National attention, support overwhelm Union High coaches, administrators

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  • Hey It's Me Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 29, 2013 7:41 a.m.

    I have worked and coached in a High School for years. I think the coach is doing a great thing and hopefully the parents are continuing open conversation with their boys about this at home. BUT I have to say Congrats to the parents of these boys!!Parents of teens tend yto support the boys and tell the school they can't do that or threaten a lawsuit. Our school administrators always backed down to parents threats. I'm glad the parents supported their kids by supporting the coaches and backing the adults instead of the teens who seem to feel entitled these days. Good job parents!

  • UtahBruin Saratoga Springs, UT
    Sept. 27, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    @Once of a Few - You say "But lacking the moral will to do the right things, coach seems to be punishing a lot for the actions of a few"

    It is a team, that is how you bring a team together. So many examples all throughout sports. It works. It creates unity. I seriously do not understand how people miss this principle. Other than the fact that they are concerned only about themselves and not for the betterment of all these young men.

    @xert - You say "Nice try, Coach--but it seems to me that you should have been willing to follow through"

    He did, 9 players of the 41 did not get their jerseys back. With regards to your other statements. You have to understand, this coach is only in his second year at the school. He is still setting a presidence. This was first class and done right and at the right time. Again, I don't understand how people see this as a ineffective approach. I guess you would all believe it is better to just do nothing. Go figure!

  • xert Santa Monica, CA
    Sept. 27, 2013 7:26 a.m.

    The fact that it seems to have taken most of them about three days to earn their jerseys back is rather telling. If this is what passes for a miracle of character building in the US today, it's no wonder we have so few people of character. Nice try, Coach--but it seems to me that you should have been willing to follow through. This sounds like nothing more than a couple of days of missed practice, some TV fame and then back to business as usual. No kid learns a lesson this complicated by taking their dessert away for five days. This is overhyped silliness and although I credit the coach for taking a stand in the first place--more might have been accomplished by letting his players know, at the beginning of the year--that playing for their school was not a right and that they were not superstars. Many coaches have kids that understand this from the get go.

  • One of a Few Layton, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 1:58 p.m.

    I beg to differ a little. The reported facts are thin but this seems to be way over blown and out of line. They aren't really suspended any more than Ted Ruze was conducting a filibuster. It sounds more like some star players should be removed from the team and those who can follow the rules allowed to play. But lacking the moral will to do the right thing, coach seems to be punishing a lot for the actions of a few.

  • UtahBruin Saratoga Springs, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 1:09 p.m.

    In some of the comments I have read where there have been some who have questioned Coach Labrums actions, wondering what five days would do, and if it would even have an impact on these players. Might I suggest scrolling through these pictures and looking at these kids faces in the pictures. The biggest grins from those who "earned" their jerseys back. The "compassion" demonstrated by teammates to those who did not earn their jerseys back. The "unity" with which they stand "together" as a "team". The "honor" with which you see these kids proudly wearing their jerseys after the meeting. The "integrity" they walk away with from a valuable lesson learned. And the "respect" with which they gave Coach Labrum in completing the assigned task that made them better "men".

    I know Bronco Mendanhall at BYU is a man of slogans. I think Coach Labrums team motto for the remainder of this year should be..... 2013 Union Cougars, Compassion, Integrity, Unity, Respect, Honor, Team, Together..... Good luck tomorrow coach and team. I honestly wish I could make it out to Roosevelt to see this team play tomorrow. The passion tomorrow night I am sure will be amazing.

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 12:24 p.m.

    I can think of a couple guys from high school who could have seriously used a life lesson like this. Just because you're a jock that doesn't mean you own the world or that you can trample over other people.

  • toocoolforcoug Woods Cross, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 9:53 a.m.

    Bravo Coach, I love seeing this kind of action taken. The boys will learn a big lesson and be better men for it. They will gain some respect back. My son is fortunate enough to play for a coach who's first goal is to build men of character. Being tardy is not even acceptable. It they are tardy for any class for any reason they have to do 25 up downs for each tardy. That is just the beginning. The coach does not tolerate slipping grades anytime during the school year. He randomly will pull grades during the year if their grades are unacceptable they have to pay the price during football class. They have a curfew. The coach from day one has never allowed any king of hazing. He demands unity. A vice principal told me since the coach's first year they have not had to chase the football players out of the hall during class time. There are two swear words he does not allow on the field during games or practice that includes the coaches using them. It would do this world good if we had more head coaches like these two coaches.

  • hfam7 Lapoint, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    Coach Carter, please! I have children who attend Union High School. Coach Labrum is more worried about building good, young men because he truly cares about them. You can't fake genuine concern and love. He holds himself to the same standards that he holds his football players to. He isn't looking for media attention, he isn't looking for worldwide popularity, he made a tough choice to change the attitude of his team. Whether you agree or not, athletes impact schools. They can be the peer pressure for good just as easily for bad. And why not try to change his team, school, and community for the better? Should he do nothing instead because someone may not agree with him? Or do nothing because he may not be able to use the same solution again? He won't have to. He has communicated his vision clearly, his foundation is set from here on. This is only the second year of him being the head coach at Union High, and I can't wait for him to be my son's football coach in the future! He is the kind of man I want to coach my son.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 9:35 a.m.

    I am so glad that the Nation is responding the way it is.

    It shows that there are plenty of people who value VALUES!

