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Comments about ‘Taking a stand: Union High coach suspends entire football team in lesson about character’

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Published: Tuesday, Sept. 24 2013 4:30 p.m. MDT

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mab93
Provo, UT

Great Job Coach. That would be a tough decision for a new coach to make. I expect that they will have a more successful football program because of it. Most of the better football programs have learned that it is easier to build a top program by building character first. Wong would regularly have the team do community service, and has benched a starter during the playoffs because of poor life choices. They players all knew that if they needed to live up to higher expectations than others, and they didn't want their actions to reflect poorly on their football family. With most of these kids, when you expect more of them they rise up to meet the expectations.

one old man
Ogden, UT

So, higv, MONEY is more important CHARACTER?

I guess that's the ultra conservative view of life. . . .

joseywales
Park City, UT

This story has all the makings of a Disney movie, if they can just win a title, or even have a winning season. Regardless of that though, I think it's awesome what the coaches are doing and no matter what the win/loss record is at the end of the season, there will be many more winners come off of this team because of this. Bravo!

Mike W
Syracuse, UT

Good for them! There are more important things than football (and I'm a huge football fan). I cannot believe the hours wasted on football at very young ages (8-9), practicing or playing six days a week, when they could be focusing on more important things (homework). It's just another example of the countries mixed up priorities (given that almost none of these kids will earn a college scholarship and many will finish high school with chronic injuries). And you can spare me the "it builds character" thing that goes along with playing sports, serving missions, military, etc... you can build your character in a number of ways, but the best and easiest is by simply being a good, law-abiding citizen and helping others - a lot of kids have this figured out at young ages, no excuse why others can't. Those kids back in Mass. who vandalized Brian Holloway's home could use parents or a school like this to crack down on their ridiculous behavior.

Shimlau
SAINT GEORGE, UT

An excellent article and as others have said, Kudos to the coaching staff and all who supported them in what they did.

I do have a question that was brought up by this article and is purely an aside; If this individual is claiming cyber-bullying, and the website allows phony names, is this person using a phony name also? if so, how could it be bullying if he isn't even known? This is not to put down the problem that this is becoming, it is simply a request for information for my self.

O'really
Idaho Falls, ID

I hope someone makes a movie about this! Class act coaches!

SteveinAZ
Tucson, AZ

From the story:

"One incident in particular moved the coaches to action. A few days before, guidance counselors informed the coaches about a student who believed he was being harassed and bullied by football players on an anonymous online chat program called ask.fm — something Labrum and his staff had never heard of before last week. Because the social media website allows users to hurl insults from behind a screen name, there was no way for coaches or counselors to know who was harassing the young man, who is not a member of the football team."

The moral of the story: you can hurt an entire team of atheletes (guilty, or innocent) with a simple accusation that you "believe" that you are being "harrassed" by someone whom you "believe" is a member of said team. The PC coaches will spring into action and take drastic action, based upon............well, you know....not much to go on, but whatever. Action will be taken!

It's funny how they didn't name the accuser, yet they deride "anonymous" comments on a silly chat room.

The ultimate moral of the story: Never trust anyone (especially a coach) who doesn't trust you.

SteveinAZ
Tucson, AZ

From the story: "One incident in particular moved the coaches to action. A few days before, guidance counselors informed the coaches about a student who believed he was being harassed and bullied by football players on an anonymous online chat program called ask.fm — something Labrum and his staff had never heard of before last week. Because the social media website allows users to hurl insults from behind a screen name, there was no way for coaches or counselors to know who was harassing the young man, who is not a member of the football team."
The moral of the story: you can hurt an entire team of atheletes (guilty, or innocent) with a simple accusation that you "believe" that you are being "harrassed" on the Internet by someone whom you "believe" is a member of said team. The PC coaches will spring into action and take drastic action, based upon............well, you know....not much to go on, but whatever. Action will be taken!

It's funny how they didn't name the accuser, yet they deride "anonymous" comments on a silly chat room.

The ultimate moral of the story: Never trust anyone who doesn't trust you!

Nan BW
ELder, CO

As someone who has been in the school scene for many years, I join those who applaud the decision and action of the coach. I too think it would make a real movie.

UtahBruin
Saratoga Springs, UT

@SteveinAZ

You can't name the accuser as they would be high school kids which makes them a minor. I am confident that this all got worked out in the end. Maybe the school and the alleged harassed victim did not know who it was. I guarantee that several of the teammates of the said harasser know who he is.

So you say, "never trust anyone (especially a coach) who doesn't trust you." Trust is earned and so is respect. I guarantee that this coach earned the respect and trust of all his players, administration and community. I am sure these players returned with a new found respect not just for him but their teammates as well. And more importantly themselves.

midvale guy
MIDVALE, UT

While I completely agree with the coach's intention there are probably a few people on this team that did not deserve this. Hopefully the procedure for getting readmitted to the team is considered on an individual basis. I think there's a certain mentality that goes along with team sports in high school. There tends to be a certain superiority complex in action. it will be good for everyone involved to drum out the bad character and the bad characters. now if only college and professional sports could have integrity as a factor for continued involvement.

jean22
Bountiful, UT

I love how the parents are supporting the coach in this, rather than blaming him like the parents of the 300 kids who partied and vandalized the ex-NFL player's home.

DaveRL
OGDEN, UT

Outstanding job coach, I would let my son play for you any day. We need more coaches like him.

WYOREADER
Gillette, WY

I have never had so much respect for a coaching staff. You will have an amazing team when they return.

GoRed
WEST VALLEY CITY, UT

Coach Labrum,

You're a stud. What a great, gutsy thing to do. It would be nice if we cold all be so proactive in doing good things like this.

Keep it up!

SteveinAZ
Tucson, AZ

UtahBruin wrote:

"I guarantee that this coach earned the respect and trust of all his players, administration and community. I am sure these players returned with a new found respect not just for him but their teammates as well. And more importantly themselves."

If they respect a coach who has basically called them LIARS without basis other than some anonymous complaint, then, the players would be fools. The coach took the word of someone who cannot even say who supposedly harassed him. Group punishment is bad enough, but group punishment without even knowing if you have the right group is plain asinine. If these kids have zero self respect and agree to "earn" their way to play for this coach, they will grow up to let anyone step all over them, based upon nothing but gossip.

Here's one final thought for all the bobble-heads posting comments in agreement with this coach:

How do you know the complainer is not somebody who just couldn't make the team and who is just jealous of those who did?

JonathanPDX
Portland, Oregon

There's no reason that building character should not be part of a well-rounded school curriculum. Teaching children to be honest, honorable, responsible and reliable should be just as important as teaching them to read, write or do math. It has nothing to do with religion, either, but with simply learning to be a person worthy of the respect of others, something too lacking in so much of our society.

SCMom
Spring Creek, NV

Hurrah for integrity shown by this great coach. Finally someone who realizes there is more to life than athletics and winning a game. There is winning at life and becoming a viable member of society. High school is only four short years. Then life really begins. Hang in there, coach. We need someone like you at the head of every team.

higv
Dietrich, ID

Part of character is honoring contracts. If a player breaks rules than he should be suspended. However there was a contract made to play scheduled games. Suspend individual players but keep contracts you made with other teams.

happytobehere
Fillmore, Utah

@The Rock

I would like to know more about the football player that said "I am the peer pressure." What a great story. I tried to google it but couldn't find anything. Can you give me any more information?

Thanks!

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