Charges dropped against Payson coach accused of injuring 13-year-old player

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  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    It's good to see that Coach Harris has is cousins, aunts and uncles writing in support of him. As for the rest of us, well....they video. This was at the best poor sportsmanship and at the worst bullying/assault.

    If this went before a jury, I'd convict on video alone.

  • 7/24/47 Live Oak, CA
    June 10, 2013 9:45 a.m.

    I am with you Coach Harris. Much to do about nothing by people who have to have drama in their lives, all the time.
    People are so over reactive when it comes to lies. Tell humans a lie long enough, and they will believe it is fact, without checking out the true on their own, they are lazy.

    June 10, 2013 2:40 a.m.


    I've been on football sidelines at the youth, high school, JUCO, DII and DI levels. I've never seen anyone "react" to a play coming near the sideline with a forearm shiver unintentionally. This instance is reminiscent of the NFL strength coach Sal Alosi a few years ago, while standing legally in the players' box sticking his knee out into the coaches' box to trip the opposing team's gunner on punt coverage who had been blocked out of bounds running down the sideline. A key difference was this guy was standing on the field of play (there was plainly room for him to step away from the sidelines as the other coaches had). Alosi was out of football for a couple years and I believe was just hired by UCLA last year. The point is he obviously knew what he was doing. Was it criminal? No. But it was far from ethical. If it were his own son running at him, you mean to tell me you believe he'd knock him to the turf? Someone who can't practice sportsmanship coaching youth football has no place in athletics at any level.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    June 9, 2013 11:57 a.m.

    On most little league fields there is not even three feet of space so players and coaches can back three feet off of the sidelines (it should actually be two yards). The Ute Conference is especially irresponsible in this regard. Their fields leave no space. Officials are constantly telling coaches to get off of the field. They have nowhere to go that is off of the field. Why? Because the Ute Conference lets parents and fans be in the sidelines and they frequently move the ropes toward the field so they can watch. MOve them to the end zones.

    The apparent new fact that the player was playing later in the game means that there is no civil case and apparently wasn't hurt as bad as was said.

    All you Monday morning quarterbacks who are so sure of what you think happened due to watching a fuzzy video need to step back, take deep breath and relax. My guess is that nearly all of you who cast blame on this man would do exactly the same thing to protect yourself that he did. Most likely with the same result.

  • brobrigham Bountiful, UT
    June 8, 2013 7:15 p.m.

    The play is not over until the player steps out of bounds. Coaches and players are supposed to be a good three feet away from the sideline because of this fact. Players and coaches on the sideline who see a play coming their way should step out of the way. I trust those defending this coaches actions don't know much about football. The coach was certainly in the wrong.

  • CodyCougar Madison, SD
    June 8, 2013 4:09 p.m.

    I hope this guy is standing on the line at my next game. He gets the same stiff arm that he gave this kid and then I'll stand over him and gloat just like he did. He's going to loath himself until he admits and apologizes. Its in living color--and everyone who sees it sees the character of a man that is about an inch high.

  • CCJones Lehi, Ut
    June 8, 2013 12:39 p.m.

    video says it all he stands there seeing that they are coming at him. Straight arms him and then just steps back and looks at him without offering any help. This guy is a bully

  • mountainlocal Brooklyn, NY
    June 8, 2013 12:28 p.m.

    Would the guys reflexes have been the same if it were NFL players coming at him instead of 13-year-olds? He could have stepped to the side or even caught the much smaller kid. And then he didn't help him up, he just stands menacingly over him. He didn't try to hurt him, fine. But I also never heard any concern over the player either. It was all just about what a victim he was.

    I won't say he shouldn't ever coach again, because people make mistakes. But the guy has to realize what he did was wrong on some level. I believe he's a good guy but he needs to least acknowledge he got caught up in the game and had a lapse of judgment and poor sportsmanship.

