I read in the news recently about a coach in Utah who suspended his whole football team for failing to live up to a particular standard.
Part of the reinstatement process was that each of the athletes would have to complete a set number of requirements to return to the team, including a number of service hours, study hall as a team and attending classes.
I applaud the coach’s decision and, from what I understand, most of the team fulfilled the requirements and made it back on the team.
As I thought about what kind of courage it took for that coach to demand a certain level of integrity from his team, I wondered if it would work for BHHS teams.
I’m not saying we need to suspend any team right now. I think that the issues our teams face currently don’t warrant the type of extreme methods that were exercised in the Union High School case.
But, just because I think we don’t need it right now doesn’t necessarily mean I think it would work if we did need it.
I don’t think the problem in our school district is the student athletes though, it’s the parents.
In the story out of Utah there was one father interviewed who was upset and wanted to do something about it. Luckily he listened to his son, who wanted to work hard to get back on the team, and did nothing.
I don’t think it would go down like that in Brookings.
No, here parents would look for ways to get around the punishment. They would move out of the district to give their athlete another chance at a different school.
They would make unsubstantiated claims to the school board and try to get coaches fired.
Or when that fails they would try to besmirch the coaches in the eyes of their community with lies and innuendos.
That is the problem with trying to suspend a whole team, the parents wouldn’t let it happen.
They’d rather teach their kids that if you don’t get your way, just rant and rail and eventually you’ll get what you want.
Maybe, in Brookings, we just need to suspend the parents — make them meet integrity requirements before they can come back.