Cyber bullying ... skipping class ... this is unsavory behavior, but normal high school stuff, right? Not if you ask Matt Labrum, football coach at Union High School in Roosevelt, Utah. Last week he suspended his entire team—that's 80 players—for their off-field behavior.
“We felt like everything was going in a direction that we didn’t want our young men going,” he told the Deseret News. “We felt like we needed to make a stand.” After a Friday night loss, he had all the players turn in their jerseys and equipment, to be held until they regain the privilege of playing.
To get their jerseys back, the boys must occupy the time they used to spend practicing with community service, study halls and classes on character development, acts of service for their own families, homework and contemplating and writing about their negative actions.
“We looked at it as a chance to say, ‘Hey, we need to focus on some other things that are more important than winning a football game,” Labrum said. “We got an emotional response from the boys. I think it really meant something to them, which was nice to see that it does mean something. There was none of them that fought us on it.”