What should a coach do when players are bullying others, ditching class and getting bad grades? Matt Labrum, a football coach at Union High School, decided to suspend almost the whole team for such behavior, with the support of the players’ parents and school administration.
“I think the most important thing is that we build character,” Labrum explained. He gave the players some criteria that needed to be met in order to get their jerseys back and return to the field.
His new guidelines required players to be on time for all practices, stay out of trouble in and off the field, and give back to the community through volunteer work. The team participated in activities such as cleaning, gardening and spending quality time with the elderly at a local senior center. The coach also held a group study hall, after which he rewarded those who met the criteria by returning their jerseys. The team earned their way back to the field right before the big homecoming game.
Labrum shared, “It’s a wonderful thing to see young men take on a challenge. I think a lot of lessons were learned this week. I think some will be learned later in life. I think this is something that we’ll remember.” Good for You, Coach Matt Labrum!