A high school football coach has received universal support for his decision to suspend 41 players because of their bad behavior, which included skipping class and bullying.
Matt Labrum made the decision on September 20, after he repeatedly heard tales of his players terrible behavior at Union High School in Roosevelt, Utah.
Discussing his decision, Labrum told KSL, “It just felt like everything was going in a direction that we didn’t want our young men going. We felt like we needed to make a stand. We were looking at football as a right, rather than a privilege.”
After making the decision to suspend his team, Labrum then met up with the student who was bullied, he had been abused on Ask.fm, and then made a full apology on behalf of his team.
A day later, Labrum made his players sign a specially designed contract that said each athlete must earn their playing time and that they would also attend counselling and various study sessions. He then reinstated them, but insisted the side’s disciplinary system would be a lot more stringent.
Also, Labrum made his team complete two days of community service too. This saw players clean school hallways, pull weeds, wash windows, and even visit people in nursing homes.
Labrum admitted, “I think it’s going to bring our team closer. I think we’re going to be more accountable, not only for ourselves, but for our buddy next to us.”
The coach has since become a mini-celebrity because of his decision to suspend the team. He has been asked by CNN for an interview, and the local community has supported him too.
LaBrum commented, “It’s wonderful to see so many people being so supportive of us. We’re isolated out here. This is all new. We didn’t want the media exposure to make us lose sight of why we were doing this.”