This high school football coach does not tolerate bullying or attitude problems, and he recently showed players in a major way.
Utah outlet Deseret News reported that the town of Roosevelt’s Union High School football coach Matt Labrum recently suspended all 80 players from the team due to reports of bullying and academic issues.
In a letter to the team from the school’s coaching staff last Friday, players were told that if they participated in community service activities, took character-education classes and participated in extra study hall sessions, they would earn the right to play again in upcoming games.
“The lack of character we are showing off the field is outshining what we are achieving on the field. We want student-athletes that are humble to learn and grow through adversity and success on and off the field,” reads the letter, which was obtained by Deseret News.
On Wednesday, he announced that he would allow most players back on the team because they met the outlined requirements, according to CBS News.
Labrum reportedly knew his players were having some academic issues, but decided to take a stand last week after he learned some of his players allegedly were anonymously cyberbullying other students on social media site Ask.fm, according to local outlet KSL-TV.
“It just felt like everything was going in a direction that we didn’t want our young men going,” Labrum told the outlet. “We felt like we needed to make a stand.”
The decision received support from both the school administration and parents.
“As I thought about it, I’ve got 100 percent confidence in our (coaching) staff,” said Union Principal Rick Nielsen to Deseret News. “They are just excellent men. Sometimes we do think we’re bigger than the game.”
According to KSL-TV, Labrum reportedly met with a student who had been harassed on Ask.fm and asked for his forgiveness on behalf of the team.
The team is scheduled to play its homecoming game Friday.