Coach suspended for taking football players to cemetery

The Oakland Raiders and their fans get it.

I am not a big football fan.  But a reader sent me this story about a school district that suspended a high school football coach for making the players lie down in a cemetery after the team lost a game.

Jim Marsh, the coach, claimed he just wanted to inspire the team.
The Associated Press reports

Marsh’s team was returning from a loss last Saturday at neighboring Skaneateles when he had the bus pull over at a cemetery and told the 24 players to lie down between rows of graves. The coach then talked to them about the importance of playing hard.

Tice said some of the players, who were still in uniform, laid down on top of graves at St. Francis Xavier cemetery, near the Marcellus school campus 12 miles southwest of Syracuse. Some parents complained to school officials after being told by the players what had occurred.

Marsh apologized during a meeting with players and their parents at the school Thursday night, telling them he was trying to inspire the team by recreating a scene from “Remember the Titans,” which told the story of a newly integrated Virginia high school’s football team in 1971, with Washington portraying the head coach.

For those unfamiliar with the film “Remember the Titans,” below is the relevant clip.

This is the most idiotic thing I have ever read.

How in the world can parents allow their children to play football — a sport known for its horrific injuries, including paralysis and brain damaging concussions — and yet, get all hot and bothered when the coach decides to take them out to a cemetery for a speech?


~ by siouxsielaw on October 1, 2011.

6 Responses to “Coach suspended for taking football players to cemetery”

  1. This story is kind of funny. Not only is the outrage over the graveyard scene inconsistent, but the amount of attention given to the story is out of hand. I can’t believe the AP picked this story up.

  2. Oh no! How dare that coach take his players to a well-maintained park-like area and give them a stern talking-to! The humanity!
    In other news one of the best days I ever had in school was when my us history class was taken to an old graveyard for a scavenger hunt. It was very educational and fun.

    • Your history teacher sounds amazing.

      I still don’t get why the parents were so upset with the coach. It’s fine for coaches to yell at players, run them into the ground and humiliate them (well, at least that is how all my coaches worked), but don’t dare take players to a park-like area with monuments. Oh the horror.

  3. I remember hearing about this right after it happened. I’m a student at a different high school in the same city, and I can kind of see where they’re coming from with suspending him. Yes, I think some people overreacted, but you’re dealing with public school teens who come from various social and religious backgrounds, some of which forbid being in the proximity of corpses. The district had no choice but to suspend the coach, otherwise they could be viewed as condoning his actions, which weren’t politically correct. Also, the schools around here try to follow all rules to a t ( I can get suspended for taking aspirin on a school trip if I don’t have a doctor’s note saying that I can dispense my own medication), and that bus made a non-emergency unplanned stop. Things are different these days: coaches can’t be as harsh as they used to. Yes the outrage is out of hand, but the coach’s actions were kind of stupid in the first place. He didn’t just take them to the cemetry, he made them lie down between the graves; that’s where it crossed from unconventional to out of line. He didn’t take them to a park-like area for the beauty and history; he took them to a place of death to scare them. That was the point of his “speech” and that was what made people upset.

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