service, character education, study hall and service within their families to re-earn a spot on the team.

“I think football molds character,” Labrum said. “We want to help our parents raise their sons. We want to be a positive influence. We want to be an asset.”

The players were devastated after the initial meeting, but as the team is coming together again and they are learning life lessons, their attitudes are changing. Only two of the eight team captains stayed the same. This is from one of them:

“I still have the love for it [football] and everything,” he said Monday while leaning on a shovel he was using to remove weeds as part of his community service. “But it helped me realize, it’s not all about football.”

I love this! I love every part of it. I love the coach for being brave enough to hold his players accountable. I love the administration and parents for standing behind him. I love the players for rising to the challenge and becoming better young men. This will be a winning season for Union High School no matter what the scoreboard says.

Bravo! Standing ovation from me.


Denise said...

I LOVED that article! Scott and I have been talking extensively about character of the sport fields. He is a High School soccer coach and I told him about the article....He has had some issues but does a pretty good job molding character. I wish OUR football program would do the same!

Kristin and Jay said...

exceptional performance! That is great!

Karey said...

I was so proud of that coach, as well. That took some serious guts, but think of the lesson those boys (and their parents) are learning.