Bullying Football Team: Did the Coach Go Overboard in 91-0 Win?By: Erika Watts - October 22, 2013
A high school football coach in Texas was slapped with a formal bullying complaint after his team won 91-0 on Friday. Aledo High School, the football team that put up a score you’d expect to see in a basketball game, has scored 77 points or more in their last four games. This is the first complaint that has been filed against head coach Tim Buchanan for his team’s blowout victories.
The dad of a player on the team that was blown out, Western Hills High School, claims Buchanan encouraged his players to bully their opponents by running up the score. The dad, who opted not to leave his name in the complaint that went public, said that while the Aledo Bearcats players showed good sportsmanship, he was disappointed with their coach’s actions.
The father wrote in his complaint that driving his son home after the game was tough because “I did not know what to say on the ride home to explain the behavior of the Aledo coaches for not easing up when the game was in hand.” The dad of the Western Hills player also said, “We all witnessed bullying firsthand, it is not a pretty sight.”
Buchanan is adamant that no bullying occurred in his team’s win. Not only did he pull his starters in the first quarter, his third string players were on the field when the clock ran out. After the first half was over, the officials began running a clock that didn’t stop unless a timeout or score occurred and in the fourth quarter, the officials used a continuous running clock, so the score could have reached triple digits.
Do you consider running up the score as Aledo did in their 91-0 victory a form of bullying? Respond below.
Neither Buchanan or his team were happy over the victory. “We were just sitting there,” Buchanan said. “You’d have thought we got beat. I looked around and asked, ‘Is there anyone here that feels good?’” Buchanan says that while such victories aren’t anything he takes pleasure in, he can’t tell his kids to quit, either.
“I’m not gonna tell a kid that comes out here and practices six to seven hours a week trying to get ready for football games, ‘Hey, you can’t score a touchdown if you get in, you’re gonna have to take a knee,’ Buchanan said. “That may be the only touchdown that kid gets to score in his high school career.”
Aledo Independent School District plans to investigate the complaint, but it appears the school district has the head coach’s back. “I can tell you, our kids learn from our coaches’ compassion, and slowing things down,” said Superintendent Derek Citty. “It could have been worse than what it was.”
The Texas Education Agency provides the following definition of bullying, which will be considered when deciding whether to take action against Buchanan:
“Bullying occurs when a person is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself. Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions. Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time. Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength.”
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