Coach Suspends Entire High School Team -- Give This Man a Medal!

Inspiring 46

footballAnyone who has ever had a kid in sports knows coaching draws all kinds. There are the coaches who are there for the kids, the coaches who are there for the paycheck, the coaches who care about nothing more than winning, and the coach who would suspend an entire football team to teach them a lesson.

That last one? He's real. And he's a keeper.

Know how many kids are on an entire football team? At Union High School in Roosevelt, Utah that's 80 kids. EIGHTY KIDS! Who were all suspended by their coach this week to learn a lesson on "character."

Anyone wishing they could convince Coach Matt Labrum to ditch his job in Roosevelt and come coach in their neck of the woods? Me too.

We need more coaches like him in America, coaches who understand that their job in a high school is so much more than getting points on a scoreboard. It's about molding young men and women. It's about teaching them to be good sports ... and in turn, good people.

Apparently Labrum had gotten complaints of some of his players bullying kids at school. It wasn't the first complaint about his players -- there have been issues ranging from skipping classes to being disrespectful to teachers -- but it was the tipping point. His coaching staff collected every last jersey from all 80 kids and told them they have to earn the privilege of playing again. As Labrum said in a speech to his team released to the Desert News:

The lack of character we are showing off the field is outshining what we are achieving on the field. We want student-athletes that are humble to learn and grow through adversity and success on and off the field. We want a team that others want to associate themselves with and support; winning isn't the most important criteria for that to happen.

It's that last sentence that really exemplifies what kind of coach we want for our kids. More specifically the last clause.

I know there are parents out there who want to see that "W" because they want that big college scholarship for their little athlete. But the chances of that being your kid are ridiculously low. According to Scholarship Stats, a student who plays high-school sports has a 6 percent chance of playing any college varsity sport. The number drops to 3.7 percent for Division I schools.

So that means 94 percent of kids on high school sports teams have to get something out of that experience other than a ticket to college.

Something being a love of the game and exercise. Something being discipline and a work ethic. Something being teamwork and sportsmanship.

But while anyone who likes sports can sign up to be a coach (really, at some schools ANYONE), not just anyone can teach kids these things. These are the people we need to see with our kids, the ones schools need to be hiring.

Heck, I hate to wade into genetics issues, but if cloning humans ever becomes possible, can I suggest Matt Labrum be the first test subject?

What do you think of this gutsy move by the coach?


Image via Anderson Mancini/Flickr

behavior, school, tough topics


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Katha... Katharine205

He should be promoted.  As for parents worrying that it'll affect their kids getting into a good college, I would rather my kid skip college and have good character than be at Harvard and be a shit.

nonmember avatar Anne

Excellent job by the coaching staff. High school should be about helping a child to gain all the skills necessary for a successful life, academically AND morally. The kids that were messing up need to learn to be decent men and the ones that knew but did nothing get the chance to learn about leadership and their responsibilities to their teammates. We need more high school coaches like this.

D.j. Lord

beautiful...much to coach

SRTmo... SRTmom6127

That man deserves an award! I love his unpopular decision!

Irela... Ireland69

Excellent that is what you call a Teacher!! Teaching young adults responsibilities and good character and respecting each other!!!

Tina Lilley

I respect this coach totally! There should be more like him out there! He cares about his students and not the wins and that says it all! Hopefully is lesson will be well learned by his team!

LeenieM LeenieM

Way to go coach!!!! Playing on any team at any age is not a right, it is a privilege and need to be treated as such. And taught to our children as such. Those kids should feel honored to be coached by him.

nonmember avatar Downintexas

I wished as I read this story that I could go down to the comment section and see all good comments about such a great coach and to my surprise... That is what I did see! Unfortunately, there were only 7 comments . If this statement had been something that divided, there would have been way more! Needless to say it's sad that most people would not take time to read or comment on a story that was not contraversial and saying something malicious would only make someone look even more idiotic than it would otherwise!

Panda... PandaPop83

Props to the man! And if all parents want is the big win, they need to be taught a lesson on character. A child will always reflect their parent(s). ALWAYS!!!

Happy... Happydad73

So he suspended all of them, including the kids who had done nothing wrong. That doesn't teach character, that breeds resentment. You can clap and laud him as much as you want but in the end all he has do was show them that he is a dictator who wants to flex his power. Suspend the ones who are acting up.

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