    Keep it up.

  • oldschooler USA, TX
    Sept. 26, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    What an inspiration, CTR, Congratulations to The Coach and his players as well as to ALL who support this decision. Coach Labrum my respects to you and your coaching staff, "You are a MODERN HELAMAN AND YOUR PLAYERS STRIPLING WARRIORS". GREAT example. Thanks.

  • Hailstorm is a coming Riverdale, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 9:02 a.m.

    I see nothing wrong with the good and ethical motives by the coaches at Union High School. Standards and behavior issues were properly and firmly addressed. With all of the incidents of disgrace in the sports world and within the confines of our communities and nation standing up for what is right and admirable qualities is woefully lacking in today's society. Bullying another students should NEVER be considered and shrugged off as " Boys will be boys " Hopefully this incident travels throughout the nation and is adapted by coaches in other parts of our country.
    Good coaching, real coaching is to build the characters of each individual involved in all sports. If not we end up with more Lance Armstrong , and others in the public eye that push the boundaries of entitlement to special treatment. Special athletic skills are in the public eye and leave strong impressions on our youth. To build a better society someone has to step forward and enforce higher standards as a positive reinforcement extending beyond the athletic field and to all students who bully , skip class, do not follow scholastic guidelines.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 8:50 a.m.

    It's really an awful shame that people are shocked and overwhelmed by the actions of this coach and his staff. Shouldn't their actions be considered normal, every day support of proper values?

    What does that tell us about the state of our nation today?

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Sept. 26, 2013 8:17 a.m.

    It would seem that the pendulum has swung the other way. When I was in high school, football players usually got a free pass -- after all, whether the team one or not reflected heavily on our school principal (I'm not sure why). As a result, our football coach was willing to do anything to win a game; including leaving an injured player in the game.

    Priorities often need re-evaluation.

  • caf Bountiful, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 7:50 a.m.

    One week at a time is a great idea. The boys now know that their behavior will not be tolerated. If this policy is always enforced, it will be an awesome team!

  • Ldsrm Spanish fork, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 7:42 a.m.

    I think that like others have said this coach is doing the right thing.

  • thelogicalone salt lake city, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 7:20 a.m.

    I applaud the coach and these young men. I also find it interesting to see the differences in how this school is being supported for suspending young men for poor behavior and the support of adult coaches who were suspended/fired at another school for poor behavior. The lessons being taught and received will be very different.

  • jeanie orem, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 7:11 a.m.

    The nation recognizes we need more character in sports and it's inspiring to see a high school program hold their athletes accountable.

    Good for the coaches for holding steady with your focus. The media attention will come and go, but the lives of these boys will be effected forever.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 7:01 a.m.

    I thought about what character is, I don't know. Is is a cartoon character like Baby Hughie or a movie actor like Bruce Willis. Is it what others see me as or is it what I pretend to be. All I can think of is Good people gives good gifts. and the ultamet gift is our presents. the only gifts that I can give and still keep is my smile, my heart and my word. I think that these are more valuable than any thing money can but. Money can't buy me love. Love all I need.

    Sept. 26, 2013 6:30 a.m.

    This has "Disney motivational sports movie" written all over it.

  • Million Bluffdale, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 6:17 a.m.

    We all need a reminder once in awhile what is right and what is wrong. I guess that is what speeding tickets are for. Children are open minds for the correct path to take in life. Sounds like this experience for the football team has changed a lot of people's lives, not only here in Utah but across the nation.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 6:13 a.m.

    Reminds me of the gawking citizens portrayed in the dystopian classic the Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley, and how the people all tuned in with the Feelies to gawk any novel item.

    Don't worry about the rest of the nation, Coach. Do what's right for your boys and ignore the meaningless chatter...

  • Y-Ask-Y? Provo, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 5:18 a.m.

    Somebody watched a little too much Coach Carter.

  • mattmo Gallatin, MO
    Sept. 26, 2013 4:35 a.m.

    Keep focused for you are not just making a football team, you are molding young men who WILL make a difference in your community, your State, our country, and most importantly in their own families as sons, husbands, and fathers. It's a tough world out there so tough decisions need to be made. Thanks for your example.

  • JustGordon Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 3:55 a.m.

    Well done, Coach Labrum!

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Sept. 26, 2013 3:46 a.m.

    His actions opened many eyes to thousands of schools and educators with the same attitude of team sports and team irresponsible behaviors with a thought out process and goal for the players to attain. Punishment with setting a goal for redemption.

    I don't know how the coach can really make his point on an overnight timeout sit in the corner a few hours to be sufficient to accomplish the goals he set for the team and have them imbedded in their memories to last. He made a point but I don't think its going to last long enough as character builder. The threat is now gone and he can never use it again so the learning curve is shallow and short to really help them. Human behavior is not so easily transcended on a one time effort.

    But on the other hand, if he sets one person on the right path, can't really complain.

    The coach should avoid the national press who will take the value of the lesson and call him an unfit coach. If others want to follow his lead, let them all find their own methods and thats all the mention it needs.

  • Shuzzie53 HAYWARD, CA
    Sept. 26, 2013 12:11 a.m.

    All this hoo-hah for just five days?

  • toosmartforyou Farmington, UT
    Sept. 25, 2013 11:40 p.m.

    The coach should be "Coach of the Year," even if they lose every game.