Brad Rock: Put me in, Coach — or I'll sue

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  • Coach Rawlings Farmington, UT
    June 4, 2013 8:24 a.m.

    Entitlement for making a team, NEVER. Constitutional for being on a team? NO WAY! Right to tryout based on meeting school and school district eligibility requirements, absolutely! The expectation to have a fair and honest coach? WITHOUT A DOUBT!

    But Parents who sue based solely on getting cut or not starting, RIDICULOUS. Been coaching for over 20+ years, seen it all. Entitlement is a huge problem in our society.

    Great Book for all parents to read: RAISING A NATION OF WHIMPS

    Wake up, America: We’re raising a nation of wimps.

    Hara Marano, editor-at-large says, Kids cant make their own decisions, cope with anxiety, or handle difficult emotions without going off the deep end.

    Read this Book!

  • kensutefan Salt Lake City, UT
    June 3, 2013 1:34 p.m.


    I agree with your post. The issue with coaches and parents is not black and white abuse takes place on both sides. In my field, I have to document everything I do. This is not the fun part of my work, however, it paid off as I had to go to California in a multi million dollar law suite. I was deposed in front of 15 attorneys. When I left, all but on settled out of court. I would like to to credit for this, however, it came down to documentation and what was in the record. I can not state this point strong enough, but ethics, documentation, and building relationships are key to being a good successful coach. Oldcoach seems to be a great example of this.

  • sky2k1 Provo, UT
    June 2, 2013 6:28 p.m.

    Can't we all agree that every group is somehow at fault and life isn't fair?

    I've seen players only play because of who their older brothers are (and no, it wasn't over me -- I started at a different position) and they hope the younger brother can be like that.

    I've seen parents make big deals and cause problems for the coach simply because their son wasn't playing enough or in a big enough role.

    I've also seen idiot kids that don't try hard and feel entitled, and when they don't play, it's somehow not their fault.

    In football, I started every game but one my senior year. The Monday I found out I wouldn't start the next week hurt. When I told my mom about it, she wanted to write the coach an email. I immediately said no. I knew that's not how sports worked. I learned a lot that week and ended up being made a starter again the next week. Morale of the story: kids can learn from bad experiences, parents need to calm down, and coaches can change their minds.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    June 2, 2013 8:02 a.m.

    This article is simply inflammatory and you're off base for publishing it Brad.
    Yes there is a problem with parents pushing kids and coaches around. Always has been.
    Parents have ruined the psyche of their children, cost coaches jobs and embarrassed themselves for life over sports. What else is new.
    Nobody is ever going to be sued because they didn't put little Johnny in the game.
    It's probably time for coaches to start suing parents for slander and a myriad of other reasons.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    June 1, 2013 5:49 p.m.


    We went through similar things with our oldest son and his high school baseball team. There is no doubt it is frustrating to watch other kids play while yours is not, especially when they strike out, make errors, and when you know the kids playing have outside relationships with coaches and that is a factor in them getting the playing time. But just remember this, it isn't the end of the world, for you or your son.

    Coaches are held accountable for results, and while you may disagree with who they play, I can tell you we certainly did, they still need to make decisions for their team and they are the ones that have a job on the line if they don't get good enough results.

    It's true your son may not get to play and he may be every bit as good, or even better, than some of the kids that will play. But you need to keep your dignity and your sons. You need to be the better man.

    You may have to endure a very tough season but don't do something you'll eventually regret.

  • Coach P Provo, UT
    May 31, 2013 3:58 p.m.

    The challenge sometimes as a coach of team sports is that sometimes a talented player can be bad for the team and the parents actually enter into the equation. No coach wants a player that is a cancer on the team. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. Loyalty to the team's mission is important. Sometimes a player who has more talent than others has to be cut for the good of the team. But these decisions are hard and often times attempts, as Oldcoach suggested, are made to try to work with the athlete and parents to no avail.

  • Oldcoach Hurricane, 00
    May 31, 2013 2:45 p.m.

    Sometimes toxic parents produce toxic kids. Let me explain. Sometimes a kid comes along who is a pretty good player, but his parents have put it in his head that he is far better than any other player. He comes into a team with that attitude and starts immediately starts to find fault and complain about who is playing where he should be. It becomes an impossible situation that affects the whole team. I have met with that kind of player and his parents and laid out what I expected of him as a player. The kid usually made some adjustments to his attitude, but more often than not I found it was the parents who could not adjust. In those cases we came to the conclusion that it was better that he not play at all. I made a few enemies, but always made sure all involved knew why the decision was made. The team was always better for not having that player on the team.

