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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

At What Point is Enough... Enough?

Family –

As you know, I’ve taken some time away from the pen…err… keyboard to work on getting ready for the upcoming football season and to develop some projects that should be dropping in the fall. I’ve missed sharing my thoughts with you.

I come to you today asking for your counsel…. I have one simple question for you: “At what point is enough... enough?”

The reason I ask this question is that a close, personal friend of mine called me today and told me that his son quit his high school football program because of the head football coach. Now, this might not seem like such a big deal to you since this kind of thing happens every day, but let me give you a little bit of the “back story.”

This student-athlete played six (6) years of youth football and was one of my personal clients for three years prior to beginning his high school career. During his freshman year he won the team’s “Ironman of the Year” Award which was given to the kid who, in the mind of the coaching staff, embodied everything they expect from a player with regard to toughness, commitment and respect for coaches, other players and the game of football. He also boasts a 4.7 GPA while taking five... count them five AP courses!
Former Quarterback Blake McBride - 2012

That’s not even the worst of it…

When the young man came in to tell the coach he no longer wanted to be part of the program, the coach didn’t even ask why… his statement was: “Ok… go see your counselor” which is to imply go see your counselor to change your schedule to get out of the 7th period football class.

Wait... what? Is that it?

This just so happens to be the same coach to whom I asked my former coach Lou Holtz how to approach knowing he had no intent to protect and develop young men, but rather to win games (which he has failed to do consistently in his 7 years as head coach). The great Joe Ehrmann even spoke at the high school last week… and it’s obvious to this former football parent and current varisty football coach that this man wasn’t in attendance.

The ultimate slap in this whole thing is that this is a Catholic School who boasts its faith and community to everyone while allowing its young people to be bullied by someone who is trusted to help build the leaders of tomorrow!


At what point is enough... enough? When does the school take notice of the attrition of athletes from the football program and those leaving the school to participate in the same sport at another school before they do something? What is a parent to do? More importantly what are the kids to do? Kids want to play football, but would rather give it up than deal with encouraged bullying by the very institution they’re paying to educate them. Exactly what are they supposed to be learning from all of this? What would you do? What is anyone to do in this situation?

Something, is seriously wrong here… but then again denial comes in all shapes, forms and sizes. 

Private Catholic school lends no exception.



  1. What in the world could cause an award winning athlete and scholar quit his sport??? My son played football and half-way through his senior year, he walked off the field. As it happens, it was this same school, same football program, and same head coach, so I know the answer(s) to the question of what caused this athlete to quit. Your question, "When is enough, enough?" is the question that needs to be answered. When is this school going to acknowledge the harm this coach is doing to countless promising student athletes. In my son's case, he had a coach (who happens to be the author of this blog) who talked him through the rest of the season. All players are not as fortunate. But a player shouldn't have to be "lucky" to have a great coach, or at least a coach who cares for him/her and his/her welfare. This should be the NORM, not the exception.

  2. The kids (student-athletes) want to have fun which is why we call it playing games and not working games. Once these coaches realize that the most talented team on the field doesn't always win but the team with the best understanding and respect between the players normally does. It is unfortunate that a player has to suffer through (or quit) a sport that he loves because of a coach who only knows how to motivate is through embarrassment and ridicule. And then blames the players for the poor performance. Duh!