Union coaches hoped to help their players and became an inspiration to people they've never met

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  • yankees27 Heber, Utah
    Sept. 30, 2013 10:40 a.m.

    This has been an interesting story. I agree with the coach and the things he challenged his players with doing to earn back their spot. As someone who abhors bullying, I'm glad to see a coach stand up for those that are being bullied. We need more leaders like this coach, at all levels, not just coaching but teachers, administrators, and even the kids themselves. I like how he told what some would call innocent bystanders, that they are guilty for NOT doing anything to stop it. That was a hard driving point, something that I actually talked with my children about. As someone who grew up with Union as a rival, I find myself rooting for this team from now on. How could you not?

  • Mark Benson St George, UT
    Sept. 30, 2013 7:29 a.m.

    By the way Union came up short in the score on Friday but this team and community came up with a much bigger win than a win on the football schedule. Well done coach Labrum.

  • bw00ds Tucson, AZ
    Sept. 30, 2013 12:40 a.m.

    @VIDAR I agree with the above comments to your post. I would also add that you are "parenting" from a far. You stated what you would have done and because it is different than what the coaches did, you deem it (the coaches' approach) to be wrong and therefore not worthy of praise. I think your comments are guilty of armchair quarterbacking. The coaches are there and they know the kids and they know the parents and they know the community. They are the best ones to decide on how to handle this, not you.

    It is obvious that what they did is impacting far more people than just their players. Something good and positive in the news, and it's not praiseworthy? As a parent and an educator, I give the coaches and their players two thumbs up, high fives, back slaps, kudos, shout outs, and any other form of praise I can think of.

  • eagle Provo, UT
    Sept. 29, 2013 11:53 p.m.

    The coach set a standard and nine players actually didn't play. It might have impacted the game result for the Cougars on Friday. But what the coaches did will have a much deeper positive impact in these player's lives.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    Sept. 29, 2013 9:58 p.m.

    Murray, UT

    Also remember that, most of the young men didn't do anything wrong. But they failed to do something right in the face of bad behavior by a few.

    They learned that teams rise and fall together. The proof will be in the future choices?

    Sept. 29, 2013 9:18 p.m.

    rescueguy, I'm in agreement. As a retired educator, I learned a long time ago that when a teacher works to involve the students in any disciplinary action, so that they are satisfied the consequences were fair, just, and meaningful, that teacher not only builds character, but gives the student ownership of the knowledge gained. In other words, it is personalized and not just something to spew back to the teacher on a test, then forget it.
    Besides, the program implemented with these students included much more than a suspension--community service was also involved, along with the character-building instruction given--by, I believe, the entire faculty on a united front, if I'm understanding the story correctly.
    That made the entire experience a structured learning activity and not just a punishing team suspension for a week. These coaches and teachers know their business!

  • rescueguy Spanish Fork, UT
    Sept. 29, 2013 6:07 p.m.

    VIDAR, apparently these young men took the "punishment" seriously. And the motive for the coach was different than gounding a kid. It was to help them build some character. And he didn't do it for the praise. His goal was to teach his players that life and character are far more important than football. Mission accomplished coach. And in my opinion, that is indeed praiseworthy.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    Sept. 29, 2013 5:32 p.m.

    So how many games were they actually suspended for?
    Just my opinion, but suspending them on a Friday, then putting them back in the team before the next game does not seem like that much.
    If I ground my kids, then a few days later unground them. My kids would not take the punishment that seriously.
    Certainly not in my opinion worthy of this amount of praise.

  • blueskyco Home Town, CO
    Sept. 29, 2013 5:25 p.m.

    Love the quote they memorized - does anyone know who said it?

  • Cleetorn Fuaamotu, Tonga
    Sept. 29, 2013 2:46 p.m.

    high school fan, if you paid attention to the article, you would have noticed that these coaches and students acted in privacy. It was not their intention for their methods to impact so many others but was focused on their own people. Even in light of all the media, the coaches have worked to maintain their own integrity and keep their players grounded in the immediate perspective. That someone else has decided to highlight the honorable actions of the coach and his staff is not only honorable but commendable – which has been done on both hands.

  • high school fan Huntington, UT
    Sept. 29, 2013 12:58 p.m.

    Most, if not all, high school coaches have issues with players quite regularly and they usually deal with those issues privately. I am not saying that the actions of the coaches were wrong, but maybe the reaction of the media was a little over the top. Union High School should have been allowed to do their thing in privacy.

  • CT98 Saint George, UT
    Sept. 29, 2013 12:06 p.m.

    Loved this story! Kudos to Coach Labrum who saw the greater perspective. He set a great example to all coaches at every level. I would feel honored to have my son coached by such individuals. Great Job!

  • rescueguy Spanish Fork, UT
    Sept. 29, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    Congratulations to Coach Matt Labrum, his coaching staff and the players. I have followed this story with great interest since I first learned about it. Coach Labrum has taught these young men, and countless others who know of the story, about what character really is. Coach Labrum, whether he chooses to accept it or not, is a exemplary role model for his team and his community. If I had a vote for Coach of the Year, Matt Labrum wins, hands down.

  • Rainman Syracuse, UT
    Sept. 29, 2013 5:51 a.m.

    These coaches have demonstrated what leadership is and the boys showed much character in responding the way they did. Best regards to all.