  • Something to think about Ogden, UT
    May 31, 2013 11:44 a.m.

    Parents are the key to this problem. They try to live their dreams through their kids! I see this everyday! As a coach, working at various levels, I see the damage parents inflict upon their kids. Let coaches be the coach. Parents should focus on being parents. Accept and support their abilities (which translates into the amount of their playing time). Praise them for their success. Teach them from their failures. Love them regardless.

    On the other hand, if you teach them to find fault in their coach, find fault in their teammates, blame, blame, blame... they do the same in their life. They'll grow up and find fault in everyone they deal with. They'll blame everyone else for their problems. Make good choices in what you teach your kids!

  • Gidgie Salt Lake City, UT
    May 30, 2013 10:21 p.m.

    You don't know how much I agree with you! If you can show by documentation logically and with proof why you have made the decisions you make, I as a parent, will understand and be fine with it. But it's a problem when the boys know they can't challenge for a spot. My son just would go and quietly try harder, but would get no recognition. The "Fave 5" could make any mistake and be given chance after chance, but if anyone ELSE makes a mistake, they are OUT. There was one boy on our team, NOT my son, who made a mistake in a game early in the season and was NEVER given a chance again. He came to practices, he did everything he was asked. He was a fabulous player and had done great all the other years (I filmed all the games, I have the proof) but he hardly got any playing time at all. WHY? Because the coaches didn't like his parents and they blamed it on his one missed catch. I could go on and on with stories like this.

  • kensutefan Salt Lake City, UT
    May 30, 2013 9:44 p.m.


    I appreciate your comments and agree with you. My first post stated what a good coach does to be successful. If a coach is ethical, plays his best players, establishes boundaries with player and parents, and documents well, he/she will be successful. I also agree that most coaches are this way. However, in the past two years we have seen several ethical violations that have resulted in coaches being fired. To have a black and white view is not realistic. There's no question that there is sometimes abuse by parents, which is why you set strong boundaries. You cross the line once you accept gifts or money from individual parents. Let me reiterate that I do NOT agree with sue-happy parents. I am on the coaches side! But, coaches need to get those boundaries established by having more communication with parents, not by avoiding them. And by not accepting gifts or money or anything that would make it look like they are showing favoritism.

  • just-a-fan Bountiful, UT
    May 30, 2013 5:46 p.m.

    And we really wonder why we lose great coaches?

  • Oldcoach Hurricane, 00
    May 30, 2013 2:34 p.m.

    Having spent 42 years as a HS coach, I can say with certainty that I never played someone because of whose son he was or who he knew. All of my decisions were based on merit and ability. When parents had questions about why their sons weren't playing, I could explain it logically and with proof. Many times it was "your son misses at least one practice a week" or "your son broke team rules". Many of my decisions were difficult and I always gave players a chance to prove themselves. A lot of this BS about suing coaches comes from parents who want to relive their "glory days", although they probably weren't so glorious after all. Time dulls memory and makes it better than it really was. That is not to say that there are not abuses, but I would say that in my experience they are extremely rare. My own boys had to earn their spots in all the sports they played. The only thing I required of them is that they finish what they started.

  • Gidgie Salt Lake City, UT
    May 30, 2013 1:37 p.m.

    CJHR: I feel you don’t understand what people(parents) are saying. You say there’s misinformation here, but as a mom who just ended 3yrs of football at a SaltLake highschool , your perspective seems arrogant. Coaches might feel personally attacked here, I don’t believe it’s intentional. If you’re a good coach& don't play favorites, you’re fine. Don’t say it doesn’t happen with trite comments about evil/bitter parents/kids. Fact is MANY boys, sit on the sideline watching the same 5boys go in repetitively making the same mistakes. There ARE coaches who lie and play favorites. I agree, “Why would they do that and cause a loosing record?” Question: “How long does that loosing record have to continue before they are replaced?” They boys get one year while the coaches go on. My son’s team got shafted because the coaches have no clue that when they continue with the same “read option” the other team defends it well. Their attitude ONLY working with 5players is wrong! NOT EVERY coach does this, but where I live, they do.

