A Utah High school football coach, fed up with his players’ off-the-field behavior, suspended all so members of the team, and made them help out in the community instead of practice.
Union High School football coach, Matt Labrum, had grown frustrated with reports of his players skipping class, receiving poor grades, allegedly cyber-bullying a fellow student, and etc.
Labrum said, “I think the most important thing is that we build character.” After last Fridays game, he sat his players down in the locker room, and told them to turn in their jerseys and equipment. He handed the players a letter outlining his decision that read, “Gentleman, we are not pleased with how our football brothers are representing our family, school … and yourselves.” He also wrote, “It is a privilege to play this wonderful game!”
Labrum then laid out the criteria each player would need to meet to rejoin the squad: attend all practices, be on time, have no discipline problems. Each would need to complete a community service project and memorize a quote about good character.
With the support of his coaches, the school administration and even the player’s parents, the team spent football practice Monday and Tuesday working on a different set of skills. Labrum said, “We did some service as far as digging weeds and cleaning. On Tuesday we went to the senior center and played some games with them and listened to their stories.”
Parents agree, and are happy with the decision. One parent said “the players have to represent their school, playing is a privilege that the players are abusing.” It would be bad to see those players represent your school with such poor behavior.
It was just in time for the homecoming game on Friday. Labrum said, “It’s a wonderful thing to see young men take on a challenge. I think a lot of lessons we’re learned this week, I think some be learned later in life. I think this is something that we’ll all remember.”