Matt Labrum is the head football coach at Union High School in Utah and his team got blown out last Friday night 40-16. After the game, in the locker room, Coach Labrum told his team to turn in their jerseys and they were all suspended. The confused players had no idea the mass suspension was not related to anything on the field. Coach Labrum took this action after learning that several of his players were cyber bullying other students and that was unacceptable. In a letter to the team, Coach Labrum said in part, "The lack of character we are showing off the field is outshining what we are achieving on the field." Labrum went on to write, "It is a privilege to play this wonderful game! We must earn the opportunity to have the honor to put on our high school jerseys each Thursday and Friday night!"

The players were invited to attend a 7am meeting the next day to earn their spots back on the team.Over the next few days, players wishing to rejoin the team would be required to participate in some community service events and study hall sessions. Almost all of the players jumped at the chance.

When word reached the parents, things got interesting mainly because not one single parent objected to the coach's decision....not one. The parents understood the character lesson their kids were about to learn....and learn they did, big time.

There are those who might take issue with a coach going that far to make point. Some might think coaches should stick to X's and O's. If more coaches took this kind of approach, some of our athletes in this country might actually be a little more humble, a little more caring of others and possess an entirely new understanding of integrity.

Thank you Coach Labrum for doing something that should have been done long ago and should be done more often today. You demonstrated the true essence of what being a coach really is, especially at that level. You deserve to be called 'Coach'.

 

[Deseret News]