  • kensutefan Salt Lake City, UT
    May 29, 2013 10:47 p.m.

    Unfortunately the game has changed in high school sport. Large sums of money has to be raised these days to pay for expenses or teams can not compete. Pressure is on coaches to be in the black at the end of a session. High school teams can not rely on bakes sales or care washes. Remember, school districts are not paying for sports. For a team to function, they have to raise $40.000 to 50.000 dollars or more yearly . There is no questions that coaches want to win, but they have to have money to function. Someone asked in my example if it was my son. No. It was what I saw and have documentation of occurring. I want to make it clear, I do not like the direction of sue happy people and I am very supportive of strong ethical coaches. I am just being real.

  • GD Syracuse, UT
    May 29, 2013 9:36 p.m.

    In answer to your question JSB. Money. That's why we have intra murals. Flag football is great for those not gifted enough to play football. In my experience coaching, it was pretty easy to pick the top seven or eight. After that the line became blurred. I gave skill tests which included shooting, dribbling, passing, one on one games to ten, etc. Then I had the players rank who they thought were the best to the least. Interesting fact is the players rankings generally matched what the tests showed. They were required to put their names on the paper and seldom placed themselves higher than the ranking and skills tests showed. What the tests didn't show was aggressiveness, passing skills in a competitive situation etc. So scrimmages were held which showed another side of a player. Parents would probably rank them different. I hear a lot of woe is me talk here. The more I observe sports the more I am disappointed in the direction it is headed.

  • Dr Rush Saint George, UT
    May 29, 2013 8:17 p.m.

    @hymn, Couldn't disagree with you more. Having been around high school sports with my son and without I saw many instances where the best kid wasn't playing for political reasons, it wasn't a secret to myself and even some of the assistant coaches. I had my son win a starting spot on a football team only to be demoted to second string the week before the season started when a physically larger kid transferred into the school,this kid had never even practiced with the team. I saw another kid given a starting spot on the team after his mother donated a large amount of money to the team, this kid was in the starting lineup in a playoff game even though he had hurt his leg and could barely walk, I could cite many many more instances, it's just a fact that this goes on, how much of it depends on the integrity and competence of the head coach.

  • Coach P Provo, UT
    May 29, 2013 8:07 p.m.

    I've coached for three decades. I want to build character in my athletes. I want them to be good citizens and good students first and foremost. I also do want to win games. I prefer not to coach with parents if all possible because of the things noted in the posts above. I want to play the best players because I will be evaluated on whether the team wins games. Most coaches I've noticed want to win games. Have I ever made a mistake in choosing to play this player over another? Yes, but it was a honest mistake in judgment of their talent and work ethic. It wasn't because of money or favortism. If coaches do this, they won't win too many games and hence job security is threatened. High school sports are much more likely to have better fairness in club sports where more often the case the team is led by a parent. In high school, the coach is likely to be a teacher who has no familial tie to any player and thus less likely to favor players for these reasons.

  • CJHR Springville, UT
    May 29, 2013 8:02 p.m.


    Let me guess, the example you pose was you or your child. How many coaches do you personally know who would give up being better/winning more to appease a parent or strengthen their relationship with an inferior player? Even in the rare case that it happens, a single instance does not a pattern make. Don't taint all coaches with the story of an outlier.

  • kensutefan Salt Lake City, UT
    May 29, 2013 6:49 p.m.

    Hymn to the silent, I have to respectfully disagree with your comment. I have personally witness this happening at a high school. When a coach has to raise money and it comes from a parent who donates, it creates a dual relationship, an ethical violation in my opinion. The coach has put him/herself in a situation, whether implied or not, that their child will play. Coaches should never be the ones raising funds but should be left to the boosters, which involve several parents and community members, who volunteer their time. The problem comes when statistics can document who is the better player, who comes to practice, and puts in the most effort. When a favored player starts over a more qualified player, The teams members know and it effects the moral of the team. This is where coaches get into trouble.

  • RU Serious Washington, UT
    May 29, 2013 5:02 p.m.

