Suspended Utah high school football team punished with community service

8:21 AM, Sep 26, 2013   |    comments
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ROOSEVELT, Utah -- Coaches at a high school in Utah suspended the entire football team -- both varsity and junior varsity -- right before the big Homecoming game.

The reason? There were several including poor grades and accusations that some players had engaged in cyber bullying.

Head Coach Matt Labrum says the team is now practicing on different skills.

"It just felt like everything was going in a direction that we didn't want our young men going and so we felt like we needed to make a stand," Labrum explains.

After their last home game, the coaches made all their players hand in their jerseys.

"I was definitely sad because I love playing and always want to play," one player says.

Players left the locker room in tears telling their parents the team had been disbanded.

But their season isn't over.

They are being given the option to play again under some very specific terms outlined in a letter signed by the entire coaching staff that called for the election of new team captains, two days of community service instead of practice, mandatory attendance at a character-education class and a study hall session.

"I think it's going to bring our team closer, and I think we're going to be more accountable, not only for ourselves, but for our buddy next to us," one player explains.

Some other coaches in the community fear the punishment might be too extreme, while others say Labrum knows his players and what's best for them.

School officials say they haven't had a single complaint from parents about the approach to teaching kids good behavior and respect.


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