  • SundanceKid27 OREM, UT
    June 8, 2013 11:35 a.m.

    Get out of the way!!!! Don't be right one the sideline. Give room for kids to fall down. If you do knock a kid over than help him up and don't just stand there. This man is what is wrong with youth sports. I would put 5 dollars down that he never said he was sorry. He probably only claimed that it wasn't his fault.

    If you have time to extend your arms than maybe you also had time to step to the side or backwards. You probably had plenty of time because you were watching the kids come your way. You were taking advantage of the situation.

    These people should not be instructing kids.

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    June 8, 2013 11:00 a.m.

    This coach can say what he wants.
    Small town justice can do what it wants.
    People desperate to believe in this guy can believe what they want.
    And yet---there remains..
    The video. And therein--the truth of the matter. He was in the wrong, he displayed poor sportsmanship and he shouldn't be coaching kids. The judge can dismiss it with prejudice and a flourish of his robe for all I care. There is still---the video.

  • Homeron Morgan, UT
    June 8, 2013 10:57 a.m.

    To those who found him NOT guilty did they even watch the video ! I would love to see if this would have happened to his son by a full grown man ! Move out of the way next time don't straight arm the boy ! its good to know an opposing coach can now use professional wrestling moves agains the small players. its too bad this sends the wrong message !

    June 8, 2013 9:09 a.m.

    Looking at the video the coach shouldn't be doing that to any players, but I doubt it requires criminal prosecution. Internet over-reaction can be helpful sometimes as I hope the coach will change his behavior going forward, but I don't want him to never be allowed to coach again. It can be difficult to make sure the punishment or corrective action fits.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    June 8, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    This Coach displayed poor sportsmanship.

  • Brown Honeyvale, CA
    June 8, 2013 8:52 a.m.

    Just watched the video for the first time and it looked to me like a quick reaction from the coach as the kid was coming towards him and going out of bounds (the player's foot was over the line). And, the kid did have a helmet and pads on. I would protect myself as well.

    NOTE: KSL-TV, tell your news reporters not to give their opinion in a news story--I don't want to hear it. ("He could have helped the kid get back up." Come on, this is football!) Just report the facts and let the viewers come to their own conclusions. STAY OBJECTIVE PLEASE. You may taint viewer opinion against this man who was innocent. I feel for him and his family.

  • JT4 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 8, 2013 7:54 a.m.

    Just saw the video on YouTube. Extremely hard to tell what actually happened from it, but also extremely irresponsible reporting by the TV station as well.

  • Ironmomo Ogden, Utah
    June 8, 2013 7:20 a.m.

    No it was the city of Payson that filed child abuse charges against the coach. The judge felt like there was not enough evidence to have a trial so the child abuse charges were dismissed.
    Not sure if the parent(s) of the boy have filed a civil suit or not against the coach. If they do it likely will never end up in court, the best they could hope for is an out of court settlement with the leagues insurance company.....but that's a long shot.

    I've made up my own mind about the coaches innocence or guilt. I hope he stays out of coaching.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    June 8, 2013 12:20 a.m.

    Glad to see these charges dropped. It is long past time.

    Our system is broken when it takes this long to figure out the obvious.

  • Rural sport fan DUCHESNE, UT
    June 7, 2013 11:46 p.m.

    staypuffinpc...Payson didn't "sue", they were pressing criminal charges. Theoretically, the attorneys involved are paid for their service as the city attorneys no matter how much time they spend on the case, so hopefully, it cost nothing extra except lost time for other cases.

    If they ARE getting paid by the hour, someone needs to re-negotiate that contract.

  • staypuffinpc Provo, UT
    June 7, 2013 10:19 p.m.

    So, it was the city of Payson hat sued and not the family of the kid? What a waste of taxpayer funds!

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    June 7, 2013 9:58 p.m.

    Now, where does he go to get his reputation back.
    He had a lawyer, and they don't work for free, so who will be paying his legal bills?