    When a child wants a new pair of shoes, the parent buys them. Instant joy, approval, and satisfaction. When they want to go to a movie, $20.00 whether or not the money is earned. When the child wants a better grade, the parent is immediately after the teacher. Sports are the last venue where the child gets what is deserved and the parent (in the majority of cases) cannot give his or her child instant gratification. It is earned. What coach does not want to win? Which coach does not play the best combination of players to achieve success? I'm sorry, but a lot of whining on this blog. Have you ever had a parent ask you if their child is not better than the child playing in front of theirs? Loaded question, but even if you know the truth, you will find a way to appease the person posing the question. Their are instances where the has been inappropriate behavior I'm sure.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    May 29, 2013 4:11 p.m.

    we won't have to worry soon least for high school and below...since Barack and Michelle will mandate 'fairness' in athletics - everyone gets equal playing time and the object is not to win but make kids feel good. Think this is absurd? Better think again. Remember - 'fairness' is the word of the day in liberal land.

  • CJHR Springville, UT
    May 29, 2013 3:50 p.m.

    This has become a comment board filled with absolute misinformation. As a high school coach (assistant and head), I can tell you that I have never even seen an athlete get playing time based on who he knows. In some cases an athlete works hard and then gets to know the coaches very well...the order of this process should be noticed. If you or you're kid does not play, then they are not the better player. That is it. In rare cases, there are two athletes who are very similar and a coach has to make a judgement call...this is where parents use the "politics" card. If you or your son are in this situation, take a look in the mirror and realize that you have not set yourself apart enough to deserve the outright starting spot. It is tough, but thus is life. Get better or get bitter, your choice. It sounds like the latter has been the default of too many.

  • hymn to the silent Holladay, UT
    May 29, 2013 2:53 p.m.

    Funny to hear so much about the "politics" involved in sports for kids. Yes it does exist, but parents need to stop using the P word when their kid just doesn't measure up. I can't think of any kids who played because their parents were big donors, or friends with the coach, or related to a school official. But I can think of a whole lot of parents who use that for an excuse when their kids don't play...The kids that do play are almost always the ones that work hard, and have parents that practice with them rather than complain about how "political" the system is. Teach your kids to accept what comes and make the best of it instead of trying to make all their dreams come true.

  • UU32 Bountiful, UT
    May 29, 2013 2:16 p.m.

    Between these kind of lawsuits, concussions and the accompanying litigation, lack of funds and other issues - high school sports is headed to the European model of club teams.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    May 29, 2013 2:03 p.m.

    If sports is such a great character-building experience, then why not make it available to any student who wants to participate? Instead it is limited to the fortunate few who happen to have the right connections or have the unique physical gifts. But why should those who are small or not athletically gifted be prevented from participation? In junior high we had inter-murals in which we all participated and we had a great time. Then in high school only a select "elite" got to have this important character-building experience. If taxes pay for the sports programs, then everyone who wants to should be allowed to play. The present system is arbitrary and unfair. If there are 200 students capable of taking calculus, should only the top 50 students be allowed to take the class? If there are 200 students that want to play football and are willing to try hard and practice, why are only the top 40 or 50 students allowed to participate?

  • get'er done Wx, UT
    May 29, 2013 1:26 p.m.

    My take. If we hire the best coaches most problems are minimized. I'm not saying hiring teachers is the answer, I don't believe it is, hire the best coaches possible, whether they teach or not. Much of the problem is who the Admin and the AD's hire, their buddies, their co-worker, whether they are qualified or not, if they hire bad ones, they deserve the heat. Our young ladies still get the shaft; title 9 took care of the money but not the fairness. Be honest, no lip service, hire the best. If you'd like to know if your school hires the best coach for both the girls and boys program ask the Admin to rotate the boys/girls coaches every few years, not the entire staff (assistants pitching, hitting coaches) but trade the baseball/softball and the boys/girls basketball head coaches, If the boys program gets a crappy coach, I promise no lip service in the world will save him, but they give this same coach to the girls program. Hire good coaches and it's a win-win, hire a bad one and you deserve to be sued.

  • GatoRat Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 29, 2013 12:58 p.m.

    The first step is to separate sports and school at all levels. A recent NCAA report found that only a small number of universities made money on their football program, let alone all sports combined. In reality, sports are a huge money drain on schools which benefit only a small minority of students (and even does most of them no favors; most would still go to school and aren't going to get scholarships.)

  • tlar22 St.George, UT
    May 29, 2013 11:54 a.m.

    @ JohnnyClutch

    I completely understand your frustration. I am from the southern utah area, and was a 3 sport athlete in high school. I was a good enough athlete to make all the teams, but the coaches wouldnt give me the time of day in the majority of those sports. In one instance, a move in made the team, the coach started him over me without ever really seeing him play, and after 3 games he was benched and I started once again. coach never said a word to me or told me he was sorry. In another sport I was a starter, and a few days before our first game, an assistant coach took me out of the starting line up for his own son, so who had a failure of a season. I still got a good amount of playing time, but nonetheless I didnt get what was rightfully mine. I hope your son can catch a break his senior year. But, I also have learned personally that life is more than sports. Doesnt mean that its not fair, but in 5 years it will hardly even matter.

  • klink Provo, UT
    May 29, 2013 11:50 a.m.

    re: JSB "You prove my point. Why spend 3000 hours on a game? Your son probably would be better off if he had spent the time studying. Not criticizing you or your son but, in the long run, sports is a waste of time and money."
    I completely disagree!! he didnt say his son spent 3000 hours on a 'game'. He said his son spent 3000 hours "actively participating in a sport". There's a huge difference. 3000 hours on a game is a waste. 3000 hours developing physical skills, mental strength, social skills, and learning to deal with winning and losing, is, and should be, a HUGE part of a childs development. Certainly studying is important as well... However, saying his son, or any kid, would be better off studying more is simply not true.

  • JohnnyClutch Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 29, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    I couldn't disagree with you more. My son going into his senior year has a 3.91 GPA and has learned extremely valuable lessons from his participation in baseball, the least of which is certainly not self-esteem.

    There's no farm to work on, nor company to work for, as he enters manhood. He's lifted weights, learned to work hard, is extremely respectful, and we've spent thousands of hours together doing something that totally bridges the generation gap.

    Even if he doesn't play an inning his senior year, it was time well spent.

    3000 hours is a year and a half on the job, and I will not sit back and watch Daddy coach steal the fruit of playing time from him arbitrarily.

    If that makes me a "problem parent", fine.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    May 29, 2013 10:08 a.m.

    re. JohnnyClutch: You prove my point. Why spend 3000 hours on a game? Your son probably would be better off if he had spent the time studying. Not criticizing you or your son but, in the long run, sports is a waste of time and money.

  • JohnnyClutch Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 29, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    What about when my son spends over 3000 hours of his life in active participation in his sport and is, as a coach of the sport myself, CLEARLY the better player in all measurable (and intangible) aspects of the game, the harder worker, the better student, the better athlete, is an upperclassman to alternatives, and doesn't play a LICK because the coach's son and those of his assistants play every error-filled, strike out laden inning?

    Do we do nothing?

    You tell me?

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    May 29, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    When I was in HS, the basketball coach assured me that he'd put me on the team but then he, without any justification, changed his mind. I didn't fight it. I just concluded that the coach was a contemptible liar and couldn't be trusted. I've learned since then that he was more the rule than the exception. There's a lot of politics in sports. Kids have been put on teams because their father was a friend of the coach or he was the son of a school board member, etc. It isn't just a matter of who is the best at the sport. Like so many other things in life, it's not how good you are but who you know. Athletics from junior high to the pros just exposes how much cheating goes on in the name of good sportsmanship. Our society would be a lot better off if taxpayers were not forced to pay for this corrupt system through school sports.

  • klink Provo, UT
    May 29, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    And this is why I love the sport of Wrestling!! There is almost always a directing relationship between Effort and Results; Politics and money play take a back seat.

    As for this article, I think anyone who has coached at the high school, or even Jr. high, level can attest that the amount of 'politics' being played among the parents and school officials is Ridiculous! I cringed when I read the headlines of this story, but definitely understand why this is happening. And unfortunately, the ones who suffer the most are the athletes and the coaches. If the coach doesnt 'Win', he loses his job. If he plays the better athlete, wins, but upsets the 'Big donor' parents, he loses his job. And, the better athlete ends up sitting, which in turn takes away his/her college and scholarship opportunities, which in turn keeps the truly better athlete from going on to do great things... and the problem goes on and on because of politics and money.
    So, I hate that legal action is being taken, but maybe thats what needs to happen to help remove 'politics' in sports...

  • Herr Jones Kansas City, MO
    May 29, 2013 9:05 a.m.

    How long would HS programs exists if they followed youth sports rules? no cuts, minimum # of plays or time on the field, points don't matter, snacks at the end of the game, participation trophy at the end of the season....

    Sometimes I think the European model works better. School is for learning, education and knowledge. Sports clubs (not tied to the school) are for those that want to play and compete.

    I understand educators use athletics to "motivate" students to achieve average work. There are some who attend enough classes and do enough homework to barely maintain their athletic eligibility, with the belief that their athletic skills and "passing" grades will get them far in HS, or even into college.

    Do away with HS sports, save the districts and tax payers tons of money, no fields and stadiums to maintain.

  • Manny Saint George, UT
    May 29, 2013 8:19 a.m.

    By the time kids reach high school age, many parents are just frazzled and on edge from all the years and money invested in their athletic phenom. I watched this unfold as my son played baseball from 10 yrs old to a Senior in HS. From 10 yrs to about 15-16 yr old, some parents have spent and enormous amount of money on academies, club ball, personal training and other things to mold their child into a superstar. Sometimes that works, many times it doesn't. We did not spend anywhere near what other folks spent during this time, but my son had fun playing, had an outstanding HS experience and played college ball. I watched other parents during this time as their child quit playing, worked through HS or found other interests. A few were cut from playing altogether. Some of the parents had a tough time with this and accepting that their plan did not work out. You could see the stress from this on their faces as their kids friends kept playing. Many hard feelings and comments towards the school, coaches and others came from this. But sueing the school over this situation is a little overboard.

  • techpubs Sioux City, IA
    May 29, 2013 6:25 a.m.

    Having been on both sides of the equation I have some perspective. However, there isn't enough detail here to define this case.
    As a coach I wonder what keeps him from showing up for practice and encouraging trhe rest of his teammates. And then it's a question of was he really better than the upperclassmen or even maybe some new transfers into the school? Did someone else improve over the summer?
    As a parent you question if their is favoritism?
    One of the lessons of sports is that life isn't always fair and the best talent doesn't always succeed so we have to learn to deal with inequiries and move on with our life.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    May 28, 2013 10:12 p.m.

    When I saw the headline, my first impression was right on! Then as you read the actual story or the cases involved it doesn't seem so black and white. That's all I'm saying. Are parents problematic in youth and high school athletics? Yes, without a doubt. But I think these two cases might not show that problem exactly. I'm not sure they have a legal case per se, but there is enough there if you read the story to be concerned that the school and coaches in question could have handled things differently.

  • kensutefan Salt Lake City, UT
    May 28, 2013 8:45 p.m.

    It seems to me a good coach would not have to worry about this as there would be plenty of evidence to disprove any legal action. I believe a coach of any sport has an obligation to play their best players. The problem comes from politics: when parents "donate" a large sum of money, give gifts, show favoritism, to the school or coach expecting their child to play (implied or not). This does happen in the state of Utah and several coaches have been fired for ethical violations. To me a good coach sets the right boundaries with parents and students at the start of the season and does not cross those boundaries. If there is a dispute, a good coach will meet with the parents and hear their concerns. He may show film and other documentation to explain their position. A good coach motivates the players, even the players on the practice squad, to perform their best and make them feel a valuable part of the team. A good coach builds relationships with players and parents and will not avoid them. A sign of a good coach is when the players and parents all respect and love the coach.

  • lvnthedrm South Jordan, UT
    May 28, 2013 7:27 p.m.

    Having run basketball leagues for many years it is sad but true that PARENTS are destroying sports for youth. If a kid is on a team it is apparently his right to play? Sports is being destroy quickly by parents trying to live their failed dreams through their kids and it's life or death for them. Sad sad reality.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    May 28, 2013 7:14 p.m.

    Totally against suing obviously on these matters but it sounds like in each case there might be some concerns on how things were handled. One minute on the team, the next you're not when some athletes join the team. That isn't too good. I've never heard anyone ever getting kicked off the track and field team, even when members don't show up to practice. Most coaches are pretty lenient because many times track athletes might be doing other sports. It sounds like a personality conflict that couldn't get worked out, rather than the athlete in question didn't have any abilities. Once again I'm not sure these are "legal" issues per se but to be honest after reading the story, I could see how parents might be upset and feel that their sons weren't treated fairly. I could honestly say this isn't a shining moment for athletes or coaching.